Wednesday, February 28, 2018

DIY Sewing Room Cutting Table IKEA Hack

Since my last few sewing room organization posts, I've received a lot of email questions about my cutting table.  So today I thought I'd walk you through the details!

DIY Sewing Room Cutting Table IKEA hack from A Bright Corner

Here's the basics:  The table measures 31" wide, 63" long, and 34" tall and is made from 2 Kallax shelf units from IKEA, with a desk top surface (also from IKEA) attached to the top.  There are also locking wheels underneath to allow me to move the cutting table if I need to.  

DIY cutting table IKEA hack for my sewing room

The wheels also help to add a little height to the table which makes it a great height for cutting.  This table is 34" tall, but if you're tall and need a taller table, you could use legs instead of wheels.  IKEA sells legs of various sizes (such as these and these.)

For the table top, you'll need a piece of wood that is at least 31" x 58".  We found a desk top at IKEA that had the right measurements but you could also grab something from Home Depot or Lowe's.  

DIY cutting table IKEA hack for my sewing room

IKEA sells different inserts to use inside of the cubbies of the Kallax shelf systems.  In this photo below you can see that I've added drawers, and one door for some different storage options.  

DIY cutting table IKEA hack for my sewing room

On the opposite side of the table, I use the shelves for books and magazines, and have added some fabric boxes (they come in some fun colors too!) to store yardage for quilt backs, works in progress, and orphan blocks.  They basically work like nice, deep drawers.  Other insert options would be these baskets, or these hanging wire baskets.

Cutting Table IKEA hack DIY - I would love to have all of that storage!

The large cutting mat on the table is from Quilters Rule and measures 32" x 60" (total size) with grid lines for 28" x 56".  The mat was slightly longer than length of the table so I had my handy brother in law trim an inch off for me with his table saw.  I wanted the cutting surface to cover the entire table top, but another option would be to have a cutting surface on half, and an ironing station on the other half of the table!  Wouldn't that be handy?

 Cutting Table IKEA hack DIY - perfect cutting table for my quilting room!

I sure love my table!  I love how much storage it gives me and how versatile the storage is.  I love that I can move it if I need to, and I have needed to move it more than I expected I would.  The table a great size for my room - it did feel imposing at first and does take up quite a bit of space, but because of how much storage it gives me I don't know what I'd do without it! If you're limited on space you could make a similar unit using two of these smaller Kallax shelf units.  

Cutting Table IKEA hack DIY - perfect cutting table for my quilting room!

Now for the details:  Want to make your own?  Here's what you'll need- 

Kallax shelf units (IKEA)
1 wood surface /  table top (IKEA or Home Depot)
1 sheet of plywood 27" x 54" (Home Depot)
4 swivel locking casters (Home Depot)
2 corner brackets (similar to this one)
2 straight brackets (similar to this one)
screws, bolts and other fasteners

Any inserts you'll need for the Kallax shelf unit (drawers, doors, baskets, etc)

Build the two shelf units.  Next, use the 2 straight brackets to bolt the shelf units together.  We put the brackets on the inside of the shelves (on the top so it wouldn't get in the way of anything) - one on each end.  

Sewing Room Cutting Table IKEA hack DIY

Sewing Room Cutting Table IKEA hack DIY

You'll build the rest of the table upside down!  Place table top, right side down onto the floor.  Then place the two joined shelf units upside down onto the table top.  Secure in place using the two corner brackets, one on each end.  

Sewing Room Cutting Table IKEA hack DIY

Next, set the plywood on top of the shelf units (which is actually the bottom) and decide where you'd like the casters.  You'll first drill pilot holes for the bolts, and those pilot holes will go through both the plywood and the shelf units.  (Our bolts were too long, but I don't mind - I just work around them.  You could use bolts that are a shorter length so they don't stick up into the shelf as much.)

Sewing Room Cutting Table IKEA hack DIY

Those bolts are what connects the shelf units to the plywood base and helps to stabilize and strengthen the entire unit.  

Once the casters are secured, flip the entire shelf unit over and you're ready to start filling it!  You can add any Kallax inserts now, or use the cutting table for awhile before deciding just how you want to maximize the storage, and figuring out what works best for you.  

Leave any questions in the comments below and I'll do my best to answer them!  We did make this cutting table several years ago so we're working from memory on some of these things.  

You can read more about how I use the storage in my cutting table in my Sew Organized blog posts:
Sew Organized Part 1:  Tips for Storing Quilting Tools and Rulers
Sew Organized Part 2: Tips for Storing Patterns, Magazines, and Books
Sew Organized Part 3: Storing and Organizing Fabric and Scraps
Sew Organized Part 4: Quilting Projects

Sewing Room Cutting Table IKEA hack DIY


  1. Great job!!!
    I have been thinking along those lines for a bigger ironing surface.

  2. I bought a 32x58 cutting mat at Joanns. It was priced at 69.99 but I used a 60% off coupon so I got it for about $40.00.

  3. That's great. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I ❤️💕❤️ seeing other people’s Ikea hacks!!!

  5. I made this for my room. Beware of the hollow panels when fitting the casters, mine fell off!

  6. Hi Andy great article but I really don't get the plywood part. There is no picture that tells me what you mean. Could you please explain or show a pic if the plywood in position. Are you saying the plywood hoes under the Base, between the unit and the castors?

  7. I really like this. I've been trying to figure out what to do for a good cutting table for some time and this is a great idea. I'm not terribly handy, but I think this is within by skill set. Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. Does this wheel through a doorway? I love this but need to be able to move this between rooms.


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