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Friday, January 4, 2013

When my husband is away...

Ok, probably not the best title, but when he is away on business trips, I usually have more time to complete a few projects. I've been known to paint rooms, rearrange furniture, stay up really, really late and make huge messes without feeling guilty about neglecting him or the house. I love having a clean home with dinner prepared, but on these days I usually forget about eating or cleaning and, well,  just dive right in!

On a recent trip to Burnett, Texas, my sister and I found a cute, cute Singer Treadle sewing machine at one of our favorite hangouts, the local antique mall.

Singer treadle sewing machine 1913, sewing machine, Singer

It looked something like this, but it wasn't in great shape, wasn't connected to its table, nor was it working. It was just hiding on a bottom shelf at the back of a little bitty booth. In fact, if you weren't looking carefully, you would completely miss it.
But there she was...waiting for someone to notice.
As soon as I saw her, I knew that I had to take her home with me...and the best part?
She was $29.99
And the date? Early 1900's.

You see, on our annual trips with our husbands to their hunting mecca, my sister and I always tag long because this Texas hill country has THE best shopping. 
We have found such amazing, unique things each and every time we visit.
One of the restaurants at the midway point has the cutest lamp ever.
Guess what it's made of?
Yep...a sewing machine.
So on this particular trip, I was on the hunt for such a machine.

While shopping, we saw this little lamp...

...and this beauty.

She must to have been a sister of my new purchase.

When we returned home, 
 my so.capable.husband got out his trusty tools and started the conversion.

I told you he was a handy-man..

I put a shade on her...but something just wasn't right.
But there she sat for weeks and weeks...

...until my sister sent this link to me.


 Flowers and Buttons Burlap Bell Shade

Beautiful, but at a price!

Well, that got the wheels rolling... and since I had a spare afternoon, I decided to make a knock-off shade.

A pattern of the different parts of the shade were made from tissue paper...

 ...glued on to the original shade, then trimmed.

Pieces were added to cover the seams. {I just folded  the edges to make a hem.}

The next part was easy too, ruffling...just pull one strand and the burlap will ruffle - no sewing.

The ruffle was glued in place, a flower added {also made of a ruffled piece} and it's complete!

No longer is she on the bottom of a back shelf...
she's front and center! 

So what do you do when you have a few hours to yourself?

I'm joining Susan's Metamorphosis Monday over at Between Naps on the Porch

Be sure to drop by for amazing sights!


  1. That is the cutest thing EVER. Seriously!

  2. Unbelievable! I would never in a million years have thought of turning it into a lamp. It's just beautiful, and I love the shade.

    What a fantastic project!

  3. Great idea! I have a 1880's Wilcox treadle in a cabinet that I would love to convert to a lamp. The cabinet is in pretty bad shape, but it doesn't have any sentimental value, as does the Singer treadle that was my hubby's grandmother's. I love the old machines!

  4. Wowser is right! I love the new shade. I have always been a fan of the beautiful antique Singers -- really nice!


  5. Hi Sharlotte! :)
    Thanks for the sweet comment you left on my blog about my two diamond tufted chairs! I was so glad they turned out ok...I was scared I was going to really mess em' up! lol
    Your sewing machine lamp is cute! I have an old antique machine my hubby bought be before we were married...that was 28 years ago...and it was old then! :) It actually would still work if I had the belt on it, but I just use it to set my dollhouse makes a great stand!
    Have a great week!

  6. Very interesting and beautiful
    Tye second machine with table and working is my mum's!!

  7. I adore old machines and have a couple. One is even out in my garden. Such a great idea to convert to a lamp too. Love what you did to the' really makes it pop!

  8. What a fun project! I'm glad this old beauty is now front-and-center again. I totally understand about how a schedule changes when the husband travels! Me thinks it's time for him to take a trip. I've got a project list a mile long! LOL

  9. I have very few hours to myself!! BUT I LOVE what you did with this darling little machine!! Making it into a lamp!! LOVE it!! I have my Hubby's grandmother's machine in my craft room and she is a beauty!!

    Thanks so much for the inspiration!! Just beautiful!!


  10. I love your singer sew machine and the transformation. The shade is great! A great idea. I have an old Singer sew machine my son gave me I always wanted one. Mine doesn't work its a litle rusty so I just cut off the cord but I display it on an old sewing table my mother happen to give me. I love gettings things for free. take care, Darlene

  11. That is so cute and I love the lamp shade! You've got my wheels spinning for an old sewing machine I have laying around the house! ~Stacey @ Real Southern Living

  12. What a cute idea...I love it! Hugs, Penny

  13. Great look Sharlotte ... Love the burlap shade, but I have a lot of trouble working with burlap because of the lint. Maybe I should try this though. There is an old sewing machine head that has been sitting on the floor of a Thrift store all year ... bad condition, but could be painted and make a cute lamp. May take a look at that. Thanks for the idea.
    Audrey Z.

  14. What a cute lamp! I love how you made the ruffle!

  15. I just bought a beautiful old machine in cabinet. It's not working so I'll be disassemling the entire thing to repurpose and want to use all the parts. Until I saw your post, I had no idea what to do with the machine part. Thank you so so much for the inspiration!!! Now I can happily go to work knowing that I will not be waste one piece of this gorgeous relic!!


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