Home, Sewing

IKEA! (and my 100th post!)

There’s a magical place not so far away that I make a pilgrimage to every year or so (though I’ve gotten to go TWICE this year; whoa!).  It’s a place filled with Swedish meatballs, Lingonberry jam, flat packed monstrosities, claustrophobia, and a scent that can only be identified by it’s name:  IKEA.


My big goal for this journey to Schaumburg?  A new cutting table!

Here’s my current cutting situation.  A folding table in the basement:

Cutting area before
Cutting table before
I left the mess from my Mini Wardrobe so you could see my piggy shame, just like my last post.  And this is after picking most of the scraps up along the way…

I only had two criteria for my new cutting table:

1.  Must fit my 3×5′ cutting mat
2.  Needs to be at least 36″ tall for ergonomic cutting (AKA fewer backaches).

As you can see, my current situation fits neither of my needs, but I’ve been making it work for the last few years.

My last visit to Ikea was with Mr. 5 in February to purchase decor for our wedding (which I will post about once we get our pro pics back…hopefully that will happen any day now) and I had planned to purchase the Norden Gateleg table (in birch; apparently it only comes in white now) and put giant casters on it:


The foldability, (perhaps I could use it IN my sewing room instead of the basement!), the storage; what’s not to like?  However, I somehow overlooked the fact that this table is only 30″ wide instead of 36″.  I went home disappointed.

A few months down the road, my friend Amanda texted that she was going to Ikea in the Twin Cities and I immediately responded with “I wanna go!”  A plan was then hatched for us to hit the nearer Ikea in Schaumburg, Illinois, which we did this past weekend.

So, I did some more thinking:  how else could I accomplish my cutting table goals?  I googled and found many, many tables that used two of the 2×2 Expedit (now Kallax) bookcases with legs for height, plus Ikea table tops for craft and cutting tables.  The only problem is, none of Ikea’s table tops  come 36″ wide  (except for their conference tables, which are way expensive and not attractive enough for the price; so not into that as a thrifty gal).


So then I thought:  plywood?  MDF?  Some bigass sheet of something to plop on top of those Kallaxes? (Kallaxi?)  Or maybe two narrower, longer Ikea tabletops joined together with a bracket?

Another interesting option I found was this table, the Norden table (cousin of the Norden Gateleg).  Not tall enough for ergonomics, but just barely wide enough.


So, I finally boiled it down to these three options:

1.  Kallax cube + legs + Large sheet of whatever
2.  Kallax cube + legs + two Ikea tabletops
3.  Norden table with bed risers

There were lots of pluses and minuses to both ideas, mostly related to stability and cost, but I got to ikea I saw this lovely and it was all over.  The Nordbyn table (plus 8″ bed risers, still to be purchased) will be my new cutting table:



It’s the same table as the Norden, but with a prettier finish (though, it’s hard to see the differences in the pictures).  Maybe this doesn’t matter for a cutting table, but it mattered in the moment when I was gazing into its wood.  (That’s what she said)

I’m looking forward to getting it put together, and up on those risers!  More to come on that.

I also picked up a few other things while we were there; some living room storage that matches the TV stand we picked up in February as well as a few pieces that I’m going to hack into a sort of mini mudroom near our garage.  Excited to see how that works out!  Amanda also got three pieces of furniture, including a great dressing table.  Here’s our haul:

Ikea bootyWe bought everything but the black plastic shoe rack on top.

This is what my Pontiac Vibe looked like all packed up:

UntitledLike a boss.

Because the boxes were so long, we had to put down all of the seats on the right side of the car and Amanda had to sit behind me and I “chauffeured” her home.  As we were getting settled in to begin our drive home, she had a special moment with another shopper who made eye contact and then laughed her ass off after seeing her in the back, surrounded by all things Ikea.


It was a good day.


*These thoughts are all my own and I was not compensated or sponsored by Ikea in any way.  Not that I would mind if I had been…Oh, Ikea, I <3 you.


13 thoughts on “IKEA! (and my 100th post!)”

  1. Ha! When I saw your post title I thought, oh, I should post the Jonathan Coulton song in a comment – you beat me to it! The rhyme of “norsemen” and “divorced men” gets me every time.
    I went through the exact. same. thought process. re: the Norden gateleg table (too short – casters! – no, too narrow, damn!) but I absolutely needed it to fold up occasionally to make room for the futon to pull out (sewing room=guest room). Luckily a family friend is a woodworker and he made me a tall and wide gateleg table from scratch! I’m glad you found a table you love too. Ikea is magical.

    1. Hahaha. Oh yes, Jonathan Coulton. Mr. 5 hadn’t heard the song before (gasp!) and also found the whole Norsemen/Divorced men thing pretty amusing. :D

      How awesome that your family friend made you a custom gateleg table! I really thought about making a table from scratch, (ala Ana White – love her!) but knew it would never get done because I have too many other interests. Plus, I would’ve needed to buy a table saw. I do love me some power tools, though.

  2. I’m completely envious that you will have a tall enough cutting table. Just, like, beyond.

    This post was also incredibly hilarious to read, between your way with words and the hijinks and the amazing photos (specifically the mustasche disguise for your plates and the clouds at the end). You did #100 proud, I think!

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