A Sewing Table for Small Spaces

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A Sewing Table for Small Spaces

The perfect spot for a part time sewing enthusiast! Tucks neatly way, expands out to be a cutting or layout mat. Please note that this table is not intended for use with the sewing machine unless locking hardware is installed on the fold out legs and tabletop.

HANDMADE FROM THIS PLAN >>

Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!

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If your sewing takes over your dining table at least half the time, make sure you thank Kelly on our Community for recommending an expandable sewing table.

Expandable Simple Sewing Table

I love this idea because there is a tidy spot to hold your sewing machine, a shelf for baskets and other sewing things that you need to keep handy, tons of tabletop space, but it all folds up into a neat little package that you can roll into a closet.

Shopping List: 

1 – Sheet of Plywood or MDF
2 – 1x2s or 1x3s
4 – 2″ Caster Wheels (Overall clearance of 2 1/2″)
5 – Sets of hinges
2 1/2″ Screws

120 grit sandpaper
primer
wood conditioner
paint
paint brush
Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
safety glasses
hearing protection
countersink drill bit
Dimensions: 
Expands. Table height. Collapsed dimensions shown above.
Cut List: 

1 – 1×32 @ 15 1/2″ (Top)
2 – 1×32 @ 26 3/4″ (Sides)
2 – 1×32 @ 12″ (Shelves)
2 – - 1×32″ @ 20″ (Leaves)
4 – 1x2s @ 29 1/4″ (Legs – Measure these!)

Step 1: 

If you can, take this diagram to Blue or Orange and have them make your cuts. If you are cutting this yourself, start by cutting the plywood into 31 7/8″ widths (shown above as 32″), 48″ long. Then from those three pieces, cut out the remaining pieces. Remember, always consider the width of your saw blade as you cut.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Build the Box

Use 2 1/2″ screws and glue to build your box as shown above. Predrill and countersink your screws.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Caster Wheels

Now this is important – your wheels need to have a total clearance of 2 1/2″. If you wheels do not have a total clearance of 2 1/2″, DO NOT cut the legs just yet. Instead, add the wheels, then take a measurement from the bottom of the wheels to the underside of the tabletop. This will be your new leg length.

Step 4 Instructions: 

Leaves

Lay the whole thing on the ground, face down. Screw the leaves on with hinges as shown above.

Step 5 Instructions: 

Legs

Hinge the legs on as shown above. You can use a 1×3 for a stronger leg if you plan on placing heavy weight loads on the tabletop.

Now flip the table over and expand. When the leaves are down the weight should hold the legs in place. See Get Started section for general instructions and finishing advice.

Step 6 Instructions: 

Expanded size.

Project Type: 
Estimated Cost: 
Room: 
Skill Level: 
Style: 

Comments

Thank you so much, Ana! My desk is definitely not big enough to hold both my serger and my sewing machine. Anytime I need both machines (which is the case with 90% of my projects) I'm working on the dining table.
I wanted to add a leaf to the side of my desk and couldn't figure out how to do the legs. Now I don't know whether to do this or to built the whole thing.

What kind of hinges do you suggest for the legs?

This is a really nice project. I had started making my Christmas list (which actually includes many things like, "Helping making this design" then a link to one of your plans) If you're looking for ideas, I would love to have a sewing table design that includes a lowered spot for sewing machines. I really like this sewing table: http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog/productdetail.jsp?CATID=cat3485&PRODI... (Can you believe this costs 379.99?!? There has got to be an easier way! I know the lowering arm would be tricky, but I would love a design for it!)
Thank You!

LOVE this! Well I actually haven't seen anything on your page that I don't love...you're awesome. Can you tell me though, is this too complex for a beginner? I have yet to do my first project, but I did get a Kreg Jig for my bday a few weeks ago and I am a little nervous to get started. But I so badly need this sewing table!

Thank you for including the cut diagram, I really appreciate it.

My sewing machine table from the 60's has a very different mechanism than the one suggested by orangesugar. It is a hinge with a metal spring. My machine is extremely heavy (because of its age), so this particular design would be difficult for me. I don't know if they still make the spring, but it may or may not work for Krista.

Ana - I adored your site before but this plan has taken my adoration to a whole new level. My house is so small I was afraid I was going to have to give up my love of sewing since I hate having to clear my machine off the table for every meal in the middle of a project. Thanks so much for drawing up this plan and thanks so much to Kelly for suggesting it! I can't wait until our fence is done so my man and I can start in on these plans.

One word: "AWSOME"!!!!!!!! thank you Ana you are saving my sanity!!!! I have two seamstress in the house, the sewing table looks like a dualing piano bar... now they can each have their own table!

I looked for one of these a while back and just choked at the prices! So I ended up with a folding table instead...but this would be great! I just might have to make one...as soon as I find the room to store it. :) Yes, my room is that full.

I love this! My sewing takes up the entire kitchen island which is really difficult when dinner time rolls around as the stove is also located on the island. I don't have room downstairs, but it would fit in my bedroom. I love how it is so compact for when not in use. Although, if I don't have to put things away to use the space for something else I probably won't... then again I can work on a project if I only have a few minutes. Thank you so much!!

