If you have a designated sewing room then you might be interested in this cutting table design that my Dad and husband designed for me years ago. It requires a minimal amount of woodworking skills and a few tools, such as a drill and screwdriver. It can be disassembled easily in case you need to move or need to repurpose the room. I have moved mine to four different homes! The best part of this cutting table is the fact that it not only provides me with a great surface for cutting fabric and working on projects, but also gives me a place to store all of my sewing supplies and fabric bolts.
What You Will Need To Buy or Acquire
1. Two Modular Desk/Table Tops
To make this cutting table you would start with two modular desk/table tops from a place like Ikea. Click here http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20251356/. I would recommend the dimensions approximately 30″x60″ per table top (times two). These Ikea tops actually come in different colors/finishes.
2. Two Pieces of Furniture
In addition, you need two pieces of furniture, such as two dressers or two book cases, or the combination of the two. These do not have to be new. The drawers and shelving unit in my table came from a flee market. IMPORTANT: Just make sure that they are exactly the same height. The height of these furniture pieces should be about 30″ – 32″ H. When you add the modular desk/table top the total height will be about 33″ – 33 1/2″. This is slightly lower than counter height (36″) but higher than a kitchen table (30″). I think it makes a good work height for reaching over to cut patterns and spreading out projects. Also make sure that the width of these furniture pieces are slight narrower than the total width of the desk tops (59 1/2″) when the tops are pushed side by side. The furniture pieces should also be similar in width to each other, although they do not have to exactly the same width. They need to be wide enough to support the desk tops pieces adequately. Mine are about 45″ wide. It is important that the two pieces you choose also have a smooth back. You will see why when you go to secure the desk tops to the furniture using L-brackets. NOTE: If your pieces do not have a smooth back (one of mine has an indentation) you can certainly add an additional piece of wood to the back for connecting the L-brackets to.
3. Supplies and Tools
Four L-Brackets 3″ x 3/4″, Drill, Screw Driver, Screws
Lay the two modular desk tops across the top of the two pieces of furniture until they meet and are centered on the furniture. The furniture pieces should not be ‘flush’ with the desk tops. In fact, you need some ‘top kick space’ like on your kitchen counters to allow for you to stand up close to the table without hitting the furniture pieces. Before finalizing the location of your furniture pieces relative to the desk tops try standing very close and pretend you are working on the soon to be cutting table to make sure that nothing is in the way. If you have used a dresser, make sure that you can still access the drawers. Make adjustments to the location of the furniture until you have it right.
With everything still in place, use the four L-brackets to mark the location of the drill holes for the screws on the back of the furniture and the underside of the desk top. This will require you to crawl under the desk tops. It doesn’t really matter exactly where the L-brackets are placed. Just make sure that each of the desk tops will be secured appropriately to each of the furniture pieces.
Drill pilot holes for the screws that will hold the L bracket in place before screwing in the L-brackets.
Screw the L-brackets in place with sturdy screws. You want to make sure that the screws are long enough to hold the top in place, without showing through on the other side.
My husband constructed a ‘platform’ for underneath the sewing table. You can skip this step if no one in your family is handy, but I use this platform for storing my bolts of fabric. It is very useful!! It will not work to just lay the fabric bolts on the floor beneath the table because you will be continually ‘tripping’ over the bolts. It is important to get them up off of the floor, again creating a ‘toe kick space’ for your feet. See the design for the platform below. This does not need to be screwed into place as just the weight of the fabric holds it in place. It just sits between the two pieces of furniture. Note: You can ask your local home hardware store if they would be willing to cut the pieces of wood into the right dimensions so that all you have to do is screw them together.
2. Cut a piece of plywood to fit over the top of the 2×4’s. The length will be the same as the 2×4 length. The width will be the same width or just a little smaller than the width of your furniture pieces. If one is slight shorter width than the other, then use the smaller measurement.
3. Screw the plywood to the top of the 2×4’s.
4. Paint the platform the same color as the furniture pieces.
NOTE: Although I have a very large sewing studio I still chose to place my cutting table up against the wall. I have some weird angled ceilings that influenced the placement. In other homes I had the cutting table floating in the middle of the room so that I could walk around all four sides. This is certainly the ideal and would be a better set up if you have the room, but fortunately it can go either way. This is up to you!
And there you have it. A great storage unit and your own professional looking cutting table!