Monday, January 21, 2013

Fabulous DIY Sewing Cabinet: Badskirt's IKEA Hack

Amy Gunson's Modified IKEA Table and Rolling Drawer Unit

I just stumbled across the coolest budget-friendly DIY sewing cabinet project right here on Amy Gunson's Badskirt blog.  Amy and her husband took a very inexpensive white melamine Ikea desk and rolling drawer unit and customized them to fit her Bernina Aurora sewing machine.  Since most of MY do-it-yourself projects tend to be ridiculously impractical and unaffordable, I thought I'd share something sensible with you for a change!
Amy is using an IKEA Alex drawer base on casters ($119) along with an IKEA Melltorp dining table ($119.95 for the table AND IT COMES WITH FOUR CHAIRS!). 
Since I already have the kitchen cabinet drawer base for my sewing machine cabinet, I'll be reusing it.  However, I want to do another sewing cabinet behind it for my serger, and I'm thinking that I need to check out IKEA before I start ordering more kitchen cabinets.  I especially love how Amy's drawer unit is on wheels so she can pull it out when she wants to use the top as a rotary cutting surface, or to support the weight of a large quilt.  If this was my sewing cabinet, I'd want some room to the right of my machine for pin cushions, notions, and a cup of coffee, but I'll bet IKEA has another small unit that I could position to the right of the desk.
For more cool DIY adaptations of IKEA products, check out IKEA Hackers here


  1. Love the adaptation, but honestly when I look at this, I think two things: one, how can you sew with the table pressed firmly against two walls and two, with the cabinet there, it doesn't seem like there is enough room for the sewer to really sit comfortably. Do you move the table and/or the cabinet when you sit down to sew?

    Love the clean lines though and how you've got the sewing machine down into the table so that the sewing base is level with the table top. I'll have to show you how I did mine!

  2. To clarify, this is not MY sewing cabinet -- I am featuring Amy Gunson's sewing cabinet because I thought it was a really clever adaptation of inexpensive, readily-available furniture. I can't really tell from the photo whether Amy is able to sit centered on the needle, but since she has a cutting mat on that rolling drawer unit I'm guessing that she pulls it out if she needs more leg room while sewing. Also, she mentioned in her post that she is only 4'10" tall, so that might explain why her sewing setup looks a little cramped. I encourage you to check out Amy's original blog post here for more details:!/2012/07/dracula-hands.html.

    As far as putting the cabinet against the wall -- actually, free-motion quilting expert Leah Day recommends exactly that kind of setup, to reduce drag and prevent a large quilt from falling off the back end of your table while you're quilting. I'm with you, though -- my own sewing cabinet floats in the middle of my room, so I can see down the hallway, out the windows, and not feel like I'm in "time out" in the corner. :-)

    I'd love to see your sewing table -- please send me a photo or a link. Thanks!

  3. I love that website too!!! :) It's fun to see the DIY projects people tackle.

  4. I love this idea however if it were mine, I wouldn’t have it against wall and I would have to order a wider IKEA table for this so I would be more comfortable and roomy underneath. Love this though!

  5. How the heck do you cut a hole in the table to fit your machine?

  6. Her husband cut it out with a jigsaw. You can see a picture of him cutting out the hole for the machine and more details about their project on Badskirt's original blog post here:


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