How We Built My Craft Table

Final picture of craft table in craft room

We renovated my craft room and building a craft table was the heart of this renovation project. We wanted to construct something that met all my sewing/crafting needs. My favorite part of this renovation was making my craft table. I could not be any happier with the result!

Click HERE for a DETAILED YouTube video detailing each step of how we built my craft table. In this video, we provide more detail.

For a fun time-lapsed video about how we built my craft table, click HERE.

My craft room is in our loft. Just so you have an appreciation for our overall craft renovation, below is a picture of my craft room before we renovated it. Click HERE to see how we renovated our loft/craft room. To view a YouTube video about our total loft renovation click HERE.

In this blog post, we will show you each step in building our craft table: researching, designing, building a base, installing casters, adding IKEA drawer units, installing toe kicks, building the countertop, and building fabric cubbies.

Let me say from the outset, that I LOVE my new craft table. It exceeded my expectations and might be my favorite DIY project we have ever done!

RESEARCHING/PLANNING

Research How to Build a Craft Table

I scoured Pinterest and watched many YouTube videos trying to determine what I wanted for a craft table. I also thought about how I would use this table. For me, I would use it for sewing projects, preparing hoops/frames for my embroidery machine, using my Cricut, small painting projects, and many other craft projects. 

Below are some things I wanted in my craft table: 

-counter height (36”) so I could comfortably stand while working on a project. (I previously cut fabric on a full-size bed in this room or on the island in our kitchen.) 

-large table top (plenty of space for sewing and craft projects). I used painter’s tape on the floor to visualize different size options to determine what size would work best for this space.

-ample storage, including some file drawers

-casters so it can be moved as needed

-kneehole, so I could sit comfortably and work on projects

-space to store bolts of fabric

-toe kick (like a kitchen countertop has so you can comfortably stand and work at a counter/table). Adding casters gives me a little space for my feet but this is a nice addition. 

Design Craft Table

Building a craft table was the heart of our craft room renovation project. Neal thought through this project too. He wanted to build something that met all my sewing/crafting needs.

So, first, we designed the table – – we sketched out several versions and finally settled on our final design. I ALWAYS suggest sketching out (including all measurements) for any such building project. This helps to plan what materials and how much you will need. It also helps you to visualize your design and its functionality in the designed space. Taking time to plan is well worth the investment. If you need to alter your design along the way, that is ok too. We do this sometimes too. 

Decided to Use IKEA Drawer Units

We considered building shelves or cubbies, but we found these two types of IKEA drawer units that became the core of our design. 

Click HERE for the link to the Alex 5-drawer unit (pictured below).

Click HERE for the link to the Alex file drawer unit (pictured below).

We ordered five of the Alex drawer units (each with 5 drawers) for one side and two of the Alex drawer units with one file drawer each for the back side where the knee hole and fabric cubbies would be built. 

How to Build the Craft Table Base

To build a platform, we used 2 x 4s. Notice we built a U shape. This is to allow space for a 26” knee hole (where I will be able to sit and work) and the bottom of fabric cubbies (one on each side of the knee hole).

Below is how we cut our 2 x 4s for the base of our craft table:

Below shows the placement of each 2×4 after cutting them. We assembled this with screws in case we have to disassemble this one day.

Install Casters

The next step in building our craft table We used our table saw to cut rectangular pieces of plywood for each of the four corners. We installed these with screws.

We installed 8 casters. Neal researched different casters and the weight each would hold. We originally installed larger casters, but they were going to make the table too tall. Hence, we recalculated the weight of the caster we eventually installed and decided they would hold the weight of all 7 draw units, the base, the tabletop, and all the items I would store.

Neal placed each piece of rectangular plywood under each corner of the base and traced (see picture below). He marked the holes of each caster.

We then used screws, washers, and nuts to install our casters.

Using screws, we installed them on the base.

These casters work like a charm!

Add Plywood to the Base

We used a table saw to cut the length and width of the plywood and a circular saw to cut the kneehole space. Using screws, we installed the plywood onto the 2×4 base. The plywood will help the IKEA drawer units to sit flat on the base consistently, as well as provide stability.

NOTE: the size of the base is actually smaller than the base of the cabinets. This is to allow for toe kicks. In other words, the base will not be flush with the bottom of the cabinets. This will be obvious later in the description. 

Compensate for the Cabinet Height Difference

There was a slight difference (about a quarter of an inch) in the height of the two types of cabinets, so we added these slats on the base on one side to raise the cabinets on one side. 

Assemble & Install IKEA Drawer Units

This was the fun part of building our craft table. We spent an afternoon putting together all seven IKEA drawer units. 

