The Cutting Table Hack

sewing table top on


For the longest of time, I’ve needed and dreamed of having a cutting table; I mean, what sewist doesn’t want a cutting table? So, I finally knuckled down and designed what I wanted based on IKEA cube storage units and a recycled desk top. If you’re looking to design and build your own cutting table, you might get some inspiration from my project.

I went to IKEA and purchased two of the Kallax 2×4 cube units – They used to be called Expedit but after a small change to the design (narrower side panels) the folk at IKEA decided a rename was in order; enter Kallax. Even though the design changes were only implemented on the cube units, the whole Expedit series was renamed too!

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I spent a Friday constructing the units so they’d be ready for the weekend when Mr SW was free to help me. First we joined the two units together by securing them to a base board.

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Then we added caster wheels. We may have overdone the amount of wheels but I wanted to make sure the entire unit was well supported underneath as I would often be housing heavy old cast iron vintage sewing machines.

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Once we turned it upright, we added a joining bracket to the top; one at each end so that they wouldn’t move apart at the top. Then we purchased a piece of pine off-cut at Bunnings and had it cut into squares which we then drilled holes all the way through. The brackets were attached to the top of the unit so that IKEA Capita kitchen cabinet legs would sit in the wooden bracket. This was how we raised the top of the cutting table.

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Then we screwed the leg brackets on to the underside of the raised cutting surface and screwed the legs onto the metal brackets.

sewing table legs on

The top of the cutting table was the top of an old desk we’ve had for years. We took the desk apart to recycle/reuse the top.

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We turned the top over, inserted the Capita legs into the holes of the wooden brackets we made and voila…it’s finished…but not not really.

sewing table top on

In the next few weeks i’ll be painting the wooden brackets and the wooden top white and then i’ll be decorating the two ends with a decorative paint roller. I haven’t decided on the colour of the pattern yet; nothing too bright as I want it to be a harmonious feature.

I’ve added four drawers to one side and one drawer to the other side; I need to go back to IKEA to purchase three more drawer sets…but I’m in no hurry as I’ve been to IKEA three times in the past two weeks and it was a nightmare each time.

sewing table pins pattern weights

Only the top cubes will have drawers; I want to leave the bottom cubes free for ‘work in progress’ boxes and sewing machine cases. All of my cutting rulers, small cutting mats, light box and other flat type sewing tools are stored in the area under the raised table top.

Readers, I just love the cutting table; it turned out to be everything and more than I’d planned. I took my time during the planning and design stage; I considered what I wanted the table to be able to do – cut, store, move etc Then I went searching through Pinterest and Google to find tables that worked with my brief; quite a number of IKEA hack tables were perfect for us.  I had originally planned on the Capita island bench braces, to raise the top, but they’ve since been discontinued so we needed to find another way to suspend the table top above the unit; The small Capita legs were perfect but we needed to find a solution to the problem of them moving about on the top of the unit. Between Mr SW and I, we came up with idea of making our own wooden braces that the Capita legs would fit into. This was the most challenging part of the hack as we don’t have a brace to hold the wood during the hole cutting…but we prevailed in the end!

sewing table drawers

We finished the construction two days ago and I’m still reorganising the sewing room!

The next and final stage of The Great Sewing Room Project is to purchase and fit the doors on the storage units we put up in October 2013.

Friends, I don’t intend to drag it out for another year; it will be done within the next few months!

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