Emma’s (Super Easy) DIY Sewing Desk

Emma's DIY sewing desk (via abeautifulmess.com)Emma's DIY sewing desk (via abeautifulmess.com) For the past month my poor sewing machine has been just sitting on the ground in my office. I’ve set it up at the dining room table twice in this time to make a few fabric napkins and hem some of my curtains. Although this worked fine, I really wanted to make a more permanent home for my little sewing machine. I’m not someone who sews ALL the time, but I have been getting into it more and more this past year, and one of my goals for 2016 is to sew a quilt—something I’ve never done before.

DIY sewing desk (via abeautifulmess.com) DIY sewing desk (via abeautifulmess.com) DIY sewing desk (via abeautifulmess.com) DIY sewing desk (via abeautifulmess.com)So I just felt that a little sewing desk was something that I needed in my life. And one afternoon last week I finally made it happen.

-two 36×20 inch boards (1 inch thick)
-three 3×20 inch boards (1 inch thick)*
-wood glue
four hair pin legs (28 inches tall)
-spray paint
-electric drill + wood screws
-fine sandpaper
-paint + paint brush

*As you can see, my larger boards that make up the top and bottom of the desk were already cut to the size I wanted. The three 3×20 inch boards were one long piece that I cut into my desired lengths myself, but you could also have them cut for you at the hardware store if you don’t own a power saw of any kind.

Put the desk top togetherStep One: Assemble the desk top. I used wood glue and clamps to put my desk together. Check your brand of wood glue for dry time directions.

(Please ignore my messy garage. I’m gonna get around to organizing that eventually, I swear!)

Attach legsStep Two: Clean and paint your legs. The hairpin legs I used were from my old wood pallet dining room table. When we retired that table, I removed the legs so I could use them on something else later. I didn’t really have anything in mind at the time, but hairpin legs aren’t cheap. So I knew I didn’t want to toss them. Honestly I prefer three prong hairpin legs to these two prong versions. But since I already had them, I figured I’d put them to good use anyway.

After being stored in our garage for well over a year, they had some pretty large rust spots in a few places. So I scrubbed them with a paste made from baking soda and water before I spray painted them gold for this project. If you buy your legs new, you likely won’t have to clean or paint them, but mine were getting reused. So I did.

Step Three: Attach the legs to the table top. Here’s where you will need to use a drill and wood screws. Make sure to use screws that are long enough to hold your legs securely in place, but not so long that they will stick out of your desk top.

Paint deskStep Four: Sand and paint your desk top. You may also want to seal with a semi or high gloss polyurethane. I left mine raw for now, but I may seal it later if it gets scuffy looking too quickly.

I added a 12×12 inch white lucite tray to one side of my desk for some easy, pull out storage. I already had this tray at my house, but originally it’s from West Elm (in case you’re curious).

DIY sewing desk (via abeautifulmess.com) DIY sewing desk (via abeautifulmess.com) Emma's DIY sewing desk (via abeautifulmess.com) This desk was seriously SO easy to make. It basically took me a few hours, including dry time for the wood glue and the paint. Very simple and I’m so happy with the results! Plus, since I already had the legs and the tray, the entire project only cost me about $34. Score! Thanks for letting me share. xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Janae Hardy and Emma Chapman.

  • It’s vintage, I just like to display pretty dresses in this spot (especially if I don’t plan to wear it for a while like this one since it’s more dressy for a special occasion).


  • Incredible DIY! Love this DIY so much. In a word just awesome. Thanks for sharing it with us. I really wanna try this.

  • Hey! I really love your blog guys!!!! I’m a huge argentinian graphic designer, now living in miami, fan!!!!
    i wanted to know the name of those yellow benches, can you please tell me how are they called?
    Thanks a lot!!!
    Happy holidays!

  • What a great little space!! I’ve just recently finished organizing my own office and it feels so great!

