How to make sewing machines cabinets

Written by moira richardson
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How to make sewing machines cabinets
Learn how to build your own custom sewing machine cabinet. (Dougal Waters/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

If you use your sewing machine regularly, you might want to have a sewing machine cabinet. Purchasing one can be expensive, but you can make a sewing machine cabinet for less cost and customise it to meet your sewing needs. Unlike a regular sewing machine table, which doesn't include storage cabinets underneath, a sewing machine cabinet gives you an all-in-one place to sew and store your sewing supplies. Use recycled materials for an eco-friendly sewing machine cabinet.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • 1-inch-thick plywood, cut to fit your space
  • 1-inch-thick plywood, cut to fit your sewing machine base, with an extra 2 inches on all sides
  • 4 3-inch bolts
  • Marker
  • Ruler
  • Electric jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Countersink drill bit
  • 2 cabinets, at least 27 inches tall
  • Electric sander
  • Polyurethane varnish
  • Foam brush

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  1. 1

    Determine the best position for your sewing machine on your work surface and trace the base of your machine on to the large piece of plywood with the marker. You will want to position your sewing machine on the right side of the table, so that the weight of the fabric is supported on the left.

  2. 2

    Drill a starter hole in the centre of the traced outline. Saw around the entire outline with the jigsaw, adding an extra 1/4 inch all the way around. Test to make sure your sewing machine base fits smoothly into the hole.

  3. 3

    Drill four holes sized to fit the bolts through both pieces of plywood. Drill holes at the corners of the opening cut for the machine base, and matching holes at the corners of the second piece of plywood. Make sure the holes line up perfectly by placing the two together and drilling both at once. Use the countersink bit on the sewing machine cabinet top to create an indent for the bolts so they don't protrude.

  4. 4

    Sand the entire surface of the cut plywood until smooth. Sand the edges of the hole you cut for the machine base and over the drilled holes.

  5. 5

    Paint the entire surface with self-levelling polyurethane varnish and allow to dry flat over night. Repeat two times. The polyurethane will create a smooth surface that will prevent material snags.

  6. 6

    Position the two cabinets in your space, one on either end, and place the varnished plywood on top of the cabinets. Have a friend hold the sewing machine in the cut hole so that the sewing plate of the machine is level with the surface of the tabletop. Bolt the smaller piece of plywood underneath to create a shelf for the machine.

Tips and warnings

  • You could optionally drill holes on the sides to attach the top permanently to the cabinets underneath, but it's not strictly necessary since the weight of the plywood keeps the top in place. By leaving the pieces unattached, you can easily move the sewing machine cabinet if needed.
  • Since the sewing machine is not attached to the shelf, you can easily remove it for travel or for access to the free-arm of the machine.
  • Purchase cabinets sized perfectly to your height to prevent back pain and injury when you sew. The average adult sewing table height is 28 inches. Adjust as needed.
  • Be sure to enlist the help of a friend when attaching the sewing machine under table so that you don't break your machine or injure yourself.
  • If your table is not sturdy enough for you, add a 2-by-4 wooden frame underneath for extra support.

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