To the top of the cutting table[cutting table?:sample maker cutting table], glue a sheet of cork that's 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. Cover the entire cutting table with cork so you can pin directly into the surface of the table. Then, for a smoother surface and to protect the cork, cover the cutting table with plain brown paper[paper?:paper sample maker cutting machine]. Simply wrap the paper over and around the edges of the table, securing it underneath with tape. This paper can be periodically replaced when it gets torn or has too many punctures in it.
If you don't have the space to make a fabric cutting table a permanent fixture, try using a folding table, such as a card table. Keep a sheet of wallboard or fiberboard to place atop it. Be sure to cover the wallboard or fiberboard with either muslin or brown paper, and elevate the table with the use of wooden blocks.