I’m so thrilled that sewing is finally coming back into style. Or crafting for that matter! At last, folks are appreciating artisan-made goods over generics Made-in-China. I think we have great DIY tools and Pinterest to thank for that, at least in part.
Pssst… here are some of my favorites!
There’s one solution I couldn’t quite work out. Unless you’re lucky enough to have an “extra” room to call your craft room, you’re like the rest of us and reak havoc on the dining room table every time you have a project. I really needed a designated sewing area. My machine is also an embroidery machine which means it’s heavy and has 1,000,000 pieces. Plus, now that I’m more skilled, I have more gadgets, gizmos, and sewing feet. So many glorious, specialized sewing feet. Hauling it in and out of a closet every time is a complete disaster. I don’t have a room to designate for crafting, but I do have a corner I can donate to the cause.
The problem? I still wanted it to look nice and be able to be put away when I’m not using it. Why are we not demanding these things, people??? Furniture companies must surely know by now that A) many people are sick and tired of decrepit junk that falls apart if you stare at it too hard, B) consumers are very into designer styling (thanks again, Pinterest), and C) crafting & sewing are BACK & deserve proper workspaces!
Having a very specific spot to set my sewing station up, and wanting very specifically something that could close up completely, hold ALL of my sewing what-nots, and fit in with my decor, I had literally no options (save having something completely made cu$stum). So, I was forced to come up with a solution: a TV armoire-turned-sewing-armoire.
Then I thought… one of those old “entertainment cabinets” may just do the trick! They fit the bill perfectly because A) they are junk to most folks now that wall-mounted flat-screens are a plenty, B) they were extremely popular in the 90s thus were made by both high and low-end furniture makers in various styles, C) they are plentiful and cheap in the resale market. I found plenty of junkers in my search, but I held out for the right one. I wanted something with a pull-out section made for the TV low enough to be desk-height, doors that hid themselves away, plenty of drawers and shelves for storage, and made out of solid wood so it was worth my time to paint. Then I found this beaut:
It was posted to Craigslist by a resale shop. Classic (bot not too much) french styling that fits my new study decor beautifully, solid wood, fold away doors… all delivered for $85. Score. Patience paid off on this one, although I admit I was loosing it.
So, I went about painting it. I used milk paint even though I much prefer properly spraying with primer and oil-based enamel because the logistics of moving such a huge piece around was insane. It’s taller and wider that most of our doors! Remind me again next time that milk (and chalk) paints are not for me. I can’t stand them. Shabby-chic is not my style and I’m not into the hand painted look. Buuuut, I had it on hand and was so excited to get moved in, so 45 coats later (don’t believe the hype, you should use primer when re-finishing even with milk or chalk paint)… I refinished the hardware with Rub & Buff & added baskets to the lower pull outs (meant for your VCR & stereo I imagine) with washers and screws. The upper shelf was missing, so I used some scrap plywood to create a shelf to store my fabric stash (it’s 3 layers deep, y’all – I’m finally working through it now that I’m back in business).
Like the results? I love it. It was difficult finding a piece large enough to accommodate my embroidery unit, so be sure you’ve measured the entire space it needs to operate. The height of the pull-out is higher than a typical desk, so I’m using an old piano bench that easily raises. Depending on what you find, you may need a barstool. Measure, measure, measure. I LOVE that everything is now actually put away where I can find it!
Closed, it looks much too tidy to be a sewing area!
Open the doors and there’s everything!
I added a strip light from IKEA for lighting and it’s perfect.
A power strip is mounded at the back.
I’m working my way through that fabric hoard with some great new patterns.
That will be a share for another day!
Pull the space out and it’s sewing time! Make sure your piece is sturdy when pulled out.
This makes me more happy that it probably should, but even
these little dividers (from Lowe’s) happen to fit perfectly.
I even had to find a happy little trashcan for this happy little space.
Right in reach for thread clippings!
The baskets are mounted to the slide-out drawers with screws & washers under the liners.
One basket holds my embroidery do-dads and the other holds regular sewing what-nots.
Need some of the supplies seen here? Amazon has them!
Where did you get the adorable stool for seating???
It’s an antique piano stool. It belonged to my mother who used it as a vanity stool. I have great childhood memories staring at the claws wrapped around the marbles while she was getting ready :). Watch Craigslist and antique stores for something similar. The seat on mine was cracked so I upholstered it long ago.
i love this idea. As a matter of fact I have a very similar armoire. I would love more detailed info on how to do the same with mine, especially how to get the doors to fit into the sides. thank you
I sought-out a piece that had this feature specifically. Many TV cabinets have this feature. You always want to start with good bones!
can i get more detailed info on building the inside piece
This piece was a media cabinet and already had the inside shelves and drawers. I just added the baskets, spoolhangers, and lights.
Beautiful! I am looking for a similar cabinet, and wondered if the pullout “desk”, where you have the sewing machine, needed reinforcement, to handle the weight. Thanks for your site, and beautiful inspiration.