Instructables
Picture of Make a custom sewing table
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For years I've wanted to make myself a large, dedicated sewing table. I finally got around to it and am very happy with how it turned out. 

The table is 32 inches tall with a 4-foot square work surface.

The large work surface is great for cutting and pinning fabric, and provides a huge outfeed area to help make large or bulky sewing projects much easier to manage. The table is solid and quite heavy, so there is no shaking or vibration while sewing. It also has built in storage drawers to keep necessary items close at hand whether sewing on one side, or doing prep work on the other. 

If you're interested in making something similar, hopefully there are lots of ideas here that will help you out. The methods I show here could be used to build a table of whatever size you need, whether for sewing or otherwise.

If you have an existing table you'd like to mount your sewing machine in, steps 4, 5, and 6 should give you some ideas of how you could accomplish that. Hope you learn something useful here. Thanks for taking a look!
 
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Step 1: Skirt structure

Picture of Skirt structure
This is the skirt structure of the table, and is the key that holds everything together. The table top is screwed to this from the underside, and the legs are bolted onto its corners. 

The table top and skirt structure are made from 3/4" pine plywood. (This would not normally be my first choice, but I had some left over from another project.) You could use any relatively smooth and blemish-free plywood, but if you can stand the price I'd recommend furniture grade birch.

To build the skirt structure, I began by cutting six 5" by 48" strips of plywood. Four of these were trimmed to 38 1/2" to use as the outside pieces of the skirt. The four corner braces are 5" long with both ends beveled at 45 degrees. These were glued and temporarily tacked in place with nail gun brads 1 1/2" in from the ends of each side piece. Everything was then pre-drilled and fastened securely with screws. 

The two remaining strips of plywood were trimmed to fit and installed on the inside of the skirt frame with glue and pocket screws to add support for the table top and the drawers.

The drawers added a lot of complexity to the project, and I debated just leaving them out. If I had, I still would have put the cross pieces in the skirt structure to keep the table top from dipping or sagging in the middle over time.

The drawers were made from pine with 1/4" plywood bottoms. These were installed with various modifications and support pieces added to the skirt structure to make everything fit and work together nicely. In the end I was glad I included them, as they are a very nice feature.

Hey that's so cool! Unfortunately I've no space in my kitchen to make something similar...

seamster (author)  andrea biffi1 month ago

I understand!

I've actually sold this this, as it just ended up being too big for what we needed! It was nice while we had it, but we didn't really have the space for it. Live an learn, I guess.

rusty13jr5 months ago

That table is nice, but that machine is awesome! I recently inherited my grandmother's 1946 Singer. I need to repair it, but I can't wait to use it.

seamster (author)  rusty13jr5 months ago

Thanks! It a great old machine. What model is your singer?

You better jump on that, there's nothing better than sewing on an old machine that you fixed up yourself!

fascist seamster4 months ago

I like this table a lot. I found your instructable while searching for table ideas for my nearly fully restored 1937 Singer 201K3.

seamster (author)  fascist4 months ago

Thanks! I hope you're able to make something suitable for that old beauty. Those old singers are everywhere it seems, but a fully restored one will be quite rare!

Now that I'm quilting and really need my machine bed to be level with the table, I think I need to try this. I'll probably convert an existing table, but your instructions will help me get it right :)

SparkyOR7 months ago

Nice job! I collect old Sewing Machines, and my thought on it, is one could just make the appropriate cutout in an existing thrift store table, if you're not as much a woodworker.

seamster (author)  SparkyOR7 months ago
Thanks! Great idea. An old solid wood dining table would make an excellent sewing table. However, I would avoid using any flimsy Ikea-type table tops.

Shiseiji10 months ago

Geat! Love your work. A salvaged Ikea table would be perfect. I wonder how insetting the mat would work but then it wouldn't be possible to hook a straight edge. . . . I get the garage so my GF got the spare bedroom. Had to give up my table as there just wasn't room.

