Sewing machine upcycle

Mod Podge sewing machine I have an old Elna that was my Grandma Helen’s before she passed away in 1995. I think it’s actually a year older than I am! I’ll tell you what – I love that thing, but it is heavier than a person. I could keep it near the bed and swing it at an intruder, and they wouldn’t survive the blow. I think there lead, lead and something even heavier than lead in the center of it. Yet I love it. I wouldn’t trade my Elna for anything, including one of those fancy electronic jobbies. I learned on an Elna, and it’s very special to me.

Anyhoo, I love that Cynthia revamped her old(er) sewing machine and told us about it on her blog. I also love that she toned it down and added some character with gesso and then walnut ink. Her machine is the same age as mine, and just needed a sprucing. This definitely fits the fun bill, and I think you’ll like it too. Visit her tutorial here.


  1. Donna Muller says

    I now use a new machine, but I still have the 1972 Singer revamp that my Mom bought me in 1990. Because she recently passed away, I’m having a hard time getting rid of things she gave me, especially anything attached to sewing, her forte. This is the perfect answer! Can’t wait to get started!

  2. Lori m says

    Awesome Idea, I’m for updating anything, I need to pull my sewing machine out of the closet and learn how to use it after all these years maybe now I’ll have patience. :)

  3. Melissa P says

    They just don’t make sewing machines like they used to. There’s something about those rock solid machines that inspire confidence. Of course, they lack any bells and whistles which makes a Mod Podge makeover so inviting.

  4. Rebekah says

    My sewing machine is sitting on the table behind me and upon seeing this, I am now viewing it with a very critical eye. Do I dare, that’s the question.

  5. Monica K. says

    This is so very cool! And interesting timing too. I just took my very first sewing machine lesson today. I loved it and can’t wait to learn more!! When I have a sewing machine, I might have to try this. :)

  6. says

    I’m loving all the comments…thanks so much Amy for featuring my sewing machine! And yes, it works great! I too love this old heavy machine…no bells and whistles, I am the one that has to make it do fab things! Cynthia

  7. catnap says

    I know how you feel about your sewing machine. I still have the White my mother bought me, probably before you were born. It’s a very basic machine, HEAVY, not electronic, no arm (like the photo). My husband posed the question to me yesterday (just to make conversation at the dinner table – sheesh it’s quiet now that DS is in college), what would you spend $500 on if you had it to spend on anything? A new sewing machine?” Nope, I said, I’m happy with what I have. Not fancy, but it gets the job done. There’s something satisfying about a mechanical device that isn’t electronic and isn’t connected to the internets. As long as I have the strength to lift it out of its cabinet, I’ll be happy with it. Amusing do over of the machine, but maybe not what I’d want to do to mine. I think I’d go for a MP’d box for my thread collection. (I grab old spools whenever I see them at rummage sales or yard sales.)

  8. Nathalie Thompson says

    Does it still run? I mean, do you still actually use it, all decorated up? Too cool!

  9. Mel M. M. McCarthy says

    This is stunning (and Gesso! the love of my life…) Cynthia did such a great job. And have I told you lately that I just LOVE your writing “lead, lead and something heavier than lead!” Bwahahaha! Awesome post.

  10. pam says

    Now there is an idea! I would never, ever mod podge a single scrap onto my beloved Kenmore (which also weighs a ton) but I definitely can see myself giving new life and excitement to the cover! It is a portable (if you are very strong) and the cover is looking worn and ragged. You have insptired me! Thank you Amy! Thank you Cynthia!