When I started planning my new sewing studio, I envisioned an bright, open, airy space that was well-organized and had a great cutting table. To be honest, this is the same vision I had for my previous studio, which had everything except the perfect table. Since my new space was a little smaller and I needed it to be versatile, I knew I wanted a gateleg pattern table.
The easiest thing to do would be buy one, but as usual, I’m too picky for my own good. I wanted a table with both form and function; it needed to look good, be standing height, and have storage. Unfortunately, there weren’t many options that fit the bill.
This gateleg table from Sullivan* ($143-$260) has an adjustable height, which is nice, but it’s pretty bare bones and unattractive. At just shy of 36″ wide, it’s way too narrow, and there were complaints that it is very wobbly.
This craft table at Crate and Barrel ($349)is a decent length, but with a height of less than 30″, it is better suited to sitting than standing.
This Martha Stewart craft table is the most attractive of the bunch, but at $499 I’d really want better storage than a few open shelves. Plus, at 31″, it’s too low for my tastes, and 40″ is still too narrow.
In the end, I decided to tackle the project myself. My woodworking skills are limited, but it seemed simple enough. Of course, it ended up being far more complex in the end, with a few detours and redos, but I’m thrilled with my new gateleg pattern table.
The table is 38″ tall, which is a smidge tall (more on that later), but still a good standing desk height for me. It is 48″ wide, which is wide enough for standard fabric widths, or wider fabrics if folded. Closed, it is a mere 18″ wide, which is great for keeping the room open and inviting when not being used as a workroom. With two leaves, it can open to a length of up to 6 feet, which is perfect for larger projects. It’s on casters, so it can quickly be moved around the room as needed.
Each end is open and houses an Ikea 6-drawer unit for tool storage. One end holds patternmaking supplies like pencils, paper scissors, my beloved tin snips for cutting oak tag patterns*, pushpins, corset supplies, grommet setter, and other tools. The other end holds sewing supplies, like my fabric scissors, chalk, Frixion pens*, basting thread, and special items like my favorite quilting pins* that I don’t leave out for public use. 12 drawers seemed like too much, but somehow I managed to fill every one! There is also a shelf to hold long items, like my rulers and antique irons that I use as pattern weights.
The top is 5/8″ plywood covered in 1/2″ cork* so I can pin patterns and fabrics directly to the table. Since I don’t have a table saw or a truck, I had Home Depot make the cuts for the plywood top and the beadboard siding when I bought it. The cuts weren’t perfect, but they worked. Next time I’d want to rent a table saw so I could have more control over the cuts and the precision of the measurements.
Both the trim and the cork were stained with Watco Danish Oil*, in a mix of Cherry and Dark Walnut. I broke up the boring expanse of brown with a quatrefoil stencil and some Martha Stewart decor paint in Linen*. The table and legs are fitted with copper casters from Lowe’s.
In the end, I didn’t save any money, but I got exactly the table I wanted. It’s perfect for my studio aesthetic as well as wonderfully functional. It beats any of the ready to purchase options. A full list of supplies is below. Scroll past the supply list to see some construction photos.
Supplies for Gateleg Pattern Table:
- Ikea drawer units, $78.00
- Beadboard, $21.97
- Plywood, $29.17
- Finish grade 2×2, $18.36
- Finish grade 1×3, $17.66
- Plain 1×3, $19.90
- Lumber – 1×2, $2.47
- Narrow moulding, $10.76
- Wide moulding, $20.07
- Edge tape, $6.78
- Plain hinges, $3.49
- Curvy bronze hinges, $6.54
- Casters, $13.93
- Screws, $4.97
- Adhesive, $2.78
- Cork, $88
- Foam core, $25
- Jig Kit for screw holes, $29.97
- Paint, on hand
- Brushes, $2.42
Grand total: $399.24
The basic table was framed out, leaving space to fit the Ikea drawer units I had purchased.
This pocket jig made the job so much easier, and became my new favorite tool.
The outside was covered in panels of beadboard. The gatelegs were constructed from 2×2 lumber and fitted with hinges and casters.
I originally ordered 1/2″ thick cork, but they shipped 3/8″. Instead of dealing with a return (plus, I was impatient to use my table), I went with it and used a layer of foam core underneath to create the added thickness. My favorite push pins are 1/2″ long, so I needed the depth before I hit the plywood of the top. To cover all the edges, I used maple veneer* that I then stained to match the table.
I also stained the cork, which helped it blend with the table, but took a LOT of stain.
The stencil adds the perfect decorative element and has the bonus of being a great product backdrop. I’m so glad I made that choice!
*Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you choose to make a purchase. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.