  • Love this idea!
    But my home is too small… I have my sewing machine in a wardrobe and put it in my kitchen table when i am going to use it.
    I will love to have space for this!

  • Love this! And I also really love the dress that is in these photos!
    Any chance of a tutorial on how to make it (and where the fabric is from because it is so beautiful and vibrant!)

  • Emma, I so jealous (like totally well jell), you’re wearing the cardi that Sharon Horgan wears in Catastrophe that’s had everyone in the UK going crazy (I’m crazy about her whole wardrobe actually!!). I don’t know if you’ll get to watch Catastrophe in the US but if you get the opportunity then watch it, you’ll be spitting your tea out with laughter. Google Catastrophe Sharon Horgan Wardrobe and you’ll see your gorge cardi in all her Sharon glory :))))) btw if you ever wanna sell it 😉 xxx

  • Emma, I always love your posts. I love this little desk too. As I plan a dream home with my someone special I love finding cute little projects like this to do together. xo

  • Such a great space! I have to be honest though, when I first saw that you had styled a cactus next to your sewing machine I was thinking, “wow, whoever styled this photo shoot has no idea what sewing involves!” Ha! Now I realize it’s your pin cushion! So cute.

  • Very cute but for me it’s much too small. The design is great, however, I’d go for some dimensions that allowed for me to spread out a little…nearly twice the size if your workroom space allows.

  • The legs turned out really good! Can´t believe you reuse them, they look like new.

  • love this diy! love that you don’t have to have power tools except a drill for it!!

  • Where are the hair pin legs from, if you don’t mind sharing? I haven’t found a source that sells them for less than the entire cost of the table!

  • Beautiful. But if you are going to sew a quilt, you are going to need a chair with a lot more support in the back area. Also I highly unrecommend starting with a crazy quilt.

  • What a lovely sewing space you’ve created! It’s wonderful to have a dedicated space, especially when working on larger projects like quilt making. Happy sewing!

  • Are you artists! We love your deco, your make-up, your fashion clothes, your photos, your recipes…congratulations for your work and Mery Christmas!!!


  • What are you using as the hooks in the peg board? love that you can hang stuff up so effortlessly and beautifully in plain sight

  • Love the legs on this. I would love to have a little place to sew!


  • That desk looks amazing, I definitely need one as well! I love the table legs!

  • Yes, there are some pretty cheap leg options at IKEA (online or if you live near a store). Hardware stores that sell lumber usually have some options too and you can paint them to your hearts desire. Also in our book, Happy Handmade Home, you can see we made a desk with saw horse legs and that was super inexpensive (and cute) as well.



  • That desk is so pretty, I love it. I really like the legs, they look so cool and unique. Great DIY <3

    Valentina from http://fashionwithvalentina.blogspot.com

  • What a lovely idea. I want one of these set up in my room, I love that the table is made from scratch!
    Lucy xoxo

  • This is exactly what I need. I have been doing the same thing as you. It is time to put my faithful sewing machine on it own desk. Thanks so much for sharing. Awesome sauce!!!

  • Such a cute DIY! My sewing table is actually DIY too, it’s two mini bookshelves and a tabletop from IKEA 😉

    Kristina does the Internets

  • I really like the simple construction of your desk. I love the dress on your dress form! Pretty please can you share the some info about it? The color, print, length, shape, neckline—everything about it is lovely!

  • That sounds amazing and I bet with the dark colors and galvanized steel it looks total glam. Perfect for a vanity. 😉


  • Completely in love with it!!!

  • I did the same thing but for a vanity with an open back so I could have hairdryers, straighteners etc. in the cubbie. I got mini galvanized bins from CB2 to hold makeup. I stained it dark and have the uncoated, darker hairpin legs. Love it!

  • This looks fab. I’ve been wanting to replace our desk with something similar but haven’t been able to find anything in my budget. May have to be a DIY now!


  • I love it! Its perfect and so simple!


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