DIY Network

How to Install a Sewing Nook and Keyboard Tray

No sewing corner is complete without a drop box for the sewing machine and keyboard tray under the computer.

More in Home Improvement

  • Time

    2 hours

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Prepare the Area

Trace around the sewing machine onto the countertop to give an outline of where to cut the counter. Drill holes in each corner with a drill to give the jigsaw an entry point (Image 1) and room to round each corner as you cut. Then, cut out an opening on the top of the counter for the sewing machine using a jigsaw in between the four drilled points (Image 2).

Step 2: Add the Hinges and Slide Bolts

Then, screw in some hinges that will allow the box to drop away and hide the sewing machine when it’s not being used (Image 1). Also, install two 3 1/2-inch barrel bolts (also called slide bolts) underneath the desktop. These are available in the hardware section of any home store. These work to hold the sewing machine in the "up" position and keep the machine from dropping down. Simply retract the bolts to drop the sewing machine. With the sewing machine in the "down" position, there is a separate hatch that fits directly into the hole to create a continuous counter top. This piece is stored underneath when not in use. Finally, router the edges for a smooth finish (Image 2).

Step 3: Drill in the Plywood for the Keyboard Drawer

To install a keyboard drawer, drill two pieces of plywood (approx. 1x3) vertically underneath one side of the desktop. Before actually drilling them into the countertop, install a standard cabinet glide to each piece. When installing, make sure each glide is facing towards the inside.

Step 4: Build the Rest of the Drawer

Measure out the distance between the two pieces of plywood and cut another piece to that measurement. Install the other part of the drawer glide onto either edge, and install underneath the countertop.