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My mom’s friend picked up a sewing cabinet from the curb knowing that I would enjoy making it over. This sewing cabinet is no longer a sewing cabinet, it’s now an outdoor bar.
Sewing Cabinet to Outdoor Bar
Sewing cabinets are easy to find in thrift shops or even for free. People aren’t sewing much these days and have no use for a sewing cabinet.
Turing a sewing cabinet into an outdoor bar is a great way to upcycle an unwanted item and to turn it into something useful.
Sewing Cabinet Before
This sewing cabinet had definitely seen better days.
Someone decided to decorate each leg by gouging the wood. They did this in a fairly even pattern around each leg.
The top was full of ring marks and one of the faux drawers had come off. Perhaps someone used the hardware for something else as it was missing.
How to Make the Outdoor Bar
After cleaning the cabinet, I used copious amounts of wood filler to smooth out the gouge marks on the legs. After the wood filler dried, I sanded the legs to get them as smooth as I could and then sanded the rest of the piece.
An 18-quart dishpan from Walmart was purchased to become the sink part of the bar. Mr. SP decided that the dishpan should be inset into the cabinet so that the tabletop pieces could close over the sink. To accomplish this, we first traced the top of the dishpan and then cut on the line with a jigsaw.
We then cut plyboard to hold the dishpan into place. We had to use two pieces of plyboard because we didn’t have a large enough piece on hand and had to make do with scraps. The plyboard was glued and screwed into place, so it should have no problem supporting the weight of a dishpan loaded with ice and drinks.
Here you can see that the dishpan is flush with the cabinet top. No one will ever know that it’s inside with the leaves are shut.
Making the Outdoor Bar Pretty
I wanted to use a bright and cheerful color for this piece since its meant to use outdoors for parties. I chose Ava from The Plaster Paint Company.
To protect the paint, I sealed this piece with my favorite poly, General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Satin.
The original bat wing pulls were reused but given an update with black spray paint.
The knobs came with an Ikea Rast dresser. We upgraded to pretty knobs for that patriotic hack and kept these in case we ever needed them.
Enjoying the Outdoor Bar
When the sewing cabinet leaves are opened, the party can begin!
The leaves offer plenty of space for snacks, napkins, and glasses.
The dishpan can be filled with drinks and ice inside and then easily added to the bar area outside.
When the party is over, dump the ice in the grass, put the dishpan back in the cabinet, take the snacks inside, fold up the leaves, and clean-up is done.
The wood filler worked like a charm on the gouges in the legs. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but you’d never know that those marks were there.
This piece is now used at the lake entertaining on the dock.
Our guests love seeing it and it is always a conversation starter.