With a sewing table DIY, you can build the sewing table of your dreams *and* (more than likely) save some cash vs. going with a store-bought unit. Keep reading to discover questions to help reveal the kind of sewing table you want to build; cool features you might want to add to your custom build; and five different sewing machine cabinet plans from Etsy and how they compare.

With a sewing table DIY, you can build the sewing table of your dreams *and* (more than likely) save some cash vs. going with a store-bought unit.

In this article you will discover:

  • Questions to help reveal the kind of sewing table you want to build
  • Cool features you might want to add to your custom build
  • What to expect when reviewing prospective sewing table plans
  • Five different sewing machine cabinet plans from Etsy and how they compare to each other

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Questions to Determine Your Ideal Sewing Table

Sie Macht has a sewing table buying guide, which suggests four categories across which to compare different store-bought tables:

1.) Features

2.) Storage capabilities

3.) Construction details

4.) Getting it home

What follows is a reworked version of the checklist to help you start thinking about the kind of sewing table you want to build.

Ask yourself the following questions:

1.) Sewing Table and Cabinet Features

Here are high-level functionality Q’s about your to-be-constructed sewing table DIY.

  • How much floor space is available for the table? (P.S. Check out this article on options for a small sewing table should you not have much space to spare.)
  • Do you want a table to match your vibe/decor/overall design aesthetic?
  • Do you prefer concealed storage — drawers, doors — or open storage — open shelving?
  • Is storing the sewing machine inside (not on the work surface) important?
  • Does the unit need to move around? Do you want (locking) casters? Do you want a table that’s easy for one person to move?
  • Do you want to stash the sewing table when it’s not in use?

2.) Storage Capabilities

Here’s where you kick around what exactly you want your table to corral.

What kind of storage solution is ideal for your:

  • Notions, including thread, bobbins, interfacing, etc.?
  • Fabric (if you’d keep it with the table)?
  • Any other goodies that support your sewing practice?

3.) Construction

Here’s where you think over how the pieces of this sewing cabinet are going to come together.

  • What’s my preferred table material, e.g., wood, laminate?
  • What’s my ideal work surface material?
  • What building materials do I have on hand for this project (e.g., dimensional lumber, plywood, etc.)?
  • Who’s going to build it (one person, multiple handyfolk), and what’s their building expertise?
  • How much time do I have to build the table? Am I on a deadline?
  • Where will you build it? Basement, garage, sewing space, etc.
  • What tools and hardware do I have on hand to complete this DIY project?

4.) Getting It Home

Here’s where you consider how to move around the building materials and the completed sewing table DIY.

  • Will building materials fit in your car or will you need to rent a truck/van?
  • If materials are being delivered, what’s the cost?
  • Will you need help moving building materials?
  • Will you need help moving the finished table to its permanent spot in your house?

RELATED: Sewing Table Buying Guide for Type A Sewists


Next-Level Sewing Cabinet Features for Your Consideration

The features above are sewing table basics. The features below are a step up, and you might want to consider them in your sewing cabinet DIY.

  • Rounded corners and edges. Prevent fabric from snagging on sharp corners.
  • Gridded surface. Take measurements at your work surface and square up.
  • Ironing cover. Turn your work surface into a pressing station.
  • Edge ruler. Stay in your seat to use a ruler.
  • Centered needle. Sitting centered in front of the needle is more comfortable than sitting centered in front of the whole machine.
  • Insert for flat-bed sewing: Create a flush surface for stitching. (Flat-bed sewing is especially appealing to quilters.)
  • Table/counter extension: Increase your work surface area.
  • Recessed surface tray: So bits and bobs don’t roll off the tabletop.
  • Lift mechanism: If the sewing machine is stored inside the table/cabinet on a shelf, a lift raises the shelf so the machine is at work surface level.

Most sewing machine table DIY plans won’t include all these extra elements.

But, since you are building it yourself, you do have all the latitude when it comes to customization. Dream big.


RELATED: 10+ Small Sewing Table Options for Space-Squeezed Sewists


Components of Sewing Table DIY Plans

With hope you’ve got a great idea for what your DIY table might look like.

Next let’s examine what you’ll see while shopping for DIY sewing table plans.

  • Finished size: A plan’s product listing will include its finished dimensions — height, width, length. Make note of whether the measurements are in inches, centimeters, or both. (How does this compare with your ideal table footprint?)
  • Materials needed: This is the wood, hardware, etc. As mentioned above, compare the materials list to what you might already have on hand.
  • Tools needed: The gadgets you need for assembly. Inventory your tools, and consider borrowing what you don’t have before buying.
  • Instruction details: Format of the directions (paper, PDF). Do the instructions include 2-D and 3-D mockups of the table (in process and finished)? Is there a cut list for lumber?
  • Are the instructions mobile friendly? If the instructions are a digital download (and you’d rather not print them out), check how they look on your phone and tablet.
  • Is this a beginner friendly project? If there’s a knowledge gap in furniture construction/woodworking, great instructions can close it.
  • Time estimate: How long it will take to complete the project. Usually only includes assembly time, not trip-to-The-Home-Depot time.
  • Cost of materials estimate: How much the wood, hardware, nails, screws, etc. will cost. Be aware that since the pandemic building supplies have increased in price. Might be worth asking the plan sellers when they made the cost estimate.

Comparing 5 Sewing Machine Cabinet Plans

Now that you have all sorts of ideas about sewing tables swimming in your brain, we can compare five different plans for sewing table DIY’s.

These plans come from Etsy and will give you an overview of what’s out there for you. I tried to grab a variety of plans to meet the needs of a variety of sewists.

