Recycle or Repurpose Sewing Machine Cabinet, Table, Motor

Old sewing machines never die. They just get reused in another format. When you upgrade or decide your older or vintage sewing machine is past its prime, forget tossing it into the landfill. Try to find new uses for it or sell the parts so others can keep their older machines running smoothly.

One could repurpose for an old sewing machine table is to turn it into a desk or create a unique bathroom vanity out of the old cabinet. Wow your friends with your creative talent and make something worthwhile out of older sewing machines and their accessories.

To learn more ideas on recycling or repurposing your older sewing machine, its cabinet or sewing table and motor, just continue to read our article. If you are not planning on passing it down to your grandchildren there are other ways to reuse your old sewing equipment.

What To Do With An Old Sewing Machine?


The very first thing that comes to mind is to check to do a little research. If the model you own is newer, it may not be in production anymore and there will be people out there looking for parts.

Or if it is a vintage or antique machine, there will be those searching for parts, wanting it to be part of a museum, or sold as an antique. If those are not an option, then take it to a recycler to help the environment.

You may not get a lot of money for it but you at least you are making an effort for the health of the environment. Also, if it is in good working order donate it to your church’s bazaar, a thrift store, or other organizations that can use it.

The last place your old sewing machine should go is into the trash where it will take up needed space for real garbage. Do a brainstorming session with your partner to see what other ideas you can come up with.

There are sewing machine repair shops that could use the parts as well. Help them help others by selling them your sewing machine. Again you won’t get much but at least your old sewing machine will live on in another model. Learn where to sell your sewing machine here.

Repurpose Sewing Machine Cabinet

Most of the antique and vintage sewing machine cabinets and sewing tables were made of real solid wood and hard metal. It is difficult to find such craftsmanship these days and even if they are 50 to 100+ years old, they still have value.

One of the ideas we already talked about is turning the old cabinet into a bathroom vanity. It is unique, creative, and makes your bathroom a great conversation piece. Another is turning the sewing table into a desk, you or your small children or grandchildren could use it for drawing or whatever.

It can also be used as a little child’s table when the holidays come around and there is no room at the adult table. Other ideas are using the wrought iron legs and adding glass to the top and turn the sewing machine table into a hallway table for decorative pieces

The cabinet can be turned into a makeup table and all you would need to do is add the mirror. Then you can use the table or cabinet to make a flower bed, a chair, a dining room table for the two of you, or a nightstand for your reading lamp and books.

The ideas seem to be without limit but most suggestions we have seen have been table variations including a computer table and a stand for your antique canisters, etc. All you have to do is put your mind to reusing the cabinet or sewing table instead of taking the easy way out and tossing it out into the garbage.

Repurpose Sewing Machine Motor


If the motor is still good, then you can always sell it to a sewing machine repair shop that may desperately need the motor or the parts inside. This is always the go-to solution when you are not sure what to do with the motor when the sewing machine has been relegated to the basement or the attic.

If you are good mechanically with your hands, it is possible to turn the motor into a power source for a small fountain or some other DIY project that requires electrical power to drive it.

Then there are always the metal recycling businesses that do non-creative things to old motors. There are not as many repurposing ideas for motors as there are for sewing machine cabinets and sewing tables.

One idea would be to add a little extra power by attaching the motor to a grinding wheel and placing it on your workbench. This would depend on the type of sewing machine motor you have.

Do a little more research to see what kind of ideas you can find as there is no sense tossing out good metal when the parts or the whole motor can be used for a unique purpose. If you live in an apartment, it is best to sell it for parts or to a repair shop.

Can You Recycle Sewing Machines?

Yes, you can do this but you may not like the option as most want the old sewing machines given to them for free. In some cases, they will pick up your old sewing machine or you will have to drop it off at their location during business hours.

If you live in the following areas, the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco, and the City of Palo Alto, you can click this link, enter your zip code and you will get a list of places to take your old sewing machine.

That makes getting rid of old machines much simpler even though you may not make any money off the deal. Then there are different organizations like this one that will recycle your sewing machine and remove any data.