I am so excited to have this plan, there aren't accurate enough words to describe it.

I've been in LOVE with dropleaf tables for... probably around a year now, and I'd much rather build one than buy one.

Thanks for the wonderful plans!

Very cute and useful. My sewing machine is in its own old cabinet, but its builky, takes up room, has no extra storage and doesnt open up near as wide as this one. I cannot make that right now, too many other things to do, but it definately will be on my "TO DO" list. Great design Ana!! Thanks!!

This is great! I've been cutting out costumes this week on the floor and thinking my old knees and back need a cutting table. I love that I can drop the sides. This is perfect. THANKS!

Oh Ana I love you!! and I know there are going to hundreds of other ladies who are going to love you too! I actually had been thinking about blogging about you over on my Quilty Giveaways site http://quiltygiveaways.blogspot.com because your various plans are perfect for sewing/craft rooms. With your permission I'd like to do a post just about your site. I'd like to borrow 2 or 3 pictures form your site if that's ok too (the pictures themselves will link back to you). Let me know so I can get this post written up ASAP

Going to build this next weekend -- any ideas on finishing it? I'd love for it to double as a side table in my living room, but haven't built with plywood before. Is there a way to finish it to make it less plywood-y? Is enamel paint the best way to go?

Wow Ana! This plan rocks! I was just recently looking for an old cheap sewing table to refinish but this is way better. I sew enough to need a compact table like this but not enough for a craft room so this is perfect!

Oh my gosh! I'm so excited...I had a table that did that for years but I gave it to my son when he moved out on his own and I've missed it ever since. YOur table is even better because my sewing machine fits inside! (The other table was Ikea and had little drawers...great for little crafty stuff by not good enough for a sewing machine!) I just picked my next project. Woot!

This can be used for any type of craft table!!! I love it! Can store it behind my couch with a tablecloth over it when not in use...it will just look like a pretty console table!

Lovely, as are all your plan! I am planning on turning a very small walk-in closet into a very small study nook, and now I will be able to neatly store my sewing machine in there too - I can slide it out when I need it. I see a range of possibilities here. Ikea has a similar flap-side table with small drawers in the centre for cutlery. I once longed for another that held 4 folding chairs in the centre compartment. What a great outdoor table that would make for an apartment balcony! So... can we expect any modifications in the future, Ana? Pleeeeeeeez!

OK, this may be a silly question, but what is the thickness of the plywood for this project? Is it 3/4"? And great plan Ana! Thanks!

I love this idea! I was just thinking have you thought of making a table like this only taller for a cutting table? (counter top height)

This is perfect for a beginner. Go slowly, measure-measure-measure. You essentially are building a box with accessories. Practice using your Kreg with some scrap wood. I am in love with mine!

I have painted plywood with latex enamel with great results! I have used BM METAL & WOOD ENAMEL. Love working with it. I have bought quite a few cans of their Brilliant Red which is an off the shelf color. Covers plywood and any wood exceptionally well. Prime first, of course.

Thanks. I have loved to sew since I learned in school. But have no room in my tiny house. Thanks I think you have saved me. Plus my husband can make it for my birthday. He won't have to think of a gift, and it won't cost much. Thanks again.

Thank you! I love it and would like to use it for a desk and craft table. I may have to build 2!!!

I still haven't done any projects yet...have some other things I have to get done first but I am so excited!

Thank You Ana!!! I have 2 sewing machines, and embroidery sewing machine and serger all crammed into my tiny sewing room, Hubby started making me a 4x8 cutting table....I was gonna eliminate all my storage just to have the cutting/ironing table( hehehe I was just gonna take over the dining room) but now I can store all 4 machines underneath in 4 separate cabinets.....and I don't have to give up the storage i currently have!!!! So Awesome, and my family can still have dinner together at the table!!!

Has anyone made this yet? I'm wondering about the 1x2 legs. I had a similar table and the vibration was horrible. I gave it away since the pressed wood pieces were falling apart. I would love to make this for my serger and sewing machine out of a more sturdy plywood, but I think I will try it with 2x2 for the legs or maybe work some other solution for a more steady table.

The 2x2 legs would be a great idea, just make sure you extend the top another 3/4" on both sides to give room for the 2x2 legs folded up. Any non fixed table will not be as good on vibrations as a fixed table. how about using this as your cutting/supplies table, and then keeping your sewing machine on a fixed table?

Another add on Ana - how thick should the MDF be? We have so many options here. I'm thinking around 5/8" but curious to what you think

I can't seem to download these plans. When I download the pdf, all the pictures are cut off on the side. When I do the word doc, the pics don't show up. Is it my computer, or is there something wrong? Let me know, I want to build this ASAP! Thanks! :)

I bought a table similar to this at hl about 9 years ago, only it came with 4 wood folding chairs that rest inside. Could probably be made to do that if you measure your folding chairs and leave a little room to slide in and out. Also, the side supports were rectangle frames attached by hinges at 90 degrees to the body frame, and adjustable feet. But the top was rounded, so that might be why that was done. Can't wait to try this for my sewing machine!

