Sewing Cabinet to Outdoor Bar

It’s time for another round of Themed Furniture Makeovers with my DIY Furniture Gals.  Each month we challenge each other to make over a piece of furniture with a theme.  This month the theme is outdoors.  My mom’s friend picked up this 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.

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.sewing-cabinet-makeover-before-leg-damage


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.sewing-cabinet-makeover-before-top

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 table top 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 jig saw. sewing-cabinet-makeover-inset-sink-how-to-2


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.sewing-cabinet-makeover-inset-sink-how-to-3


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.sewing-cabinet-makeover-inset-sink-how-to-4


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.



When the leaves are opened, the party can begin!

A former sewing cabinet is now an outdoor bar and serving area. This would be so handy to use for entertaining outdoors.


The leaves offer plenty of space for snacks, napkins, and glasses.

A sewing cabinet is now an outdoor bar and serving area. This would be perfect to use on a patio, deck, or beside a pool. Get the details at


The dishpan can be filled with drinks and ice inside and then easily added to the bar area outside.      This former sewing cabinet is now an outdoor bar and server.


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.A sewing cabinet is made over into an outdoor bar with an inset sink. Get the full tutorial at


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.

Sewing Cabinet to Oudoor Bar - Leg Detail


I think that this piece will find a new home at the lake as it will be perfect for entertaining on the dock.  Speaking of entertaining, we’re hosting a bluegrass jam Friday night and having guests over the weekend and then again next week, so I think that I finished this piece just in time to for when we can use and enjoy it.

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A former sewing cabinet is now an outdoor bar and serving area. This would be great for a deck, porch, or patio. Now who wants a cocktail?  🙂


You can see all of my Themed Furniture Makeover Day projects here.

DIY Furniture Girls

I am excited to see all of the outdoor projects for this month’s Themed Furniture Makeover Day.  Click on the links below to visit each post.


  1. What a save, Paula! It never looked so good. Great job!

  2. Super transformation and I love the bright blue paint!
    Suzanne Ramsey recently posted…Off we go, to ‘Antiques Roadshow’My Profile

  3. Paula, this is brilliant! What a great makeover, and what a wonderful way to take advantage of the fact that the cabinet opens up. You are one smart cookie!
    Richella Parham recently posted…Back yard updates: new patio and deckMy Profile

  4. I love seeing these made into bars! It turned out so cute! Well done!
    Karin Chudy (ART IS BEAUTY) recently posted…Small Outdoor Table Makeover ~DIY Furniture GirlsMy Profile

  5. Very clever use of an old sewing table, Paula! Love the hidden ice bucket idea and how it all folds up into a pretty outdoor table. Your Bluegrass party at the lake sounds like so much fun – enjoy your Outdoor Bar Cart!
    Marie, The Interior Frugalista recently posted…Outdoor Portable Beverage Bar CartMy Profile

  6. This may be my favorite project of yours yet! What an awesome idea!! I love that you can use it at your lake house too. Sounds like you have a bunch of fun weekends coming up! Enjoy!
    Megan recently posted…My New Studio ApartmentMy Profile

  7. That turned out really well! I have been looking for an old sewing cabinet to repurpose but have not yet run across one at a reasonable price. I’m pinning this for inspiration!
    Pat @ Life At Lydias House recently posted…DIY Beverage Stand Workshop- the Good, the Bad, & the UglyMy Profile

  8. Perfect makeover for this sewing table! Now, I need to find a sewing table to do the same thing! Great job!
    Lindsay Eidahl recently posted…Broken End Table Makeover {Themed Furniture Makeover}My Profile

  9. Kim Stearns says:

    This is such a great makeover. You are so clever and I love the color.

  10. Oh wow, Paula! This is just too cool!! Looks like the legs were a cat’s scratching post, but you could hardly tell now! And the color is perfect for a party outdoors!! XO
    Christy@ Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer recently posted…Turn $5 in Thrift Store Parts into Functional Décor!My Profile

  11. I love how the blue color POPS on this piece! What a fun makeover 🙂

  12. Well, Paula, all of your hard work really paid off on the makeover! Love the color and the purpose for this piece! Great Job!
    Kim Jones recently posted…How to get an Authentic Looking MakeoverMy Profile

  13. This is so cool, Paula! I love the color and I know you guys will enjoy your new party piece for years to come.
    Jen @ Girl in the Garage recently posted…Cherry Blossom Dresser Makeover – Themed Furniture DayMy Profile

  14. Super repurpose!!! I have one of those tables awaiting a makeover and yours is definitely inspiring! Pinning for later!

  15. You did such a beautiful job with your bar! I love the color and you’re right, you’d never know the legs were once damaged! 🙂
    Stacy @ Anastasia Vintage recently posted…Repurposing a Vintage Radio Into a Wine BarMy Profile

  16. Paula, I’m just stopping back by to thank you for joining the Grace at Home party and to let you know I’m featuring you this week. I’m just smitten with your outdoor bar! 🙂
    Richella Parham recently posted…Screened porch updatesMy Profile

  17. Love this to the moon and back. Look for it among our honored features on Friday’s Furniture Fix and out on social media in the next few days. Susie from The Chelsea Project
    Susie@TheChelseaProject recently posted…How to Make a Floorcloth with FabricMy Profile

  18. Wow! Who would have thought! Well, you did!! This is so brilliant and it looks great! I see these cabinets at all the thrift stores. Now I know what to do with it!

  19. What a beautiful makeover! You worked wonders with that wood filler–I’ve never had luck getting it that perfect. Thank you for sharing at Merry Monday!
    Amanda @ The Kolb Corner recently posted…Baked Chili Lime SalmonMy Profile

  20. Such a clever idea…turned out GREAT!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  21. Wow! What a makeover. I love it!! Thanks for sharing at You’re Gonna Love It!
    Kim Six recently posted…Over The Seat Car OrganizerMy Profile


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