Monday, May 19, 2014

Easy Peasy DIY Cutting Table

A long time ago, I promised to show you my easy, peasy DIY cutting table.  It began life as an 8 foot pressed board banquet table.  You know the kind they used to make before using the molded plastic tops.  This one had an ugly wood grained contact paper surface -- nothing to look at, but great for adding extra tables when entertaining. Since it was always covered with a table cloth, the top didn't really matter.

Then one day after many uses, one of the legs broke.  Inspiration hit and the table legs were removed.  It would make a perfect desk for our computer with lots of extra space for other projects.  That first transformation included adding camel colored faux leather to the top wrapping it over the sides and adding leopard print ribbon to the edges with hammered brass upholstery tacks.  The table top set on two short bookcases and was the perfect height for that use.  And then we moved to another state and our needs changed.

We purchased a desk for the computer because I now needed a cutting table as the previous house had a perfect counter in the kitchen where I had been doing my rotary cutting. The new kitchen did not have an island or even a peninsula counter to use and it was too far from the studio anyway.

One day while browsing in Lowe's, I spotted some pipes intended for plumbing and knew they would make the perfect legs for a cutting table that would be the correct height for my 5'7" tall body.

So, here is how we made that former banquet table/desk into a cutting table.

The top had already been covered with the faux leather by taking it outside and using spray adhesive for the top and a staple gun to wrap it down the sides of the top. This also made a nice smooth top to use when designing with large sheets of paper.

The legs had already been removed as you can see by the lighter colored area on the bottom of the table top.

We attached flanges to the four corners of the table and the pipes were screwed into these. Make sure you have the right length of screw for this.  We used just slightly too long of ones and they poked through making slight bumps on top of the table.  Since they are not where I normally cut, I just left them as the bumps did not get in my way, but we really should have purchased shorter ones and replaced them.

Metal caps were attached to the bottom of each pipe so as not to ruin the carpet.

We repeated that four times making a very stable base for the cutting table.

The skirt is extra wide quilt backing fabric hemmed and stitched to shirring tape.  I made two panels so the curtains can be opened from the center front and back of the table. When I first attached the skirt, I used the same upholstery tacks as I had used before.  Then we moved across country again!

Since the skirt was taken off to move, all those tacks were taken out and I decided to do something different to attach it this time.  At first I used self adhesive Velcro tape on the edge of the table - the hook portion - but have found that it comes loose every Summer when my studio gets warm, so I recently stapled it all the way around so as not to have to keep pressing the Velcro back in place.

I stitched the loop part of the Velcro tape over the shirring tape used to gather the skirt. This makes the skirt easy to removed for cleaning when necessary.

The mismatched file cabinets stored beneath the skirt as well as all of the computer and design paper are completely hidden when the skirt is in place.

Though the file cabinets are completely functional, they are NOT pretty, so they need to be hidden!

So there you have it -- an easy DIY project that is practical and with the toile print gathered skirt feminine as well.  The skirt could be changed very easily to a more tailored look by putting pleats on the corners and using a solid fabric if that is more your taste.

By the way, this is the same toile print I used to make ironing board covers for my big board ironing board that I showed you here.  Hope you have enjoyed hearing about this DIY project.  If you don't happen to have a broken banquet table, you could use a piece of pressed board or a smooth hollow core door for the base or even plywood that is fairly thick.

Until Next Time,