This is great! My parents are downsizing from a large house to a 2 bedroom apartment and I know my Mom would love this! I'm hoping to be able to make this for her as a surprise - for my Mom I'll even work in the freezing garage!

I made it. Unfortunately I made it with 1/2 inch plywood and I just don't think its sturdy enough. I'm going to make it again using at least 3/4 and I think I might use MDF instead as well. My plywood seemed to warp a little and its not holding very level. I didn't finish the wood but the cart is sitting in my garage and currently working quite nicely as a makeshift work table for other projects :) I'll see if I can post a picture.http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=907302386839&set=a.811041993439.2...

Just got back from Blue with the plywood cut and all the other pieces/supplies. I had bought a 2nd sewing machine a year or so ago to do a little side business that I ended up not doing. Inexpensive, nice little machine that I got around the holidays (so it was super cheap). Anyways, it's perfect for my budding-sewer! I have made my 3 girls' their Easter dresses every year since they were born (except for the one born ON Easter - but anyways!) ... I think this year I'll look for a simple sewing pattern and let my 10 yr old be a big part in the making of her dress... with her own machine on this really slick sewing table! Perfect!!!!

I've been trying to figure out how to make our loft area into my sewing area and the playroom as we are adding another child to our family (adopting!).  This plan is so perfect as my table won't have to take up so much room.  Thank you!

This is great! I think I will try making one of these to use for a folding table in my TINY laundry room (located inside my bathroom... yeah tiny)

Oh my gosh, I have to make this for myself. I think I can do this even though I have never picked up a tool in my life. It will be great in my small home.

I love this design. I visited Hobby Lobby with my girls this morning and came home wanting to sew for them. Just have to figure out where to do that in our new house. First, though... priorities say that I should go downstairs and start sanding on the Mom's Lego Table that we are building for my son! This is on the "To Do" list.

Wandering if this would be easy enough to do for a first time project or is there something else I should start on?? I need a storage area... I don't truly need the extended out table but is pretty neat idea. We don't have enough storage even though we have a nice sized house. So my sewing machine is on the floor in the dining room. That or it gets stuck back in a closet that I can't reach it with the kids craft stuff. This is an awesome idea. We do have 2 other machines antique also on the floor but under a table out of the way of kids to fall over or hurt. They are from my dh's family and not sure what to do with them either...

This is exactly what I am looking for. Well described and illustrated. Am printing a copy to put in my husband's job jar.
Thanks

Is there anything put in place to keep the legs folded in when it is collapsed? If not, how can we solve this problem?

I bought MDF to build this cart out of, made my cuts, then tried drilling my practice holes into the side of the mdf and I could not drill the hole without making the MDF start to split. I tried drilling more slowly and with smaller drill bits to gradually make the hole larger, but I still had the same issue with the MDF splitting. Did anyone else have this issue or have any suggestions?

Hello. I think mdf is horrible (great for a cheap budget) but horrible. Unfortunately I would recommend buying some good quality plywood. Stay clear of the ones under $15 and go for the real hardwood plywood. If you are already too far in with the mdf try using wood glue and see if that helps. Also stay clear of particleboard. Hope this helps!

This is JUST what I needed! My spare room is small, and I was wondering what I was going to do with my futon (it's less than a year old and still very useful) when I bought my new modern sectional. I have a sewing area in my spare room. This just solved my problem.. I can get rid of the bulky table, replace it with this and have plenty of room for the futon to go in there.

Thanks!

This is an amazingly simple solution to my sewing table/storage needs. But I do want to use it for sewing as well.What should I use to lock the leaves and legs when they're folded out? Thanks!

Love your plans, Ana!

I was wondering if you would maybe consider putting plans together for a different type of sewing table - one that's more of a book shelf or cabinet. I live in a tiny place with packed closets - no way I could roll this anywhere! This craft armoire http://www.dwelement.com/blog.php?post=107 reminds me of your kenmore bookshelf with a bit of a modification... I didn't see anywhere on the site to request plans, so sorry if this is the wrong place.

This is my first project from here. I'm fairly inexperienced, but it seems to me that 2 1/2" screws for a project made from 3/4" plywood seems a bit excessive. I don't have one of those kreg jig things, so I'm doing this the regular way, with pilot holes & countersinking the tops. But what size of screws should I use? 1 1/4" 1 1/2" Even the kreg jig site seems to think that 2 1/2 seems long. I really want this first project to turn out well, so that my husband will believe I really can do this.

. . . and nevermind. I talked to my Dad, with far more experience, and he said that if I'm not using additional little pieces of wood for support, and screwing from the top down into the plywood, that I'll need those extra inches to make sure it's got a good hold. And to use glue to when I'm putting these together. I made a few oopsies with assembly, coming from being a beginner. Things that I'm sure more experienced woodworkers take for granted as being standard operating procedure.