A Sewing Table for Small Spaces

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 10/20/2010 - 20:38
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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.

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.

Expands. Table height. Collapsed dimensions shown above.


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

Common Materials
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
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!)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set


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

Build the Box

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

Step 3

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


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

Step 5

Step 6

Expanded size.

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Lauren (not verified)

Thu, 10/21/2010 - 04:27

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?

Erin (not verified)

Thu, 10/21/2010 - 11:44

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!

Melinda (not verified)

Thu, 10/21/2010 - 13:41

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!

Nikki (not verified)

Thu, 10/21/2010 - 14:17

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!

Sheela (not verified)

Thu, 10/21/2010 - 14:32

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!