Illuminating a Sewing Table

Sometimes you find a beautiful thing but is not quite right. A neighbor who was moving away left a vintage sewing table (circa 1960s) on the side of the road. It was solid wood and sturdy (and very heavy!) but it had a hole in the top where the machine had been. I lugged it home with the help of the other moms at the bus-stop, and turned it into a light table.

Project: Revamp a sewing table into a light table.

First router an edge at the top to create a ledge where the sewing machine used to be. Then paint the table whatever colour you like; I chose to cover the faux-antique paint-splattered surface with a soft white. To refinish the handles, you could opt to get them professionally coated with another metal, but that was too costly for me. I bought a kit to paint the fake bronze handles gray, with a wash of charcoal gray over top that settled into the creases. Then make a template of the hole and use it to cut some modern “velum” paper. Have some tempered glass made to fit, using the same template. Layer the paper and the glass. This will help diffuse the light. My husband originally wired up some fluorescent lights and placed them on a little shelf he installed below the glass. We have since converted this to an LED light strip that works much better.

Now you have a light table perfect for crafting. I cover the glass with a cutting mat most of the time, to protect the glass when not in use.