How to Make a Drop Leaf Cutting Table for Fabrics

Updated April 17, 2017

A drop-leaf cutting table can give you added flexibility when cutting fabrics and preparing to sew. Best of all, they're great for small spaces. Because of the drop leaf, the sides can be collapsed, giving you a lot of extra room in tight quarters. You can make your own drop-leaf sewing table in an afternoon with a few basic supplies from the hardware store.

Saw the 8-foot by 4-foot sheet of plywood into two 4-foot by 4-foot sheets. These will serve as the table top and leaf. Cut the 2-inch by 4-inch boards into 4 36-inch-long pieces and 2 6-inch pieces with the circular or manual saw. The 4 36-inch-long pieces will serve as the legs. The 2 6-inch pieces will come into play in later steps. Sand the cut edges.

Stain the legs, and allow them to dry.

Sand the edges of the 2 pieces of plywood. On a flat surface, Lay the two sheets of plywood next to each other, so they form one 8-foot by 4-foot piece. Place your hinges a foot away from the two side edges, along the cut, and screw them in using the 1-inch screws and the drill. See the diagram for reference. You will now have two sheets of plywood connected with hinges. One half will become the tabletop, the other is the fold-down leaf.

Choose a side to be the table top. On that side, place the stained table legs 1 inch from each corner's edge on either side of the leg. Screw each leg in from the top of the table using the 4-inch screws and the drill. Do this for all the legs.

Take the two pieces of 6-inch 2-inch by 4-inch board and lay them next to the hinges on the bottom of the table top, with 2 inches on the table and 4 inches on the drop leaf side. Screw them in from using the 4-inch screws and the drill. These pieces of wood will swivel away when you want to put the leaf down, so they should be loose enough to move easily.

Turn your table onto its legs, with the drop-leaf propped up. The table base is ready, and it's time to start on the cutting surface. Lay out the rolls of corkboard. Two should fit on each side of the table top. Staple the corkboard down using the staple gun.

Lay the butcher paper over the cork board. Smooth it out, and trim it about an inch past where the two leafs split. Fold the newly cut edge of the butcher paper under itself to make a smooth edge, and staple the other sides of the butcher paper down under the side of the table with legs. Do the same thing with the other side.


Be careful whenever using any power tools, particularly the saws. Wear protective gloves and eyeware when working with the wood. Make sure to unplug all power tools after use.

Things You'll Need

  • Electric drill
  • 1-inch slotted flathead screws
  • 4-inch slotted flathead screws
  • Bit for slotted flathead screws
  • 13 feet of 2-inch by 4-inch board
  • 1 sheet 8-foot by 4-foot by 1/2-inch plywood
  • 4 rolls 2-foot by 4-foot by 1/4-inch corkboard
  • Butcher paper
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Electric circular saw
  • Wood stain
  • Fine sandpaper
  • 2 drop-leaf table hinges
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