Monday, August 20, 2012

Upcycled Old Sewing Machine

I sure hope everyone is having a great Monday so far.  I'm going to be on the road for most of the day as we head back from spending the last six days with friends in Oregon.  I'll make an overnight stop at my mom's after dropping her off, and then drive home on Tuesday. Today I thought I'd re-share a post from July 2011 where I repurposed this rusty old sewing machine. There really is no such thing as junk.....

A few weeks ago I spied this rusty, dusty, spider web infested vintage White Rotary sewing machine at a garage sale.  Nothing turned, nothing moved, pieces were missing, but maybe I could get it for a few dollars.  At first glance, I was thinking about that wheel and what I could do with it. Then I started thinking about some of the other parts.  I made the mistake of letting out a little laugh when the guy told me what he wanted for it.  You know, one of those "you gotta be kidding" laughs.  I made an offer and he refused.  Oh well.

It bothered me all morning, but after that sarcastic little laugh, I was just too embarrassed to go back.  Knowing that it would most likely still be there,  I nominated Mr. MST (who has never been to a garage sale in his life) to do some end of the day bargaining.  Thank you, thank you.  He came home with an ear to ear grin, but still confused about why I wanted such a hunk of junk when I already have a sewing machine.  Something was lost in translation.   Making jewelry WITH a sewing machine is not the same as making jewelry OUT OF a sewing machine.

I saw repurposing potential here.

Much better.  With the help of some WD40, the tension meter screwed right off.  The little hand came off separately, so I just glued it into place along with the vintage rhinestone button.  I punched a small hole and added a clear crystal bead.

This piece was a little harder to get off. 

I thought about flattening this piece out and using it in another necklace, but the shape was perfect for a bracelet.  To keep it adjustable and leave room for the clasp, I didn't add any vintage buttons to the last five links.  I still have some bobbin bits and pieces to think about, and that wheel still needs to come off.
(Update:  I was never able to get the wheel off....I tried and tried)

21 comments:

Connie Mercer said...

would have never thought of this. My MIL re-purposed a machine a lady just gave her. She used the whole machine and decorated it as a table center piece ~ came out great!! another great post Betsy!!! side note~I got spoons, anvil, mallet and font, I'm ready. I'll keep you posted!:):)

Tammy's in Love said...

You saw a purse in a sow's ear! That is the most unique use of a rusty sewing machine ever! And now, what cuteness will you make with the REST of it!?

Glenda/MidSouth said...

I enjoyed reading the rerun again. You can get more mileage out of something like that than anybody else I know of. Have a safe trip home.

Sherry@Back2Vintage said...

I remember this post. I'm still fascinated with the rounded piece that you made into a bracelet. Genius! Have a safe trip home!

Cozy Little House said...

How adorable and utterly creative!
Brenda

Kathy said...

I love the way you used the parts. I am guessing that wheel was "pressed on" and you will need to take it to a machine shop to get it off.

Marsha @ Tattered Chick said...

We may be on 5 at the same time as I am headed to Castro valley tomorrow afternoon!!

Safe travels

Xoxo

Barbara said...

This is really clever! Just discovered your blog via Brenda's Cozy Little House - it's great!

cathywhatisoldisnew said...

Betsy- I admire your creations so much. You really are amazing with the sewing machine parts. Thanks for sharing this post. I must have missed it the first time around!

Coco loves vintage said...

I just LOVE vintage sewing machines, what a fab way to re-use!

Full Circle Creations said...

Great job! I love it. I bet you could cut the wheel off or have someone do it for you.

Holly

Diane Higdon said...

Very creative mind is all I can say. Looks wonderful. Love both of them :)

cynthia lee designs said...

The sewing and jewelry maker in me LOVES them!!!

Cindy

Julia - "Vintage with Laces" said...

You've had very creative ideas for your jewelry pieces again, Betsy! They turned out beautiful. We're lucky to have such supportive hubbys, don't we?
I keep my fingers cross that you'll get the wheel off and I'm looking forward to seeing what you've planned to do with it.
Hugs,
Julia

Diane Writes said...

A bracelet from a sewing machine, never did I imagine as well. It was a brilliant and versatile idea. And for those wheels, I still have faith that you can remove it :)

Enjoy your trip Betsy

EllenaElizabeth said...

Lovely work as usual. I just hope that when the new owners of this lovely jewellery are tired of it that it does not become 'junk' again.

Jean @ www.thebackyardbungalow.com said...

I pulled parts off of an old sewing machine intending to make jewelry out of it, but never did. Perhaps you'll get a package someday.

~ Liz ~ said...

You never cease to amaze me. Not only is it unique and clever, it's beautiful, wearable and amazing!
Liz

Alessandra Fryzel said...

Wow! This is highly creative! You have an amazing mind and eye for things!
-A

Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made said...

Oh that is the funniest story!! What a sweetheart to go into 'uncharted waters' to get that for you! LOVE LOVE LOVE what you did with the pieces -- never would have thought of that!!

Rebecca said...

LOVE the sewing machine ideas!!! I have an old singer machine that looks much like the one you found. My husband made it into a lamp for me!