Tea Cart Made From Sewing Machine Cabinet

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A few months back, I was perusing Hometalk, looking at all of the amazing things creative people had fabricated, when I saw that someone had made a tea cart. (In case you didn’t know, tea carts are all the rage right now. Since they’re very popular, they’re also very costly.)  At first glance I thought, “OMG. They’ve taken an old sewing machine cabinet and turned it into a tea cart…what a novel idea!” I decided I should read the article to find out exactly how they did this. To my dismay, it was then that I learned they had taken an old tea cart and  turned it into a new tea cart.  :-\ Although they did a remarkable job on the transformation, there was nothing novel about it. That’s when it occurred to me, “I COULD TURN A SEWING MACHINE CABINET INTO A TEA CART!”

My lack of impatience strikes again. I had already taken off the knobs before I got around to taking the pic. My apologies.
My lack of patience strikes again. I had already taken off the knobs before I got around to taking the pic. My apologies.

As luck would have it, I had purchased a sewing machine cabinet at the Salvation Army thrift store a while back.  I can’t remember exactly how much they were originally asking for it  but it was more than I wanted to pay because I had passed it up for a couple of weeks. Eventually, my frugalness paid off because I was able to snag it for less than $8. (Ikr?)   I brought it home and there it sat in my husband’s barn for about 6-8 months, patiently waiting for inspiration to strike me. (In all honesty, it was probably closer to a year, but who’s counting?) I knew that I could have just painted it and turned it into an end table or something boring like that but I knew it had so much more potential. (Like becoming a tea cart!)

First thing’s first…I had to clean it. I got out my TSP and gave it a good wipe down. (Of course I had on rubber gloves and safety goggles.) Then I started dissecting it. Lucky for me, it didn’t come with a sewing machine so all I had to do was take off the faux door/drawer on the front.

Moldy wood...who knew that was possible?
Moldy wood…who knew that was possible?
Off comes the plastic trim.
Off comes the plastic trim.
Now, off with the faux drawer/door.
Now, off with the faux drawer/door.

**I would like to take this time to remind you the importance of keeping up with knobs, hinges and so on that go with your projects. Place the pieces in a Zip-loc bag and write which project they go to.**


Next, I started painting. Of course, I used the poor man’s version of chalk paint (latex paint, plaster of Paris and water). Looking back, it probably would have been in my best interest to paint it in the last step. Not the first. But, hey, you live and you learn. After giving it a few coats of paint, it was time to flip it – literally – so we would have easy access to the legs.

Taped the used caster wheels before I gave it a coat of Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.
Taped the used caster wheels before I gave it a coat of Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.

We drilled holes in the center of the two right legs then inserted the stem of the caster wheels into them.


I’m not going to lie, the next step made me a little nervous. After making the necessary measurements, it was time to chop off part of the back legs.

"Measure twice, cut once."
“Measure twice, cut once.”

So we did. (Not really “we”. It was Jamie. I’m not comfortable with the circular saw yet.)

There's no going back now!
There’s no going back now!

Now we had to figure out how to attach the wooden wheels to it. First I had to decide if I wanted the wheels to be functional or just for looks. We opted for functional; but, if they didn’t work then they’d just be for looks. 😉

You’ve probably already noticed but we also added a shelf to the bottom for stability.

We joined the two wheels together by using a dowel rod. Then Jamie built me a contraption (for lack of a better term) to attach the “axel” of the wheels to the cart.

When you unfold the top, the space where the sewing machine sat was now just an empty hole. I wanted this cart to be useful so I got the dimensions of the “hole” and scoured the internet for baskets that would fit. Finally, I found one at Target. >sigh< Unfortunately, we are one of the only cities in the entire world that doesn’t have a Target. (I might be exaggerating a little.) The closest one is about 45 minutes away. Therefore, I ordered it online and had to wait four long days for it to arrive. (Good news is that it was on sale and it had ‘FREE SHIPPING’…yay!)


Once again, I  flipped the cart upside down to attach the basket. First, I took off the copper handles. (I lied. Jamie took them off.) Then I grabbed a package of #4, 1/2″ EMT straps and secured it to the cart.


Here’s the finished product. Well, not really. I’m still trying to figure out the handle. I’m kind of picky…I don’t want just any handle.







UPDATE: I finally found a handle. Well, sort of. I never could find one that I liked so I just made one.






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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Andrea says:

    SO creative, luv it!
    What size r the wheels , thanks!

    1. tooinspired says:

      They measure about 13.5″. Great questions…I forgot to include that!

  2. Terri Graichen says:

    I’m totally inspired. I love repurposing and dyi’s.

    1. tooinspired says:

      My goal is to inspire DIY-ers like I have been. I’m so glad you have been.

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