Custom DIY Sewing/Cutting Table

Alrighty, so I offered a little bit more info for my new sewing/cutting table at the end of last year. Today I’ll share how we put together the table.  Maybe it’ll work for you too!

I sketched out designs, scoured Pinterest for inspiration, and looked around my house to see what I could do for a new cutting table/sewing table.  It was not easy! I already have a cabinet that holds most of my fabric and a desk for my computer, but this new table is in such a great addition.

The height of this table is really easy to customize!  I goofed around and searched out different options for height.  I ended up settling on my perfect middle, between counter height and desk height, about 34″ tall.  I’m about 5’8″ and am quite comfortable both cutting and sewing at this table.


  • 1 Ikea Expedit shelving unit
  • 42″ wide by 62″ long oak veneer 3/4″ plywood
  • (1/4″ x 3/4″) Oak Screen Moulding – [3] 8′ 0” Long (for finishing edge of plywood) 
  • [1] 10′ 2×4
  • [3] 8′ 2×2’s
  • [10] 4” lag screws (for attaching ‘legs’ to Expedit and table top)
  • [25] 3” deck screws (for making the ‘legs’)
  • pickling stain
  • water based poly

Nail gun, cordless drill, and someone that knows about woodworking are invaluable.

I believe the pictures show it pretty well how the desk goes together.  The 2×2’s are made into 2 rectangular frames and attached to the table top and back of the Expedit cabinet.  There are [3] pieces of 2×4 that go under the Expedit (to add extra height), the other 2×4 goes under the open side of the desk, it attaches to the 2×2 frames and stabilizes the front edge of the desk. Hopefully this sketch will help a little, too:

  • 2×2 [cut 4] 20.5”
  • 2×2 [cut 4] 32.5” (these are the vertical pieces, if you’d like to adjust the height, make longer or shorter)
  • 2×4 [cut 3] 15” (these pieces get attached under the Expedit to raise it’s overall height)
  • 2×4 [cut 1] 55.75”

We pickled the top of the desk (oak veneer), it’s such a great look without spending gobs more money on a more expensive veneer or other solid surface countertop.  Keeps everything bright and happy.

Everything is held together with the lag screws.  And it’s very sturdy.  Don’t need a wobbly desk! Anyway, if there’s something that I forgot, please ask away!

36 thoughts on “Custom DIY Sewing/Cutting Table

  1. Great idea! Does the height of the table work for you when you’re cutting? I need to make a cutting table and wonder what the right height is. Thanks!

    1. Anna says:

      Yes, I’ve been using it for 3 months now and I do love it. I think you might want to try measuring a few table heights to get a good feel for what might work for you. That’s what I did and it’s worked well so far. 🙂

  2. Madalynne says:

    I’m planning on moving to a new apartment this year, one in which I can have more space for sewing and hopefully, a sewing table! Hanging onto this tutorial!

  3. Samantha says:

    I love this. We just moved and I lost my sewing room…this would be perfect for my sewing area!

  4. Forwarding this to my carpenter husband right now… Yes! Thanks for the great idea. I love the extra height for cutting.

    1. Anna says:

      oh awesome, hope he approves. 🙂

  5. French 75 says:

    That’s a great idea. But, please tell me you don’t sit on that hard metal stool to sew.

    1. Anna says:

      ha! I do. It’s a great lightweight stool. And the seat is actually wood. I find that a stool gives the opportunity to keep a good posture. To each (his) her own! 🙂

  6. Love the idea of combining a sewing desk and cutting table in one. Who has room for two big tables in their creative space? My husband has promised me a custom sewing table as a birthday present so working on a design. Thanks for sharing your details.

    1. I’ve just got a drop down leaf dining table for mine hopefully will work out the same xxxx

  7. Steem Oberoy says:

    Sewing table are more useful for study purpose. I like this idea of cutting table. I think this is perfect height of this table . We can use these type of tables as a office tables also. I like your sketch.

  8. Awesome job Anna! When it comes to sewing cabinetry and tables sometimes the only way to get what we need is to make it ourselves. Sewist are surely a self reliant bunch ; )

  9. amandajean says:

    This is such a great piece!!! Thanks for sharing the instructions. It seems totally do-able….for my husband. Heehee.

    Your sewing room looks AMAZING!

  10. How cool Anna! I love expedits!

  11. Sheila says:

    Looks great – can I ask what “pickling” is? Two nations separated by a common language!!

    1. I’d like to know that one too! 🙂

    2. Anna says:

      it’s basically a white wash, you can still see the wood grain through it

  12. krazgrl says:

    GREAT sewing table! One question I have is that you obviously turned your shelf on it’s side but where did the drawers come from? I looked over at the Ikea link you offered but didn’t see a drawer option. Would love this in my sewing area.

  13. Delia says:

    This super cool! Definitely pinning it!

  14. Lynn says:

    Just wondering if you painted the 2×4’s white or used the pickling stain on all the wood? LOVE this table!

    1. Anna says:

      The legs of the table are all painted white, just the table top is pickeled. 🙂

  15. Alana says:

    I love this idea and wonder if a “gate leg” hack would work with a hinged top? You’ve definitely got all of our creative juices flowing…Thanks for the post!

  16. Alicia says:

    Very nice table. Can you tell me about the sewing macine sitting on your table?

  17. Deb Barker says:

    My husband and I used your instructions and built this sewing/cutting table for me last weekend. The instructions were easy to follow and the table was simple to build. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful idea! Your design is awesome. The table is fantastic — sturdy, attractive, and inexpensive.

    We did, however, make two additions to your design: 1) we attached a horizontal bar across the middle of each of the two large rectangles and 2) we used two small L-shaped metal plates to attach the tabletop to the 2X4. The table was very sturdy before these additions, however we anticipate moving it often, therefore we added the extra support just to be on the safe side.

    Again, thank you for this wonderful idea and tutorial.

  18. Kelly H. says:

    Hello! I was wondering if you could tell me how many cutting mats you are able to fit on there, with your sewing machine still on there. I currently only have one 24×36, but I’d like to be able to fit two or three. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Anna Graham says:

      I have two 24×36 mats! 🙂 love it!

  19. Pam says:

    Thank you for sharing! I am testing heights now and would like to inset my machine to have a flat surface. How do you think that would work with sitting on an adjustable stool? I find I am standing more with cutting and sew prep so I guess I don’t sit for long.

    1. Anna Graham says:

      I think that sounds like a great plan! I like using my stool. Even though the table height is more suitable for standing, I still find it quite easy for sewing at as well. I think testing it out like you said is really helpful, that way you can be sure it’ll be right for you.

  20. Cassie says:

    If you are in the market for another stool, I noticed Target has them on clearance!

  21. Paul says:

    Did you use lag screws to build the frame out of 2x2s or actually join them with wood glue and dowels?

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Hi Paul,
      I think he used long wood screws to make the frame, then we used the lag bolts to attach it to the ikea unit. Hope that makes sense. 🙂

  22. Ms. Sterling says:

    Is the tabletop actually attached to the frame/shelves? Or just sitting on top?

    1. Anna Graham says:

      It’s attached! The wooden ‘legs’ holding up the open side of the table have screws that go up through the wood into the table top. 🙂

  23. Elena Wells says:

    Do you have the full dimensions? This looks like about the size I’d like, but I can’t tell the height from the description.

  24. Brie Rachel says:

    Love this! I have everything except the 42″ wide by 62 piece on hand so this will work out perfect!

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