Cheap & Easy: Build a Large (or tiny) Sewing & Crafting Table

Here’s how I easily built a large sewing table to enable me to more efficiently create certain products for Janery.  Hint: it’s not just a board on legs, but it’s almost that easy.

Easy Build DIY Sewing Crafting Table | The Borrowed Abode

It all started last February, when I had a vision and raced to the store to execute it. . . . then never shared with you.  This is what happens when I wait for something to be “perfect” before blogging about it.

Shame on me, because rarely is anything in my home ever perfect.  And I bet the same goes for you.

Before we get into the details of how it’s made, let me assure you that you can make this in any size that you need.  I’m not sure many people have a 7 ft x 4 ft dedicated sewing table in their homes.  And for good reason – most regular sewing projects can be accomplished using a much smaller surface.

But dog beds, especially ones that measure 4 ft x 3 ft, require a much larger work space than a few throw pillows or zippered pouches.  After my Merlin Mats started selling regularly, I quickly tired of hauling bolts of fabric into the guest room, then laying them down on a cutting mat on the floor to cut them.

Materials Used:

1 Sheet Maple Veneer Plywood (8 ft x 4 ft)   – $40

Skinny pine trim moulding strips – $24

6 cheap Ikea desk legs – $21

Finishing nails – $3

How to Build The Massive Sewing Table

1.  Cut Plywood to Size

The hardest part of the project was getting the wood home, into the house, and cut to size.  I’m saving that ridiculous story for another time, so let me say for now  – it was a pain. I didn’t have it cut at the store because I didn’t know what size I wanted.

Lesson learned:  Have the plywood cut at the store. Really.

 Cutting Plywood for Sewing Table | TheBorrowedAbode.com

2.  Attach the Legs

Once the board was cut down to 7′ x 4′, I took the simple Ikea legs off my smaller sewing desk and attached them to the board. I used 6 of them to ensure the board was properly supported in the middle.

Attaching Ikea Legs to Sewing Table Plywood | TheBorrowedAbode.com

 

3.  Finish the Edges with Trim

Pretty wood trim, in the same width as the plywood, was just what I needed to finish off the ugly and rough plywood board edges.  I’ve never installed trim on anything, but the method I chose seemed to work out well.

Ryan and I used the compound miter saw to cut the trim strips at an angle so that the ends of the trim would fit together to form perfect corners.  If you don’t have a miter saw you could use a hand saw to cut them at an angle.

After holding the trim against the edges to make sure the corners aligned properly and all that, I then started attaching them.  I’d add a thin line of glue to the edge of the table, then push the trim against it and secure that area with some painter’s tape.  I moved down the length of the trim, repeating the process.  Once the entire strip had been glued to the table edge and taped, I used finishing nails to secure it more.

blurry photo alert!

Gluing Trim to Plywood Table Top | TheBorrowedAbode.com

Finishing nails are super tiny, so I used pliers to hold them straight while I hammered them in.  Then I hammered a big nail against the head of each finishing nail to countersink them.

Countersink Trim Nails with another Nail | TheBorrowedAbode.com

I left the painter’s tape on so the glued-and-nailed trim could dry for 24 hours.

4. Fill the Gaps (Putty)

24 hours later, it was time to fill the cracks and aim for perfection.  I dabbed some wood putty  into all the holes left by the countersunk finishing nails, and I also smeared some putty over the seams where the trim met the plywood, just for good measure.  Finally, I smushed putty into the mitered corners where the pieces of wood trim met up.

I let the putty dry for 24 hours.

Trim Putty to fill gaps Sewing Table | TheBorrowedAbode.com

5. Sand, Stain, & Seal!

Finally, time to sand and stain the table!  I used the electric sander to smooth down the table’s surface, then used hand sanding blocks to smooth over the trim wherever I’d added the putty.

I followed the same staining and sealing process I detailed in my mid-century modern sofa table tutorial, only this time I used a Dark Walnut Minwax Stain.

Simple DIY Large Sewing Table | The Borrowed Abode

I am so happy with the resulting tabletop – the legs not so much, but they were free (already on hand) and easy. I’m going to find a way to make them nicer so the table looks more cohesive.

What I love the most is how the trimmed edges turned out.

Easy Trimmed Edges on Sewing Table | The Borrowed Abode

And if I ever get around to having a crafting/sewing party, I can seat up to 8 people around the table!  That part is super exciting.

Hand Built Sewing Cutting Table | The Borrowed Abode

The table would have cost about $100 if I included the cost of stain and sealant, but because I already had that and the Ikea desk legs on hand, the only cost to me was $67.  Still, even $100 would have been a pretty good deal for this large workspace.

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11 thoughts on “Cheap & Easy: Build a Large (or tiny) Sewing & Crafting Table

  1. kalanicut

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I have been scheming for months now how to get rid of my much hated hand me down dining table and have been looking at the large sheets of wood at the hardware store and thinking about IKEA legs. You have me convinced I can do it. Now if I could just learn how to inexpensively make my own chairs! There are so many DIYer/creative types here in LA that it’s nearly impossible to find a crazy deal on chairs before some dealer has scooped them up and raised the prices by 2000 percent.

    Reply
  2. Ash @ HumberHomeProject

    That looks great! I love the edge of the table – is it weird to find that trim pretty? haha

    As a fellow sewer, I’m insanely jealous of how large the table is! Swoon!!
    I’m hoping to get a sewing table for christmas, so my poor machine can stop living under my computer desk.

    Reply
  3. Funnelcloud Rachel

    As a former architect/current artist, I am a big fan of “board on legs” tables. Or more specifically, “doors on legs” tables. Every office I’ve ever worked in has had this style of work surface (cheap and allows you to lay out a 30×42 set of architectural drawings) and my current studio has two such tables. I built them when I was an apartment dweller, and the process of getting two 3′-0″ x 6′-8″ SOLID CORE wood doors into my apartment (each weighing about 100 lbs) almost killed me. But that is a story for another time. I currently use a folding art market table for my sewing table though.

    Reply
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  7. Jane

    Hello Jane
    You are sooo smart! Love, love your idea and will want to copy it but i was wondering how sturdy is the table, does it shake when sewing fast? or is it very solid?

    Reply
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