Published on July 30th, 2012 | by Jules Yap


Melltorp to Sewing Desk

Materials: Melltorp, Effektiv door.

Description: A sewing machine sitting on top of a desk isn’t the most ergonomic or comfortable. Hands are perched in the air to reach the sewing bed, kinda like The Thriller dance. Amy’s idea was to mount the Effectiv door panel below the surface of the desk and create an under table support for the Bernina. This would let the sewing bed sit flush to the desk.

Bolts were used to mount the panel so that it can be easily adjustable up and down to assure the surface was flat.

Here’s how it’s done:
1. Trace the outline of the sewing machine and sewing bed onto the MELLTORP table allowing slightly extra room for cords.

2. Use a jigsaw to cut it out.
3. Sand out the rough bits of the cut out with an orbital sander.
4. Mark out the holes for the bolts to mount the EFFEKTIV door below the desk.

5. Adjust the bolts up and down to make sure the sewing bed sat flush with the desk
6. Reinforce it all with nuts.

See step by step instructions & more photos of the sewing desk.

~ Amy Badskirt, Australia

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

20 Responses to Melltorp to Sewing Desk

  1. Adam says:

    What’s the gray bit around the hole?

  2. Tanna says:

    can you post a picture showing the power cord area? I want to see if you cut a rectangle or cut extra out to allow for the power cord.

  3. Lynn S. says:

    This is a fabulous page, so helpful. I bought the nuts and bolts today; I have a big piece of hardboard for the platform. I’m taking the curved oak dust guard off my antique Singer cabinet so I can get at the nuts. I guess I’ll have to allow the surface of my new Singer Heavy Duty (the only machine that still fits through the hole of these old cabinets) sit slightly above flush and then I’ll cut down an extra Olfa mat I have and cut a perfect hole for the base with a slit at the right so I can whip it off to take the machine out to use the arm.

    Thank you!

  4. Paul says:

    Where did you find the flat cover to fit around the machine?

  5. Anonymous says:

    The long Melltorp table was discontinued as well. “Unfortunately, IKEA has no current plans to reintroduce our discontinued 68 7/8″ MELLTORP tabletops” they write. Translation: IKEA’s future is in 4″x4″ plastic soap dishes.

  6. Anonymous says:

    thanks Amy for replying about IKEA ALEX. Got them. Love them. Thanks to you!


  7. Anonymous says:

    What are the dimensions of the Effektiv door that you used? I tried to search for Effektiv on the Ikea website; but apparently this line is discontinued. I really like the Melltorp/Alex combo and want to duplicate it. :)

  8. This would be so nice to have in my sewing room… I’ll have to get my husband to make me one. ;)

  9. Archangel says:

    hi the drawers to the left? Are they Ikea too and if so, do they have a name?> Are they expensive? what are they made of? Thanks. Great sewing area!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Very nice, I hope my wife did not check this blog in the next time. She has the same sewing machine and got almost the same desk last year, but not with this nice feature. Great work.

  11. Oh WOW. This is so professionally done! Love it, but don’t think I’ll try doing it myself. But it’s such a great idea. Wish I could do it myself!

  12. Brooke says:

    Very nice! If I didn’t have multiple machines that I switch between, I would seriously consider doing this myself! Would be extra convenient with a drop-in bobbin machine. (As it is, the Besta Burs desk works well for me so I can have two machines set up at the same time.)

  13. Anonymous says:

    It’s a nice setup if the machine’s user isn’t keen on using the free arm. I like how the cutting board was added on top of the Alex unit. I also like the chair!

    • Amy Gunson says:

      It’s a really simple solution for the free arm. I just pick up the machine and move it to the ALEX which is a great height for sewing. It makes so much more sense than raising the machine up to table height that’s uncomfortable to sew at. That way I get the best of both worlds. I have a large flatbed sewing setup for quilts and a smaller portable area for the free arm. I hope that makes sense. The desk itself is also quite large so it could also be a workspace for freearm sewing too.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Love this! I’ve just been considering getting back into sewing, but was thinking about the need for a better arrangement than a desk or table top station. This is ideal. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Anonymous says:

    I want it!

  16. mr_sunshine says:

    I like the chair. Where did you get it? Or is it a DIY?

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