I (Vicki) have been known to stop and pick up trash along the road, not just any trash—I'm particular about my trash. It needs to be a piece of furniture in terrible shape that the owner has determined is not even fit to donate to a thrift so out to the curb it goes. This little sewing machine bench was in my neighborhood along with its water damaged, beyond repair sewing machine cabinet buddy. I passed this sad little pair three times before I decided to load up the bench. The cabinet was just too bad of shape to take and try to rehab.
The bench sat outside another week before I had a idea for its transformation. I decided it would make a great clothes hamper for my bathroom. I’ve needed one for a while and just hadn’t found anything I’d want sitting out in the open where it can be seen.
Step 1: Clean, Clean, Clean!
This thing obviously had been sitting in storage before being placed on the curb as it was very dirty. A lot of gunk came off the finish so it might have been in the home of a smoker. Also, I had to clear away all the spider webs!
Step 2: Sand the Bench & Top
Using an electric sander, I sanded the flat surfaces with 150 grit sandpaper and finished the legs and turned areas with hand sanding. The old finish came off very easily.
Step 3: Remove the Plywood Top
I removed this plywood piece from the top of the bench. The top is not hinged but sits into a recessed groove about 1/2" into the top of the bench. With the plywood removed, the top will now act as a frame for the top of the finished hamper.
Step 4: Remove Bottom of Bench
The bottom of the bench was easy to remove as it was screwed into place.
Step 5: Distress the Wood
Using the Varathane Distressing and Wormhole kit, I distressed the wood on the bench and top.
Step 6: Stain
I used a Varathane wood stain in weathered gray to finish the wood. I used a small paintbrush to push paint into the wormholes. After the stain dried, everything (including the non-stained parts) was sprayed with Rust-Oleum's Crystal Clear Enamel.
Step 7: Sew the Hamper Bag
I used a laminated cotton (which I picked up at a thrift store for $2.00). There was just enough to make the bag. I used the bottom of the bench to make a pattern for the bottom of the bag. Two pieces of fabric were cut to fit the width and length of the bottom piece. The height of the fabric pieces were 18" (the measurement of the top of the bench to the floor). Ideally, a single length of fabric would have been nice so I didn't have to seam the bag, but there was not enough to do this. I was carful when I cut the two fabric strips to match the pattern so that when it was sewn together everything matched up.
Step 8: Attach the Hamper to the Bench
The hamper bag was attached to the bench with sticky back velcro along the flat sides and binder clips on the corner brackets. Because there are corner braces, the frame is octagon shape, but the bag is rectangular. To make the bag fit, I made a tuck at each angle and attached a mini binder clip. After the clip was in place I removed the silver handles. The handles can be removed by simply squeezing the silver part together and lifting them out of the channel at the closing end of the binder clip. After the bag is attached, place the seat top in place.