The info is pulled from each product’s Etsy page.

Plan by BuildBlueprint. Image via Etsy.

DIY Plans for Craft and Sewing Table – Digital Woodworking PDF by BuildBlueprint

  • Finished size: 38 in. L x 56.75 in. W x 37 in. H
  • Materials needed: 1×2, 1×10, 1 in. plywood, pocket screws, nails dowels, glue
  • Tools needed: pocket-hole jig, saw, power drill, measuring tape, sand paper
  • Instruction details:

-Color-coded step-by-step instructions

-Cut list

-2-D and 3-D illustrations

-Instant download PDF, 21 pages on 8.5 x 11 in. paper 

  • Mobile friendly instructions? Doesn’t look like the instructions were reformatted for smaller screens
  • Beginner friendly? Yes
  • Time estimate: Not included
  • Cost of materials estimate: $150
  • What I like about this plan: The product page points out that it’s easy to adjust the width of the work surface. To make the work surface wider, you can build a third shelf unit pillar.
Plan by Mimi’s Etsy Shop. Image via Etsy.

Digital Download PDF Plans for This Beautiful Craft Cabinet by Mimi’s Etsy Shop

  • Finished size: 31.75 in. L x 31.75 in. W x 73.25 in. H
  • Materials needed: Not in description; one reviewer commented that the instructions call for plywood
  • Tools needed: Not in description
  • Instruction details:

-The store-written product description does not get into details about the instructions beyond saying they’re an instant download PDF.

-One reviewer said the project is “not for the beginner in woodworking.”

-One reviewer said, “These ‘plans’ are just a list of sizes of the materials used. There are no directions on the kind of joinery or assembly methods.”

  • Mobile friendly instructions? Not in description
  • Beginner friendly? According to reviewers, it’s not beginner friendly
  • Time estimate: Not in description
  • Cost of materials estimate: Not in description
  • What I like about this plan: This plan is obviously inspired by the DreamBox crafting cabinet, and I think it could be a showstopper if well executed. (BTW, the DreamBox unit starts at more than $2,000.)
Plan by DIYpolar. Image via Etsy.

PDF Directions for Craft Table Construction and Assembly by DIYpolar

  • Finished size: 72 in. L x 28 in. W x 32 in. H, hinged storage is 3.5 in. deep
  • Materials needed: 2×4, particle board, pressed wood, hinges
  • Tools needed: Tape measure, circular saw, drill, putty knife
  • Instruction details:

-14-page e-book instant download PDF

-Detailed tools and materials list

-Measurements

-Photos and diagrams

-Step-by-step instructions

  • Mobile friendly instructions? Yes
  • Beginner friendly? Yes
  • Time estimate: “About 2 days working alone. Much of this time is dedicated to allowing paint and wood fill material to dry.”
  • Cost of materials estimate: $80-$100
  • What I like about this plan: I like the simplicity of this plan — a straightforward bench with two generous under-counter shelves. The storage inside the table, accessed by the hinged work surface, is mighty clever.
Plan by The Buc Haus. Image via Etsy.

DIY Mobile Workbench PDF Plans for Miter Saw by The Buc Haus

  • Finished size: 96 in. L x 48 in. W x 36.5 in. H
  • Materials needed: Not in description
  • Tools needed: “You will only need a few common household tools to cut and assemble this workbench.”
  • Instruction details:

-6-page instant download PDF to be printed on 8.5 x 11 in. paper

-Required tool list

-Material and hardware list

-Step-by-step instructions w/ 3-D process illustrations

-Free 3-D model accessed by QR code

  • Mobile friendly instructions? No
  • Beginner friendly? Yes
  • Time estimate: 1-2 days
  • Cost of materials estimate: Not in description
  • What I like about this plan: This is the generously sized DIY option — only for those with an epic sewing space. There’s a recessed base in the work surface for a saw, but I think you could use it for a sewing machine and create an insert for flush-surface sewing.
Plann by Dailey Woodworks. Image via Etsy.

DIY Folding Workbench Plans by Dailey Woodworks

  • Finished size: 72 in L x 32 in W, you choose the height
  • Materials needed: plywood, 2×4, 1×6, hinges
  • Tools needed: circular saw, drill, square, level, kreg pocket hole jig, table saw
  • Instruction details:

-Instant download PDF

-3-D illustrations

  • Mobile friendly instructions? Not in description
  • Beginner friendly? Yes
  • Time estimate: Not indescription, but one reviewer said, “I was able to purchase the materials and build the workbench in one day.”
  • Cost of materials estimate: < $100
  • What I like about this plan: This is the space-saver sewing table plan; the under-work-surface-supports swing to the wall and the counter folds down. I especially like how the seller “styled” the bench with a pegboard and shelf, which would be great for storing tools and fabric, respectively.

Final Thoughts About Building a Sewing Table

DIYing a sewing table can be the best way to fulfill your stitching furniture needs. You have complete control over materials and features.

Really, it’s not dissimilar from sewing your own clothes, when you think about it.

The highest cost of materials estimate in this article was $150. To compare, the $150 table’s store-bought look-alike sells for more than $400 on Amazon (and it’s made of laminated particleboard vs. solid wood).

So, along with customization, you also have the opportunity to save a significant chunk of change should you opt for a sewing table DIY.

Over to you: How do you feel about making your own sewing cabinet? Is it a project you’d be interested in undertaking? Or, would you rather go for the convenience of a store-bought sewing furniture unit. Good arguments can be made for each! Please leave a comment. Thanks for reading.