Sewing machine chair refreshed

Inspired by …

“What inspires me?”  Anything that is unique and has a story. My Mom’s Antique Old Sewing machine cabinet and chair. I love old pieces with character, or in this case, a history. I grew up learning to sew on this sewing machine and spent many, many hours sewing my clothes. “Simplicity” and I had a love affair that went on for years.

I remember one Christmas getting a Simplicity pattern and fabric from my Mother. I was disappointed that my sister had the better pattern and material, but I fell in love with my new dress while working on the sewing machine and table. Honestly, I ended up with the cuter dress after I added the rickrack and other embellishments. My sister was asking to borrow mine all the time. (Just for the record … Rickrack was the “in” thing in the 70’s!)



It has been a busy month moving my daughter and family into their new home, and then a week later moving my Mother into her independent apartment. It was with haste and not much sleep that I pulled the chair apart and dove into this project.

The legs unscrewed and needed to be sanded and the tips painted. I had a great idea to wrap the legs in plastic bags from the store since I had extras, but, the bag seemed to get in my way. I wrapped the next ones with shop towels that I was able to use later to stain the legs and screwed them into a box to spray paint.

Don’t you just love how the stain brought out the grain in the wood? The seat needed  cleaning, sanding, staining, and a new covered seat cushion. The back of the chair was layered with grunge from hand oils and dirt from the many times I pulled it out and pushed it back in. For the inside under the lid, I placed cork to give it a more polished look, but I love the look of wood and cork together. Seems earthy 🙂

I also used cork inside on the bottom to line it and I love that my Mother still has her original #Kenmore sewing machine kit.

I wanted to redo something for my daughter that would mean something to her. Inspired by the past and the generations of women who went before her and sat in this very chair. Now with a bit of updating it will fit into her new home.

Refreshed in love! ♥

Materials used in this “Refresh“…


Rustic Mist Metallic paint and primer in one (tips of chairs)

Special Walnut stain (all wood)

Zinger primer (seat base)

Coffee Metallic Glaze  (to bring out the texture of the seat base sides)

Goodwill pillow sham for $1.99 to cover seat and ribbing.

cork on a roll (lining the seat inside)

and new hinges (old ones broke while disassembling)



Furniture Refresh

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9 Responses to "Sewing machine chair refreshed"

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  1. Tammy

    October 8, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    Great refresh…love that you used a pillow sham to recover..great idea!

  2. Kim

    October 8, 2015 at 12:53 PM

    I love an heirloom and this one is precious. Great tip on the legs screwed into the box. genius.

  3. Emily, Our house now a home

    October 8, 2015 at 1:16 PM

    This turned out so cute! Such a good upcycle.

  4. Lynn

    October 8, 2015 at 6:37 PM

    Lovely makeover!!

  5. Melody

    October 9, 2015 at 10:27 AM

    The story behind this chair is so special. I love when a piece has history and this will be a perfect chair for your daughter to pass on to her children one day. You gave it a beautiful update. Thank you for participating in #furnitureREFRESH

  6. A

    October 9, 2015 at 8:22 PM

    What a great job! I love how it turned out!

  7. Erin

    October 10, 2015 at 6:53 AM

    LOVELY!! The colours are adorable!

  8. Stacey

    October 15, 2015 at 9:56 AM

    I love this! using an inexpensive pillow sham was such a good Idea.

  9. JaneEllen

    February 21, 2017 at 12:34 AM

    How lucky your daughter is to be gifted this wonderful “heirloom”. It truly is so special, especially after you redoing it. She’ll enjoy it for many years to come and pass it to her daughter. You did such an incredible rehab on the chair.
    Wish I could find a sewing chair to redo, give to my daughter and then she to hers.
    Have a lovely week

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