Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ironing Board Face Lift

A couple years ago my husband was laid off by his company in Tempe, AZ.  Did I mention it was the very day our fertility dr. released us from his care-finally pregnant after 7 years of paying doctors to make us a baby :0)  We ended up having to move in with his parents and struggle for nearly a year to find a job that could cover our bills and basic needs. When we moved I had to get rid of many things that just didn't fit on the truck.  My ironing board was in the mammoth pile left on the curb as our Uhaul Pensky drove away.
Finally, we found a job in Arizona and swiftly moved back to re-start life.    
My sweet friend found out I had been functioning without an ironing board and brought me this one.  I do not know why, I must have figured it wasn't in the budget, but I never bought a new cover.  As I have been blogging, I have gone to great lengths to not show this hideous cover in my photos.  If it wasn't avoidable, I would look for a less stained spot, move the project there, and then take the pic.  
Monday Mads and I took a trip to IKEA.  While there I discovered they sold covers for a mere $5!!!
We grabbed the bag and joyfully added it to the cart.
Sadly, when I got home and excitedly ripped open the bag, I put the cover in place only to discover it so didn't fit!!!.  Of course I had already ceremoniously tossed the old one in the trash can :0)
Apparently the Swedish ironing boards are not quite the same as ours :0o  

Now what...Guess it is time to make one of my own!
I hit the web and found a rather good tut HERE at "the purl bee".  After reading through I changed a few things, but got some very useful info from the post.  If you plan on using her tutorial, you should know that the materials are in a separate post.

Modified Materials List:
2yards of 100% cotton
one package of %100 cotton batting(crib size)
(note that Warm and Natural is not 100% cot. unless it says specifically)
4 yards of string

*Hint #1* When pre-washing your fabric, don't pre-wash the batting :0)
*Hint #2* Don't throw away your old cover until you have this cover made
-it makes it hard to iron the seams on your new one :0)
I went with the fabric I did because I knew I would be taking pictures of my projects on the board and I didn't want the cover so busy that you couldn't see the project.  Also, I tried to pick fabric that would hid a little scorching or watermarks so I can love it that much longer.

I skipped the step of making a pattern.  I just laid the batting, doubled over, on my cutting mat and placed the ironing board on top.  

Then I used my rotary cutter to cut the batting the same size and shape as the top of the board.

It should look something like this when you are done.

Carefully pick up the batting-I fold the sides toward the center to keep the layers from shifting, then picked it up.  Lay the fabric down on the cutting mat, doubled, then place the batting back down.  Center the batting on the fabric.  I ended up with about 4" on each side.  With 2 yards there were 10 extra inches of fabric left over.  If you don't like scraps lying around, you can get just 1 3/4 yards of fabric, but you might be cutting it close. 

Now, when figuring how much extra fabric I needed for the sides I measured the thickness of the board.  The tutorial recommends 2.5", I say no way!  I cut mine at 3" and kinda wish I would have cut it more like 4"  There are a couple spots it is barely over the bottom lip.

Use your rotary cutter again and trim the fabric to 3-4" beyond the batting.  Now, regular 42-45" fabric is just the right size when doubled to fit.  I did not cut the fabric along the long sides.  I only cut where the board began to taper in as I went towards the narrow tip.  I also cut the corners into curves so that they would gather neatly.  

Here is what I got.  
*NOTE* you will have to move your cutting mat, working on one end, moving it, then cutting the other end.  Don't forget to move your mat or you will end up cutting your table.
*NOTE #2* you can get away with only one layer of fabric if you want.  The sandwich thing is not necessary, I just figured you can't really buy less fabric, and now that mine is made, I am really loving the luxuriousness of the thick cover.

I decided last minute to quilt the top.  You don't have to.  My old cover was just placed on top of the foam underneath.  It would make it possible for you to make backup covers and not have to buy batting for each one.  Since I already pre-washed my batting (again, don't do :0) it broke apart a little and I wanted to make sure it all stayed together, thus, I quilted!

I pinned around the edge of the batting to hold that in place.

Next step, do a terrible job of machine quilting, then...

Iron over the edges twice so the fraying edges are inside.  Then sew the seam shut.  I always freak out a little with what is the correct way to sew strange lying/connecting areas.  Here is what my curve looked like at the top of the board.  I kinda just pleated the extras so that I could sew it shut.  Be certain when ironing this edge that you make it wide enough to fit a big safety pin through.

Here is a pic of the other end.  Make sure and leave an inch or two open to insert the string.

I didn't have any string so I used Jute.  I figure it will be very strong.  The last thing anyone wants is for the string to break and the whole cover to have to be re-strung.
Just in case you have never run string/elastic before, grab the biggest safety pin you have.  Either tie the string to the safety pin, as I did here, or if you have elastic, etc. slip the open end of the safety pin in the material and clip shut.  Then you are ready to run the string.  *This is an awesome method for replacing renegade drawstrings in pants or bags*  Push the pin through the opening as far as you can, then while holding on to the pin in the fabric, gently pull the bunched-up fabric so it is no longer bunched up.  Push the closed pin in the fabric as far as you can again, then holding the pin inside the fabric with one hand, pull the bunched up fabric with the other hand until the fabric it is not bunched up anymore, repeat, repeat, repeat.  This was the worst step of the whole project.  I did actually have the jute break off the pin.  I grabbed my seam ripper, cut a tiny hole in the stitching where the end of the jute was.  I pulled the jute out through the hole just enough to re-attach it to the pin, then went back in the same hole and continued on my tedious way.
It was well worth the wait... 
Just to remind you, the before... 
The after!!!
So much better!
Right away I made some little ties for a baby shower that is coming up.  I couldn't believe how lush and nice this cover was to iron on!!!  
So I say, go for it!!!  Replace that old cover with any fabric at the fabric store that catches your eye!  I finished this project in one hour, start to finish, while chasing my 2yr old :0)
You can too!


  1. Funny, I've been functioning with a ripped ironing board cover for years. