Another post written months and months ago – posting this now but I will try to do an update with how it’s working and the changes I’ve made.
I guess first off, I should say I’m lucky to have a dedicated space. When I bought my house I was single and I decided that I didn’t want a TV on the main living level. I have a walkout (mostly) finished basement, so I turned half of that into a TV/media space and the other half into a craft studio. I had an L-shaped desk with a whole bunch of crap on it and a bunch of large bins that held yarn. I’ve been wanting to redo it for a few years but had been holding off because I didn’t want to spend the money and, especially once Davy was born, I rarely had time to do anything crafty! Now that he’s older (and sleeping in his crib), I have more time to create things but was still putting it off.
Well, a few weeks ago, a generous friend came by to give me a big piece of IKEA furniture – I think it’s something they don’t make anymore, it looks like the old Hemnes except with 10 cubbies that are all the same size. It’s big, really big, and it didn’t really fit in the space we had. But I figured it would fit with a new sewing machine table and cutting table. So Gregg and I talked it over and I made a spreadsheet (yes really) costing out how much to make both a custom sewing table and cutting table and we were off and running. I don’t know the final cost since there were a couple of random trips to Home Depot in there to return one thing and buy another but it was probably between $300-$400. We had nearly all the tools necessary (borrowed a staple gun and a truck) so the cost was all materials. I was able to justify the cost by cashing in a whole bunch of credit card points so it was semi-free.
So, inspiration. I don’t know when or why I was even looking, but at least a year ago I ran across the DIY IKEA Sewing Table Tutorial on From Marta With Love, and I was totally inspired – I loved the idea of a custom table for cheap! But at the time, I still had my not-great starter machine and there just wasn’t a budget for any kind of redo. But I’d definitely been wanting to do this for awhile, and now was the time! Sadly I didn’t take any in-progress photos of this project.
My mods – for the sewing table, we didn’t bother with the pocket holes, just screwed the 2x2s in through the front and back rails. We also didn’t countersink the screws – we attached the 2x2s slightly lower than the top of the table so there is space for the bolts. My machine has a knee lift so we also drilled a hole for that. At some point I would like to paint it, but we knew we were having family visit soon and I wanted it to be presentable/functional when they arrived, not midway through the painting process.
What I would do differently – I traced the machine footprint directly onto the table before making the cut with the jigsaw and honestly, I didn’t do a great job. If I had to do it again, I would make a template on cardboard rather than directly tracing the machine. I’d also set up a piece of wood to act as a rail – my jigsaw kept fighting me, trying to go in a different direction. Gregg had to step in and finish the cutting, and the hole is bigger than it needed to be. Luckily it was salvageable, but there were tears.
(yeah, this is the same image in my other post)
Around the same time that I found the sewing table, I was poking around IKEA Hackers and ran across <a href=”http://www.ikeahackers.net/2013/06/new-customized-sewing-room-cutting-table.html”>this project</a> and I was in total lust. I didn’t have any large surface to cut fabric on, so I either hauled my cutting mat, rotary cutter, rulers, and fabric upstairs to use the kitchen table (naturally, this was only possible while Davy was asleep) or, most of the time, I kneeled on the floor of the basement and cut my fabric like that. So I was really excited to have a new cutting surface. At some point, I decided I should add some fabric and batting so it would do double duty as a pressing table.
So my inspiration was much looser for this project. We used 2 KALLAX units (the replacement for EXPEDIT, but practically the same) and arranged them in an L shape, sandwiched between 2 pieces of melamine cut to 3ft by 4ft (we started with a 8ft x 4ft piece of melamine). We added 6 BESTA legs to give it some additional height – it’s 36″ tall, approximately counter height. We also found some iron-on melamine edging to finish the bottom edge with.
After attaching everything together, I sewed up a giant piece of frankenbatting to cover the unit and staple-gunned that in place. Then I added some ironing board fabric, and then some IKEA fabric on top of that.
The L-shaped arrangement means I have some storage space good for batting and fiberfill and other large items. I also added some KALLAX drawer inserts so that I could keep my sewing machine supplies handy and some DRONA boxes to store fabric and quilty WIPs in.