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make a padded cutting table

LinaA | Posted in General Discussion on

I am looking for directions for covering a cutting table with padding and canvas, creating a pinnable surface.


  1. mem1 | | #1

    I just used an old woolen blanket and a sheet.The blanket wwas folded up so as to make a good pad thickness There are printed muslin sheets which you can get but I dont know where from. (I guess that you could use a good gingham and just mark the relvant lines on yourself.)I actually didnt attach my pad  to anything other thansitting it on my cutting table  as the weight of the banket kept it all quite stable . Its fantastic for cutting out on as the fabric doesnt move at all as its stabbed through the pattern and onto the pad . Its great for fabrics like silk an chiffon which move all over the place.

    1. roone | | #2

      To mem In order to have a pinnable padded surface that is still firm enough to cut upon without shifting your fabrics as you cut I might suggest wrapping a flannelette sheet around large ceiling tiles. I use them constantly when I do stain glass projects. Mind you I don't wrap them but you can pin and repin. In my opinion the flanelette sheet would provide just enough padding. Just my thought Karen

  2. Wunmismom | | #3

    Using the information found in Palmer and Pletsch"s book, "Painless Sewing", this is what I did to make an excellent pinable cutting surface:

    I bought a length of plywood and had it cut 36" by 54".
    I bought 2 yards of 100% cotton muslin (DO NOT PRE-SHRINK IT!)
    I gathered all of my old sheets and blankets. I cut them to size as I did the muslin leaving room for generous borders.
    Then I assembled plenty of heavy duty thumbtacks (a heavy duty staple gun will also work).
    I dressed comfortably and had an iced drink at my side and a towel to wipe the sweat from my brow.
    I got down on the floor and placed the muslin cloth on the floor. Smoothed it out.
    Then, I layered the old sheets and blankets on top of that until I got the thickness I wanted.
    After that, I placed the plywood on top. I re-cut the borders.
    I pulled the muslin tightly around the plywood, thumbtacking as I went
    and constantly lifting the plywood to check the underside.
    Then, I picked the whole thing up and put it on my ironing board.
    I then spritzed it with water in a spray bottle before ironing the surface dry. This causes the muslin to shrink and pull neatly and tightly around the plywood. Leave it a day or two to dry completely.

    This creats a PORTABLE CUTTING SURFACE that you can sit on top of your ironing board at will. Store it at the side of a wall or behind a door. It is not so heavy that you cannot move it around. You can use it for pressing and cutting, if you like.

    Also, you can put it on top of your regular cutting table when you need a pinable surface. At times I find that I need a hard surface so this portability is important for me. I store mine in back of my sewing cabinet.

    Happy sewing and God bless!

    1. mimi | | #4

      What a great idea!  I like the idea of using recyclable materials to make something new.


    2. LinaA | | #7

      This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks so much!

  3. DONNAKAYE | | #5

    I have posted this before but I can't remember where.  My mom had these in her sewing business:  Cover a piece of plywood with one or two layers of thick 100% wool Army blankets (available at surplus stores).  Then cover with a layer of medium-weight muslin.  Then get a gridded cloth cover from Cecilia Podolak (printed with 1" squares throughout) and, if necessary, sew two together for a bigger table (which I did for my drapery fabrication).  You can attach the underside layers with a staple gun or upholster tacks, whichever works best for you.  The gridded top layer should last for many, many years.  If you need to recover, you can just staple another gridded layer on top.  These tables are great for absolutely everything....

  4. notDusty | | #6

     LinaA ,

                   My wife is a Drapery and window covering seamstress with her own workroom and we made her a 60 " X 144 " table . We used 1" foam then covered that with cotton batting , we then covered and pulled tight the whole thing with canvas . If you can get a special pinning pad , that may also work under the canvas . The workroom supply house we use is called Rowley Co. in S. Carolina , a rather large supplier . Sorry about coming in so late on your post . We stapled the canvas down on the sides of the table frame.


    1. LinaA | | #8

      Thanks so much. All of this is really helpful!

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