How can I make a sewing bench/craft station using recycled stuff?

sewing-machineRegular readers of Recycle This (and my personal Twitter feed) may have spotted me talking about an impending house move for the last few months. To be specific, it took five months from our offer being accepted to getting the keys in our hands but the latter finally, FINALLY, happened last Friday afternoon.

We’ve not moved in yet because there is some damp-proofing work needed in our office and since we both largely work from home, it would be good (from logistical and breathing points of view) to have that sorted before we move over. We’re also using this short window to do other jobs that’ll be easier without us, all our stuff and cats there. Expect lots of “How can I…” style questions about house moving, renovations and decorating from me over the next few weeks ;)

First up, I’d like to make a sewing table/bench. There is, wonderfully, enough space for me to have dedicated craft station in the spare room for sewing etc – no more having to use the floor for sewing and pattern cutting, joy!

I think it would be good to have a drop-leaf/expandable table style worktop so it might be worth keeping an eye out for an old/broken dining table for that. Someone has also suggested covering a worksurface with lino/vinyl floor covering to protect it so I guess I should keep an eye out for that too. I already use some old (skip-dived) CD shelves for yarn and am tempted to yoink the shoe rack John doesn’t use for instant shelving – two layers of shoeboxes or ice-cream tubs for holding stuff.

Any other suggestions for useful features or things to make it with? What have you used? What about for storage of those countless tools and random supplies?

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8 Responses to “How can I make a sewing bench/craft station using recycled stuff?”


  1. Myrtle May says:

    What about using an old 70′s style door for the table top? You know the flat ones, there are ALWAYS some in skips! The legs are a bit more problematic, since you need it to be sturdy, but you might be lucky
    & find something in a skip.

    • louisa says:

      Doors for table tops – great idea! We have to dismantle a fitted wardrobe in the office for the damp proofing stuff so I can use those doors.

      Now for some legs…

  2. calgary says:

    Use file cabinets from the second hand store instead of legs – the extra closed storage is great.

  3. Alice says:

    You can never have enough shoe boxes – most shoe shops will give you them if you ask nicely, they always seem to have spares.

    I tend to use normal shelving and then stack either wooden boxes or shoe boxes on them to hold small stuff or keep all related things for a particular project together.

    This is dead versitile too, as you can easily tip stuff into a bigger or smaller box if the stuff you have changes

  4. Mary Horesh says:

    There are two ideas which are not entirely based on reuse/recycling but if you can collect together old bookcases and chest of drawers, these can be used as inspiration.

    Find two IKEA billy bookcases (well any bookcases) this is a great idea http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Ikeahacker/~3/A7mEG4LBaK4/cozy-workstation-for-tiny-alcove.html

    Another great one crafting station was http://www.craftycrafty.tv/2009/09/dream_workspaces_june_at_noons.html

  5. ncquiltmom says:

    I recycled an old sewing cabinet from a thrift store. I converted it to hold my new electronic machine. Here is a link to my ehow article.
    http://www.ehow.com/how_5395531_convert-hold-new-sewing-machine.html

  6. glitterpixie says:

    i have just recently re-done my craft corner. i bought a used magnetic knife holder from ebay for pence – perfect for storing scissors, needles – anything magnetic, particularly useful while in the middle of a project so you don’t loose the tools you need.

    jam jars are also great for storing buttons, sequins, beads etc. you can glue or screw the lids onto the underside of a shelf and then screw the jars on once they are full.

  7. What a great idea to make a work station out of recycled materials. These are some really good suggestions. Thanks for posting.



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