Bigger and Better – Craft Desk Expansion:
If you’ve been following my Instagram (@sewstrawberrysweet) you know for the past month I have been hard at work building my sewing/craft desk bigger and better than ever before. I made my first craft desk about two years ago, but decided a fresh start was needed since I was making a big move to a new place.
A Great Start:
Below are some pictures of my old sewing table (ignore the mess) that I made for my Brother LB6800 Sewing and Embroidery Machine. I got two cube shelves from Target for the base/legs. Fun fact: that second cube shelf is actually brown not black… I didn’t want to paint it, so I covered it with black wrapping paper and sealed it on with ModPodge. It gave it a really cool look, but I still can’t decide if that was wisdom at work or not.
I absolutely fell in love with my first sewing desk. I was so proud of myself. I bought a jigsaw and power sander and cut the hole in the top myself. Plus, I went in the with the washi tape and really gave it a personal flair. I added magnetic knife racks from IKEA to the fronts so I could keep my little containers of notions and things super handy.
My favorite part though, as always, has to be the lace painting I did. Lace painting is my favorite painting method and it is was easier than it looks. You simply paint the surface with the base color you want, black in my case, and let it dry for a bit. Then you lay your lace fabric over it. You can secure it with some painters tape or something underneath if you like, but I personally like the depth that comes from having the fabric lay a bit less flush in some spots. Then you just take spray paint and paint over the lace. Bam, let it dry and you are done. You can take the lace off and lightly sand for a textured look with a smooth feel.
So, all this is to say my original sewing desk was really awesome, but I wanted something bigger and better. I really needed it too, because a few months before my move I upgraded to the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby Royale Sewing and Embroidery Machine. I needed a desk that could support (quite literally) such a gorgeous (and expensive, ugh) sewing machine.
A Failure to Plan is a Failure to Succeed:
The first step of any project is planning of course, so I made note of what areas I could improve on my new desk. The top one was space. My old desk was really just a sewing/embroidery desk, because there wasn’t much room for much else. The first go round I used 2′ x 4′ pieces of wood. My bedroom in my new apartment is by no means small, but if I was going to put my sewing space in there I knew I wouldn’t be able to push the width of the desktop any wider. I decided on upgrading to (roughly) 2′ x 8′ mdf wood for the desktop.
The next thing I wanted in my table was functionality. The magnetic knife racks on the front of the desk were pretty nice, but I wanted more. More! Of course this meant heading over to Pinterest for inspiration. See my Sewing/Craft Spaces inspiration board below.
After consulting Pinterest I deciding adding a trash chute and in table power strip were must haves. I probably had the most fun with this part of the project. Making the holes with my hole saw attachment on my new powerful corded drill was exhilarating. I swear the table almost caught on fire from the friction. Don’t worry, my dad warned me if the table was getting that hot I just might be doing something wrong. *shrugs* I had fun though.
Don’t Try to Fix What’s Not Broken, Build it Up:
There were also features of my original desk that I knew were too good to change. I’ve seen sewing tables built ten different ways on Pinterest, but I think I might have found the easiest and most functional way to do it with my two tier design. Instead of trying to figure out how to attach a platform to the desk for my machine to rest on so it was properly recessed in the desk… I found an easier route to the same results that also allowed for extra storage underneath the desk top.
I bought two identical pieces of 2′ x 8′ of MDF wood and cut six pieces of wood I measured to the right height to make my sewing machine flush with the desk top. I then placed the pieces at each of the four corners and two in the center of the desk for extra support. Below are some pictures of the table after I added the corner supports, but before I added the desktop.
This design allows for space to store cutting mats, rulers, a laptop, embroidery hoops or whatever else you want. This means the spot the machine rests on isn’t adjustable, but this wasn’t a drawback for me. I made the hole in the desktop custom to hold my sewing machine, so it’s unlikely I would ever need the machine rest at any other height.
Once the basics of the table were built it was time for me to add the trash chute and and round surge protector. I ran into a small issue with the trash chute I ordered as the fit was a bit too snug, but it was nothing I could not fix with my handy sanding drum drill attachment. I was also concerned with lining the base desktop with the main desktop, because the space between them made it a bit hard to tell when they were aligned. However, I found that placing the trash chute into the holes was a great way to line up the layers.
It’s All About the Aesthetics:
After this my focus was on aesthetics. I added the washi tape around the edge of the desktops like last time, but decided to use ribbon on the cube shelves. I would definitely recommend this for anyone trying to recreate the look of my table as pulling the fabric storage bins in and out would rip the washi tape over time. I also had to add a cube shelf to the center of the desk for support, so I added washi tape to the front and sealed with ModPodge before adding the magnetic knife rack.
I used a white ruler washi tape on my last desk, but wasn’t a huge fan of the huge space that was between ever 12″ increment. I used some PeelnStick paper ruler tape I bought at Hobby Lobby this time around. It stands out nicely against the desk top and had normal spacing between the 12″ increments. Like everything else paper I used in this project I sealed it with matte ModPodge glue.
Behind Every Great Custom Table… Is a Beautifully Decorated Wall:
Once the desk itself was complete it was time for me to put some creativity into the wall behind it. If you look on Pinterest, every single craft table that was created seems to have a pegboard nearby. I couldn’t break with tradition, but I didn’t want to anger my landlord with the kind of hardware that’s necessary to support a pegboard. Especially a metal pegboard, which I had decided on, because I wanted to be able to attach magnetic items to the pegboard.
So, I attached the pegboard to the desk itself by drilling through the desktop and aligning the holes in the bottom of the pegboard. Then I used a smaller screw and washer to secure the board, so moving the desk later wouldn’t be an impossibility. I leaned the top of the pegboard back a bit and secured it with two screws into the wall. However, with how sturdy the pegboard already was I think the same impact could have been had by placing command strips on the back, but you live and you learn.
From there it was easy sailing. I added my thread racks on either side using command strips and filled the pegboard. I found a some pretty cool strawberry bookends at Target that were perfect for my Sew Strawberry Sweet branding that made an awesome addition to my desk.
And Then She Finally Showed Us the Darn Desk:
Well, enough talk… Here’s the finished product! Let me know what you think in the comments or if you have any questions on any part of the process. Anddddd there will be a video tour of my craft space that I’ll post on my YouTube in a bit here!