A Little Patchwork Table Tutorial

Most nights I stitch whilst sitting on the couch and most nights I end up dropping a needle, losing a paper piece section or having neck pain from hunching over.  However thanks to my husband and his creativity I now have a little patchwork table – a perfectly compact and portable sewing table which thanks to an adjustable board also means no more hunching over.

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I posted a photo on Instagram of the table he built and received lots of requests for a tutorial so here goes.

Materials and Tools Needed

For the little patchwork table, you’ll need some basic tools and materials, but it can vary depending on how you decide to make it. We kept it simple by using a couple of pre-made homeware items from ikea.  You can  make the table without using Ikea items, it might just take a little longer to make.


40 x 12mm, ~1500mm x Pine strip (This gets cut up to 2x200mm, 2x530mm, so any similar sized scraps of wood lying around will work, particularly for the longer pieces which are used to stabilise the bed tray)

75 x 35mm, 200mm Pine 

2x bolts, 7mm x 70mm

2x Wing nuts, 7mm

4x Steel washer, 7mm

2x Spring washers, 7mm

4 x 60mm screws

From Ikea:

APTITLIG Chopping board, bamboo (approx $4.99 AUD) – This is the ‘top board’

DJURA Bed tray, rubberwood (approx $14.99 AUD) – this is the ‘base’

DRAGAN 4-piece bathroom set, bamboo (approx $14.99 AUD) – these are the little wooden boxes attached on the base which I store my thread, paper pieces etc in

Tools used:

  • Carpenter’s square (for a 45 degree cut)
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood saw
  • Drill Bits
  • Drill
  • Pencil for marking
  • wood glue (PVA or similar)
  • clamps or vice

Putting it all together:

Strengthening the bed tray:

The base of the Ikea bed tray is pretty light, so use 2x ~530mm pine strip and glue* them underneath to provide some additional strength and stability. For a neat fit, cut the edges at ~ 15-20 degree angle so they fit into the edges underneath the tray nicely. Prior to gluing, line up one of these strips with the where the base of the adjustable arm will be fixed.

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Adjustable arm:

Cut the 40 x 12mm pine strips into two pieces, each 200mm long.

Sand the edges and corners smooth.

The length of the strips  can be varied according to how high you want the top board to be. Note that if you make the strips too long and the base too short, it will cause stability problems with the top board.


Cut the 75 x 35mm pine on a 45 degree angle starting at 100mm.

Sand the edges and corners smooth.

Due to the angle cut you’ll end up with one larger piece (this will become the ‘top’ piece of pine and attach to the top board) and one smaller piece (this will be the ‘bottom’ piece of pine and attach to the base). The 45 degree angle cut simply allows the pieces to sit together when the top deck is in the lowest position.

adjustable arm


Clamp the two 200mm strips to the two pieces of two larger pieces of pine (one strip either side about half way up the sides). You can adjust these a bit and see how the arm will raise and lower.


Drill two holes, one at each end, through all pieces of wood. Fit the bolts washers and wing nuts. Use a spring washer one each bolt. This assists with tensioning of the adjustable arms. 

Drill 2x small pilot holes for the bed tray and bottom piece of pine half way along the edge of the tray and close to the front edge. One of these holes should go through a pine strip previously placed underneath the bed tray.

Glue and screw the bottom piece of pine, half way along the edge of the tray and touching the front edge. Make sure you check that the pieces are the right way up!

Mark a centre line on the top deck and balance the top board onto the adjustable arm and move  to an appropriate position (generally the edge will be close to directly above the front edge of the base). 

Drill 2x small pilot holes nearer to the back and centre of the top board and top piece of pine (make sure the screws won’t be too close to the bottom piece of pine). You can use a larger drill bit to make sure the screws are counter sunk into the top deck. Glue and screw the top deck to the longer piece. 

Glue two of the smaller the storage boxes in an appropriate position. The smaller two fit perfectly at the front.

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When not in use you can fold down the base legs and the adjustable top board so it will store easily away while still keeping the wooden boxes secure.

If you end up making a little patchwork table and post a picture on Instagram make sure you use the hashtag #alittlepatchworktable so I can see your version.

Happy building and sewing!