If someone doesn't have a pocket hole jig, 1/4" metal shelf brackets work. Drill the 1/4" hole in the apron then screw the shelf lip part to the table bottom. A slot in the shelf lip can be used with solid wood tops to allow for expansion/contraction with weather/humidity.

moobrook10 months ago

This is superb. I currently have a Horne cabinet, which is less than desirable. Praise to you!

seamster (author)  moobrook10 months ago

Thank you! Over the years I've sewn on all sorts of little tables, cabinets, kitchen table, etc., and this really is the best so far.

My wife and I finally have a spare bedroom, so I claimed it as my own little creative man-space. In my opinion, what a table saw is to a workshop, a nice big sewing table is to a craft room.

Tinworm10 months ago

I am surprised that with all your obvious skills you didn't go all the way and have the sewing machine fold away into the table, the way they used to on treadle stands

http://ancientpoint.com/inf/39763-antique_1920_new...

seamster (author)  Tinworm10 months ago
Thank you for the compliment, and for the query. Here's why it is the way it is:

My intention was to build a large, dedicated sewing table that is ready to go at all times. The early sewing machines and tables were designed to double as decor pieces when they were not in use for sewing; my sewing table is a full-time tool with no other considerations.

There is never any time where I would want to have the machine folded away, hence the nature of the design. Function... Form.
Tinworm seamster10 months ago

I see. Then it really is superb.

Incidentally, I have a 50's kitchen table which has a very similar structure, except that the corner pieces are steel. So yours is really more elegant. Am impressed.

shazni10 months ago

love the work space are....I have one....but its compact. Congrats on making the finalist! Hope you win what you wished for :-)

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seamster (author)  shazni10 months ago

Thank you! You cabinet looks nice and tidy, I like it. Everybody needs a little place to sew and create. It's just good for the soul.

designsbyleon10 months ago

Very nice. Bravo.

NetWt4Lbs11 months ago
Do you mind if I ask how much it cost and how long it took??
I've been keeping my machine on the desktop but I've wanted to have it in a cabinet/table for a while.
seamster (author)  NetWt4Lbs11 months ago
I spent about $60 for the plywood and wood for the legs. I had most of the hardware and other finishing supplies on hand, but I estimate that new it would all cost around $40 or $50. If you skipped the drawers all together, that would save quite a bit.

So I'd say you could expect to do this for around $100, but much less depending on how resourceful you are.

Time-wise, I probably put about 12 hours into this over a couple weeks' time. That includes a lot of time figuring out things as I went along and deciding what to do next, so if I did it again it would be much quicker.

If you make one, feel free to ask any questions. I'm happy to try to help if I can!

broken board11 months ago

lol great job

ive just glued up a footy table base,

I spent days looking for a sturdy and easy way to secure the legs then hours trying to glue up loose tennons & mortise's.

good on murphys law.

great info ill add it to my next job thanks

Buso11 months ago

Great Project! Very well done Instructable.

erosser11 months ago

Beautifully done! May it prove to be endlessly handy. :)

caitlinsdad11 months ago

Pocket holes rock! They'll have to pry the Kreg from my cold...wait.

Nice, I would mount some kind of task lamp to the side of the machine. You can never have enough light. You should route a yardstick and embed that into the worksurface for an always available ruler. Or just grab a paper tape measure from IKEA and varnish that on.

seamster (author)  caitlinsdad11 months ago

Pocket holes are pretty handy. My only gripe with them is that the screws seem to pull the work pieces just a little if you don't clamp everything together really firmly. But for what you can do with it, the cost of a little pocket hole jig is certainly worth it.

Nice call on the lamp: here's the one I'll be attaching to the table soon! The paper tape measure from IKEA idea is great.

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Is that a halogen bench tool lamp? I hate how they get so hot. While you are down at IKEA, get one of these LED desk lamps. Pull off the weighted base and mount it. They are bright and run cool.

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jessyratfink11 months ago

This is beautiful! I want a table this big. :D

seamster (author)  jessyratfink11 months ago

Thank you! It has been really nice.

You guys have a full woodshop right? You should make one!