Updated: Apr 19, 2020
Most of the furniture I pick up is in rough shape. It is usually dinged up or really dirty. Sometimes it is just falling apart. I can usually get a good deal on it because of the condition. This is a Martha Washington sewing cabinet.
I forgot to take a "before" photo, but it was pretty dinged up. I am not sure why they are called Martha Washington sewing cabinets. I do know they were popular in the 1920s and 30s and Sears Roebuck and Co. sold them for under $10.
Maybe it was called a Martha Washington cabinet because of the dresses with the side bustles that were popular during Martha's time?
I don't know if the old bustle dresses came with pockets but this cabinet had deep pockets on both sides of the drawers.
I began by painting the cabinet with a primer. The wood had a mahogany stain and I wanted to prevent bleed through.
I painted the cabinet with Waverly chalk paint in the Cashew color.
I distressed the piece with 100 grit sand paper. I coated the piece with Varathane Crystal Clear Satin Polyurethane to seal and protect the piece.
This cabinet had nondescript wooden handles on the original. I wanted to liven this piece up a bit and add some color.
I found six similarly sized wooden spools of thread with colors I liked.
I drilled a hole a quarter inch into the spool to accomodate the nut for the drawer screws. I glued the nuts with E6000 adhesive.
I wiped off the excessive glue and allowed them to dry completely.
After 24 hours, I placed the screw through the existing hole in the drawer to attach the spool and tightened it. I secured loose ends of thread with a tiny bit of glue from a glue gun.
The tray below was in one of the drawers. I used old sewing patterns and decoupaged them on to the tray.
Once it dried, it was also given a coat of polyurethane.
I love the way this piece turned out. It is now whimsical and colorful and would be a great addition to any sewing room.
I particularly love my big pickle jar of old wooden spools. It tucked really nicely under the sewing cabinet.
Below is an image to pin to Pinterest if you would like to save this idea!