One more option to get you started on the recycling path is found at this link but the other buttons do not work so we are not sure if they are still in business or not. Contact them to find out.

To find similar places in your neck of the woods, just do a quick local internet search to find those organizations or recyclers near you.

How To Recycle a Sewing Machine


If you are not going to repurpose the sewing machine, the cabinet, or table and motor, then all you have to do is find an organization that will take your old machine off your hands. This is no wasted effort as you may be providing the right machine to help some people retrain.

Many old sewing machines are used to train sewing machine repairmen to service, repair, or restore sewing machines like yours. Then if they are older, the parts can be re-used to fix other machines.

Also, students and adults can be trained on how to sew on your old machine. There are plenty of organizations that train women and young ladies how to sew so they can make a living.

All it takes is sending a quick e-mail or use their handy contact forms to make the initial approach. Or you can use your telephone and spend some time calling the different places to see what their guidelines are to donate.

If you do not want to do that, there are always junk dealers willing to pick up your old machine and sell it off to bigger corporations who melt the metal down and reuse it for other purposes.

Where To Recycle Sewing Machines

This is a long list as well as every community will have religious organizations that will gladly take your old sewing machines and sell them off to raise money for credible projects. Or they may use them to train others to sew, repair, and so on.

Then there are charitable thrift organizations like the Salvation Army, Goodwill, and other thrift stores that sell items to make money for their charities. If you are not in the mood to support church projects or those charities, there are different junk dealers you can go to or recyclers.

We linked up three above to get you started and know what to look for when trying to get rid of your old sewing machine or its cabinets. The cabinets and tables can always go to budding woodworkers or similar businesses who can refurbish the woodwork and repurpose it.

There is one word of caution when you do this step. Different state and federal governments have their rules on how to recycle, even sewing machines. You should not trust your donation to amateurs as those governments can impose large fines if the process is not followed correctly.

Check first before donating and make sure all the rules are followed properly and no one will be fined.

Does Best Buy Recycle Sewing Machines?


This is a yes and no situation. The yes is that they will take a long list of items no matter who built them, sold them, or what shape they are in. You can recycle 3 items per day according to their website.

Their website also mentions that there are state-specific regulations on certain items. The no part comes in as to which country you live in. Outside of Canada and America, you may not be able to participate in their recycling program.

Also, their long list of items did not mention sewing machines so you would have to contact the stores individually to see if they accept those household items. Here is the link to their web page discussing this topic.

Recycle Sewing Machine Needles

According to Schmetz needles you can recycle old sewing machine needles just like any other piece of scrap metal. There are fine ingredients in those items that can be used elsewhere when enough has been gathered.

If you haven’t already thought of this idea, you can place your old, dull, worn out our broken needles in an empty tic tac container until you have enough to recycle. If you want to learn more about needles, just click this link to get some more safety and other information.

Some people just say throw the old needle in the trash when done, but these little items do add up and help fill up the landfills. Recycling is a better option. Make sure to put them in something that can be sealed to protect recycling workers from being pricked in the finger or hand.

Old needles do not have to be wasted and can go on to make another positive contribution to society through recycling.

What To do With a Broken Sewing Machine


The go-to thought is always to put it at the curb and let the garbage men handle the problem. But in some neighborhoods, garbage men may not be allowed to pick up old sewing machines.

Some cities and communities may have a special truck that picks up old appliances and sewing machines so give your city hall a call to find out. Or you can salvage the usable parts and try to sell them on eBay, in classified ads, or take them to sewing machine repair shops.

You are not going to get rich doing this but at least you are doing your part to keep the landfills from filling up too fast

Some Final Words

Recycling or repurposing old sewing machines or their parts is a very good idea. Not only can you add a decorative touch to your home and garden, but you can also help the environment by making sure those items do not reach the landfill.

Some actual people are looking for old sewing machines for a variety of reasons. They are usually very good reasons and you can feel good by donating those old sewing machines. (Learn where you can donate a sewing machine here)

But if you have an antique that works, there are other options available to you.

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