Then, we were finally ready to install the IKEA drawer units on the base. We placed each cabinet and then carefully measured each under edge to ensure the overhang (over the toe kick) was consistent around the base. We used two screws to install each cabinet to the base. Notice that each unit does not have the drawers installed yet. This enabled us to manage the cabinets easier and to screw to the base (and later screw to the top). 

Install Metal File Drawer Labels

I wanted a way to label each drawer so I ordered these metal file drawer table holder frames from Amazon. We installed these when we assembled each drawer. 

Click HERE for the link on Amazon.

To install them, I determined where I wanted the frame on each drawer and then made a template out of card stock. This made the installation process much easier. I held the template on each drawer, used a fine-point sharpie to make the screw hole on each side, and then tapped a small nail to start the screw hole on each side. Having a small hole started made it easier to start each screw. 

Later, I made a three-column label template in MSWord (a little trial and error to get this just right) and then printed my labels on card stock. I am so pleased with how these turned out. 

Install Toe Kicks

We priced toe-kick boards in the cabinet department at Home Depot and were shocked by how much each piece cost. So we decided there had to be a more cost-effective option. Hence, we purchased a piece of shiplap paneling and ripped it (one section at a time) on the table saw.

We cut each corner at a 45 degree and then used a finishing nail gun and installed this around the base. 

I used a white cabinet wax pencil to fill in each nail hole. I carefully touched each corner (where two pieces joined) with white paint to make the cut ends blend with the cabinet. This worked like a charm. 

Build & Install Table Top

We used 3/4” cabinet-grade plywood as the tabletop. Neal did not want this to look like a sheet of plywood, so he added 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ strips of wood to give the appearance that the tabletop was thicker. Each wood strip was cut at 45 degrees (see picture below). We nailed these wood strips on using finishing nails.

The picture below shows the final tabletop with the strips of wood.

Because the edging (strips of wood) would hang below the table top and block the opening of the top drawers, we inserted three strips of wood under the table top (see picture below) so that the top would be elevated and thus the top drawers could open.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When screwing the tabletop to the IKEA drawer units, we make sure our screws were long enough to go through the top of the drawer units and catch the bottom side of the tabletop but NOT TOO LONG to go through the tabletop.

After constructing the tabletop, we primed and then sanded it while it was still outside. We will paint and put polyurethane once it is in place. 

Build Vertical Cubbies for Bolts of Fabric

Our next step was to build vertical cubbies to store bolts of fabric. We used the part of the protruding plywood base (see picture below) for this.

Neal installed a piece of cabinet-grade plywood for the wall of each cubbie, which also served as part of the knee hole (where I will sit). The side of each IKEA drawer unit will serve as one side of the vertical cubby. We also cut a piece of cabinet grade for the top and bottom of each cubby. To give it a finished look, we installed strips of trim around the front perimeter of each vertical cubby.

We caulked, primed, sanded, vacuumed/dusted, and painted the plywood and trim for each vertical cubby. We did not paint the side or back of each cubby because they were part of the IKEA drawer units. 

Finish the Knee Hole

We added a thin piece of PCV shoe mold around the bottom of the knee hole where the back of the IKEA draw units came together with the toe kick. This covered a gap. We also added this same trim on both sides of the knee hole on the outside of each vertical cubby above the toe kick. 

We caulked and painted this trim.

Caulk, Paint, Sand, and Polyurethane Table Top

Like putting the icing on a cake, it was time to finish the tabletop. I chose country gray to match the ledge/desk we previously installed. We painted, lightly sanded, vacuumed/dusted, and then rolled polyurethane to give it some protection. To date, I only put one coat of polyurethane. Because I rolled it, it went on a little thicker and seemed to have enough protection. I can always add another coat of polyurethane if I think it needs it. 

Final Dimensions of our Craft Table

The photo below shows the dimensions of the cabinets and the tabletop.

Here is the front of my craft table.

Here is the back of my craft table.

Final Thoughts on How We Built My Craft Table

 The real joy was organizing and moving sewing and craft supplies in the drawers. I was stunned by how much room I now have. Now that I have used this space for a month, I really appreciate the drawers. Previously, I stored all my supplies, for example, sewing supplies, in a bin/crate. To retrieve something, I would need to use table space to place the bin/crate and then “unpack” the crate to get what I needed. Having drawers is a game-changer! I just open the drawer, get what I need, use it, and put it back in the drawer. It saves me counter space and time. I love the drawers!

Check out our YouTube video below detailing each step of building our craft table.

Click HERE for a time-lapse YouTube video about building my craft table.

To view a YouTube video about our total loft renovation click HERE.

I absolutely love my renovated craft (sewing) room! It is beautiful and functional! 

Don’t forget to pin this for future reference.

Let us know if you have any questions or what you think by commenting below. Happy DIYing!

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