Transforming a Sewing Machine into a Pottery Wheel: How To Make A Pottery Wheel From A Sewing Machine

Fact Checked By:Eartha Cadew

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Crafting pottery is a timeless art that allows you to shape clay into beautiful and functional objects. While pottery wheels are the traditional tools for this art, what if you could create your own pottery wheel from an unexpected source? Enter the world of DIY ingenuity as we explore the thrilling journey of making a pottery wheel from a sewing machine.

In this step-by-step guide, we delve into the art of repurposing a sewing machine into a functional spinning wheel suitable for pottery. From selecting the right sewing machine to crafting the wheel head, foot pedal, and splash pan, we’ll cover everything you need to know to embark on this creative adventure.

Whether you’re an experienced DIY enthusiast or a curious creator seeking a new challenge, this project opens a world of possibilities. The fusion of mechanics and artistry will enable you to shape your visions into clay masterpieces, all while exploring the wonders of repurposing and adapting everyday tools.

So, gather your tools, don your creative cap, and join us on a journey of transforming a sewing machine into a pottery wheel. Unleash your creativity in clay as you embark on this exciting endeavor, where the magic of crafting meets the functionality of innovation. Let’s begin this thrilling pottery-making odyssey together!

How to make a pottery wheel from a sewing machine

A sewing machine pottery wheel is a type of pottery wheel that is made using a repurposed sewing machine. The sewing machine’s motor and belt are used to provide the power and rotation for the wheel. By removing the sewing machine head and building a sturdy base, a potter can use the machine to create pottery pieces. This type of pottery wheel is often a DIY project and can be a cost-effective alternative to traditional pottery wheels. However, it is important to note that building a pottery wheel from a sewing machine requires metalworking and electrical skills, and it’s important to make sure that the wheel is safe and operates properly before using it.

Making a pottery wheel from a sewing machine can be a DIY project for those with basic metalworking skills. Here are the general steps you can follow:

Gather materials:

You will need a sewing machine, a piece of metal or wood for the base, a motor, a belt, and other hardware to connect everything.

Remove the sewing machine head:

You will need to remove the sewing machine head and mounting plate to use the machine’s motor and belt to turn the wheel.

Build the base:

Build a sturdy base for the pottery wheel using the piece of metal or wood. The base should be large enough to accommodate the sewing machine and have enough weight to keep the wheel stable while you work.

Install the motor:

Install the motor on the base and connect it to the sewing machine using a belt. You may need to modify the motor or sewing machine to get the correct alignment.

Attach the wheel:

Attach the wheel to the shaft of the motor, making sure that it is balanced and runs smoothly.

Attach the pedal:

Attach a pedal to the wheel so that you can control the speed and direction of the wheel with your foot.

Add a splash pan:

Add a splash pan to the base to catch any excess water or clay while you work.

Note: This is a general guide and may require additional modifications or steps depending on the specific sewing machine and materials you are using. Before attempting this project, it’s important to make sure you have the necessary skills and tools to do so safely and effectively. If you’re not comfortable with metalworking or electrical work, it’s best to seek the help of a professional.


Creating a pottery wheel from a sewing machine requires some ingenuity and DIY skills, as it involves repurposing the sewing machine into a functional spinning wheel suitable for pottery. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Select the Right Sewing Machine: Choose a heavy-duty sewing machine with a strong motor and stable base. Look for a machine that you don’t mind dedicating to this project, as it will be modified for pottery use.
  • Remove the Sewing Machine Parts: Carefully disassemble the sewing machine, removing all unnecessary parts like the needle, thread spool, foot pedal, and any other non-essential components. Keep the main motor and base intact.
  • Build the Wheel Head: Create a wheel head that will hold the pottery piece while it spins. You can use a large round piece of plywood or metal and attach it firmly to the sewing machine’s motor shaft. Make sure it spins smoothly and evenly.
  • Add a Bat Adapter: To attach pottery bats to the wheel head, create a bat adapter. This can be a piece of wood or metal that fits over the wheel head and has holes or slots to secure the bats in place.
  • Design the Splash Pan: A splash pan is essential to catch excess water and clay while throwing pottery. Build a circular or semi-circular splash pan around the wheel head to keep your workspace clean.
  • Stabilize the Base: Reinforce the sewing machine base to ensure stability during pottery throwing. Add additional support or weight to prevent wobbling or tilting while in use.
  • Create the Foot Pedal: Design a foot pedal to control the speed of the spinning wheel. You can reuse the original sewing machine foot pedal or build a custom foot pedal that suits your preference.
  • Lubricate Moving Parts: Apply lubricant to any moving parts, such as the wheel head shaft and foot pedal mechanism, to ensure smooth operation.
  • Test and Adjust: Once you’ve assembled the pottery wheel, test it with a small amount of clay to ensure it spins smoothly and at the desired speed. Make any necessary adjustments for optimal performance.
  • Ensure Safety: Safety is crucial when using a homemade pottery wheel. Be cautious when using power tools, and wear appropriate safety gear, such as goggles and gloves.

