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Sew cool and sew finished! Check out my new sewing cabinet

Last week in my meals plan post, I mentioned that I was working on something big this week.  I’ve been so excited to show it to you, and now it’s finally done!

First things first, I stole this idea from Weekend Sewing, which I checked out at the library a few weeks ago.  I only wish I could take credit for coming up with this! The author turned an old computer cabinet in to an adorable sewing nook.  I knew instantly that I wanted to do this myself!  I also knew that I’d need to paint it an obnoxiously bright and cheerful color.  Because of space issues, I would need to put this cabinet down in the basement where it’s beige city.  In my head, I could picture a tangerine cabinet brightening up the whole room.

Until now, my sewing stuff lived in our spare bedroom in the basement.  The sewing machine lived in the closet, my fabric hung out in a Rubbermaid tub, and my scissors, thread, etc. lived in an old fishing tackle box.   If I wanted to make a project, I’d have to haul it up the stairs, beg Troy to move his studying stuff off of the dining room table, and then sew as quickly as I can before the next meal.  Until the project is done, the “stuff” sat around on the dining room floor waiting to be used.



It’s fun…

What usually happen was that I get started on something, and then we’d have to clean up for people coming over or something.  I’d get so unmotivated to bring everything back out, that the project lingered and I just ignored it.

No longer my friends.  NO LONGER!

I looked at Goodwill and on Freecycle for cabinets, but wasn’t having any luck finding something available and/or in good condition.  I finally found this cabinet on Craigslist.  They were asking $200.  I offered $125 and they accepted.  This cabinet is solid and weighs about 1,000 pounds.  Troy and my father-in-law spent a fun Sunday morning hauling that thing home.

First, I washed it down, then sanded all the surfaces.

Then, Troy knocked out a few of the dividers up at the top of the cabinet, and removed the hanging file holder.  No pictures of that.

Here are my awesome sanding safely goggles.

And just cause, here is my painting shirt with a strip of bacon on it.

After the sanding, I painted the outside with four coats (yes FOUR) with Yolo’s petal .01.

After 1 coat

After finishing up the outside, I painted the inside Yolo’s water .01.  For some reason, I only needed two coats on the inside.

Then, Troy and I (mostly Troy) spent a very exciting Friday night getting this thing out of the garage and in to the basement.  Mr.Perfection then spent about 90 minutes leveling it and securing it to the wall.  Which is fine, because the cabinet was tippy and unbalanced.  A bit like me.

I put sticky corkboard on the inside of one door to pin projects, patterns, etc.

The space where Troy knocked out the dividers now holds fabric.  Released from the confines of the Rubbermaid tub, I can now see what I have without having to dig around looking for “just the right thing”.

Troy cut a hole in the back for the outlet, and we installed a power strip back there.

The former file hanging thingy now holds my scraps basket and big pieces of fabric.

The tray that used to hold the keyboard, now pulls out to hold my sewing machine when I need space for a bigger project.

Troy is also trying to conceptualize something to hold my spools of thread.  He is a dumpster diver, so I can imagine he’ll find something great…it’s only a matter of time.

Now, I have a great space for my sewing machine, fabric, thread, and other do dads.  And the best part is, if I’m working on a big messy project, I can just shut the doors and call it “clean enough for company”.

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25 comments on “Sew cool and sew finished! Check out my new sewing cabinet”

  1. My plan for thread is to buy this:

    And then snap off the legs and put picture hooks on the back so I can hang it. I love your sewing cabinet! We bought a kitchen island that folds out into a table. Cute, but lame as a dining table. So I’m planning on making it into a rolling sewing/craft cart. I love spring projects!

  2. Hey there,

    I’m a closet reader of your blog. I have to laugh b/c my husband’s name is Troy and he seems a good bit like your Troy. You’ve inspired me to find a closet so I can store my sewing projects. Currently they are all strewn across the dining room.

    Keep up the great blogging!

    • So you understand that your husband disappears to the garage and comes back with random things saying “look what I found”? Ha! It comes in handy for sure though! Thanks for reading and for “coming” out of the commenting closet!

  3. It’s beautiful, Sarah! I love the moulding detail on the closet at the top…and I LOVE the colors you chose to paint it! Happy sewing now that you’re SEW organized! hee hee 🙂

  4. I really like that! I feel inspired to look for something for my sewing machine! I’ve got three rubbermaid totes full of fabric and a couple of old cigar boxes I use for thread, needles, and notions. The cigar boxes are great. They’re pretty and a little vintage looking, plus they were free! I just need a better place to do the actual sewing, besides my dining room table. I run into the same problem as you did, about mid-project. It makes it next to impossible to finish things. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  5. Sooo cute! I love the colors and I’m totally jealous that your hubby is a dumpster diver! I always try to get mine to when I go coupon digging, but he just sits in the car. 🙂

    P.S. – Bacon kicks ass.

  6. My Dad made my Mom a thread holder when I was a kid. He used nails and wood. I believe it was hinged but the important part is that the thread was held by the nails. It would be a quick and easy project to add to your cabinet which looks amazing.

  7. Love this!!! awesome color choices! BTW, my son’s name is Troy and he is proving at 16 to have a ‘big’ personality as well. 🙂

  8. This is sew cool! I love that you can keep everything in one place! It looks awesome 🙂

  9. Oh I dream of storage options such as there- love it:-) Rebecca @ Natural Mother’s “Seasonal Celebration Sunday.” x

  10. Talk about perfect timing finding this post! I JUST like an hour ago got the exact same cabinet and I was on Pinterest trying to find out ideas for how to knock out those dividers! Any tips on how you were able to do that?

  11. My husband dealt with my thread spool problem by creating a Thread Spool Board. He took a piece of finished wood. He drilled a hole at each top corner to use to mount the board to the wall. He then measured my largest spools, my middle size spools, and my small spools of thread, taking into consideration some ease space for clearance. Then he marked the board in rows, with a dot to signify the center of the space needed for each thread spool. He Used the bottom two rows for my large serger/embroidery cones, then the next three rows were my large thread spools, then my middle sized spools, then the top was my small spools. Once he had the board marked with the dots [used a sharpie], he then nailed a nail in the center of the dots. He used long strong finishing nails [no heads]. He attached the board to the wall, then he placed all my spools on these spindles, placing them in groups of color likeness. My board holds over 60 spools of thread. And it looks like the back wall of your Storage unit would be a great place to hang that board for your threads.

  12. Rebecca has a thread holder similar to mine, an ex made me a thread holder out of some sturdy wood, drilled out holes, cut down some pegs small enough to fit inside any guterman or coats and clark spool. As far as fabric storage, I’m lucky enough to have an entire sewing/craft room with a door I can shut. I bought myself a wall cube unit from Ikea ( and have my fabric (the big yardages) folded and stores on the shelves. the smaller pieces are still in many tubs around the room. i like your pull out table/ keyboard tray though!!!

  13. OMG!!! I have a computer desk almost exactly like this one you used. I have not owned a desk top computer in a few years not and this thing has been sitting in a corner of my home just waiting to be hauled away. I have been complaining (too much) lately that I don’t like all my sewing stuff piled and stored in totes in the dining room. looking today I found your post on pinterest. I am so copying you. I hope you don’t mind. This is a perfect use for that old desk. I can not thank you enough for the inspiration you have given me. Now I am off to look around your sight. Seems as we may have tons in common.

    Thanks again
    Tammy C

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