Tilly’s post last week on her McGyvered workstation reminded me of the research I did a few months back on DIY cutting tables. Obviously I am partial to my own whitewashed, castored baby (seriously, I would make out with it every morning if I wasn’t worried about lip splinters) but there are tons of options out there.
Most of us start sewing using whatever is available. I’m sure crawling around on the floor with shears or bogarting the dining room table is a familiar enough activity to most of you. The problem is our uncooperative bodies. I am cursed with lower back issues and it became obvious last year that if I didn’t make a cutting table at a comfortable standing height, I was going to be designing patterns for people in constant back spasms (imagine a big sack that allows you to lie in the fetal position while occasionally lurching into a half-assed yoga pose).
I think the act of making becomes much more enjoyable when you’re not hurting yourself to do it, so I’ve rounded up all the DIY tutorials I could find for crafting/cutting/sewing tables. These range in difficulty from “plop plywood on sawhorse” to “bribe woodworking-adept friend or relative with firstborn naming rights”. Either way, having a place dedicated to your work will make your life (and back) a lot better. Some of these DIYs are actually for regular tables or desks, so keep in mind that you may have to tweak the height. Traditional counter height is 36″ (or .9 meters) which is what I would recommend unless you’re a super shortie or tallie. If working at a typical kitchen counters is comfortable for you, 36″ is the way to go.
FOLDING CUTTING TABLES
If space is an issue for you, consider tables that either fold up or swing down from the wall. Anything wall mounted will obviously have to be properly anchored so having a stud finder would be handy.
Trestle tables are great because you can easily make one yourself after a trip to Home Depot or Ikea. If space is an issue, they can also be disassembled when needed.
IKEA CUTTING TABLE HACKS
I looooove hacking Ikea stuff to make better stuff (I just made a great fauxdenza I’ll be sharing with your shortly). Use cabinets, bookshelves and kitchen islands from their catalog in creative ways and it’s pretty easy to add a workstation and some castors and go on your merry way.
There you have it! Hopefully this post will be useful to you if you’re considering adding a cutting table to your sewing arsenal. Have you DIYed a table for yourself? I’d love to hear about it.