Please note that creating a pottery wheel from a sewing machine is a complex and potentially risky project, especially if you’re not familiar with working with machinery. If you’re unsure about the process or lack the necessary skills, consider seeking guidance from experienced DIYers or consulting with a professional before attempting the project. Alternatively, you can explore affordable pottery wheels available on the market that are specifically designed for pottery throwing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Q: Can I make a pottery wheel from any sewing machine?

A: Not all sewing machines are suitable for converting into pottery wheels. It’s essential to choose a heavy-duty sewing machine with a strong motor and stable base. Look for a machine with a reliable motor that can handle the load of spinning pottery.

Q: How much will it cost to make a pottery wheel from a sewing machine?

A: The cost of making a pottery wheel from a sewing machine will vary depending on the materials and tools you need to purchase. It may involve purchasing plywood or metal for the wheel head, creating a splash pan, and acquiring additional parts for the foot pedal. The overall cost will depend on your resourcefulness and ability to repurpose existing materials.

Q: Do I need prior DIY experience to create a pottery wheel from a sewing machine?

A: Some level of DIY experience and basic mechanical skills will be helpful for this project. You should be comfortable with using power tools, making adjustments to machinery, and ensuring safety during the conversion process.

Q: Can I use any type of motor for the pottery wheel?

A: The motor used in the pottery wheel should have sufficient power to handle the weight of spinning pottery. It’s best to use a motor that is designed for heavy-duty applications to ensure smooth and consistent spinning.

Q: Is making a pottery wheel from a sewing machine safe?

A: Safety is of utmost importance when making a pottery wheel from a sewing machine. Ensure that all moving parts are securely assembled and that the wheel is stable during use. Use appropriate safety gear, such as goggles and gloves, and be cautious when working with power tools.

Q: How do I attach the wheel head to the sewing machine motor?

A: To attach the wheel head to the sewing machine motor, you may need to design and construct a custom mounting system. This can involve using bolts, nuts, and washers to securely fasten the wheel head to the motor shaft.

Q: Can I control the speed of the pottery wheel?

A: Yes, you can control the speed of the pottery wheel by incorporating a foot pedal mechanism. The foot pedal allows you to adjust the motor’s speed, giving you control over the spinning motion while throwing pottery.

Q: Are there any risks or limitations associated with a homemade pottery wheel?

A: Homemade pottery wheels may have certain limitations compared to commercial ones. The performance and stability of a DIY pottery wheel may not match that of professional equipment. Additionally, the safety and reliability of the converted sewing machine may be a concern if not properly engineered.

Q: Can I still use the sewing machine as a sewing machine after converting it into a pottery wheel?

A: Once you have converted the sewing machine into a pottery wheel, it will no longer function as a sewing machine. The modifications for pottery use are likely to be permanent, so it’s essential to be sure about your decision before proceeding with the conversion.


In conclusion, the process of making a pottery wheel from a sewing machine is a fascinating fusion of creativity and resourcefulness. Throughout this DIY journey, we have explored the art of repurposing and transforming an ordinary sewing machine into a functional pottery wheel.

Crafting pottery holds a magical allure, and creating your own pottery wheel adds an extra layer of excitement and ingenuity to the process. By carefully selecting the right sewing machine, designing the wheel head, foot pedal, and splash pan, and ensuring safety and stability, you have embarked on a thrilling adventure that merges mechanics with artistic expression.

However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that making a pottery wheel from a sewing machine is a complex and potentially risky project. It requires DIY skills, mechanical know-how, and a keen eye for safety. If you’re unsure about the process or lack the necessary expertise, it’s essential to seek guidance from experienced DIYers or consult with a professional before proceeding.

The journey of converting a sewing machine into a pottery wheel unveils the beauty of repurposing and the limitless possibilities of adaptation. The result is a personalized tool that will ignite your creativity and open doors to countless pottery-making endeavors.

Whether you’re a pottery enthusiast looking for an innovative approach or an adventurous DIYer seeking a new challenge, the art of crafting a pottery wheel from a sewing machine is a testament to human ingenuity and the joy of creating with our hands. So, take pride in your resourcefulness, embrace the spirit of innovation, and venture forth into the world of pottery-making with your unique and handcrafted pottery wheel. As you spin the wheel and shape the clay, may you find endless inspiration in this wonderful blend of creativity and engineering.

Happy potting!

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Eartha Cadew

Hello, I'm Eartha Cadew, a passionate sewing enthusiast, pattern maker, and fashion designer based in the vibrant city of New York. Sewing has been my lifelong passion, and I've been immersed in the world of needlework since I was a child. From stitching together doll clothes to creating intricate garments, my love for sewing has only grown with time. With a formal education in fashion design and pattern making, I have spent over a decade honing my skills and knowledge in the industry. My journey began with internships at local ateliers and fashion houses, where I had the privilege of working with seasoned designers and learning from their expertise. Throughout my career, I've been involved in a wide range of projects, from creating custom-made garments for clients to designing collections for local fashion shows. My work has been featured in various fashion publications, and I take immense pride in each piece I create. As a sewing article writer, my goal is to share my knowledge and experience with fellow sewing enthusiasts, whether they are beginners eager to learn or seasoned sewists seeking new inspiration. Through my articles, I aim to provide comprehensive guides, step-by-step tutorials, and practical tips that empower readers to create beautiful and unique sewing projects.

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