I streamlined my workspace with an Ikea hacked fabric storage and cutting table for my sun hat production in my home office/sewing room. Prior to building this, I did all my cutting downstairs on my dining room table before hauling everything up to my sewing room to finish the hats. There was a lot of up and down and bolts and fabric scraps cluttered my dining room. As my business grew it was becoming more and more of an issue. I had always wanted a large cutting table like the ones I used in the costume shop at the University of Colorado Department of Theatre and Dance. They were big enough to lay out a couple of yards of fabric and they were covered with batting and fabric to iron right on the top surface without needing a separate ironing board.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to have a table that was as long as those were, but I wanted something with a similar concept. I spent a lot of time looking around Pinterest to figure out how I wanted to build it and how I wanted to organize everything. Enlisting the help of my husband, we decided that putting together some pieces from Ikea would be the cheapest and simplest way to go.
It did require a couple parts from the hardware store and some fabric and batting from the fabric store but otherwise, we got everything we needed from Ikea. The base is two shelving units (called “Expedit”) that we put on their sides and connected together. To connect them together we used the brackets that came with the shelves that were meant to connect them to the wall.
Then we attached 4-inch legs (10 of them total) to the bottom to give the table more height (so it would be closer to counter height). This allows for the right height to cut without hunching over. On the top, the tabletop is a 59” x 29.5” tabletop that Ikea sells separately. We covered that in a layer of quilt batting and then fabric (the padding makes it better for ironing directly on the table). The tabletop is connected to the shelving units with L brackets from the hardware store.
On the long edge of one side of the table are two picture display ledges (called “Ribba,” they are made to hang on the wall and display pictures) that we cut to the right size and connected (they are screwed into the shelving unit). I’m using the picture ledges to keep rulers, pencils and other tools organized. The other nice thing about attaching the picture display ledges is that the two shelving units connected are wider than the tabletop. The picture display ledges give it extra width to that the tabletop overhangs slightly on the other side, which looks more attractive. In addition, the overhang allowed the use of L brackets to attach the tabletop to the shelf units.
Finally, at the end of the table, I adhered several cork strips (from the office supply store) that I use to tack up all my hat pattern pieces with thumb tacks.
And that’s how my cutting table was built. In my next entry, I’ll talk about how I organize my fabrics, scraps, hats and other materials.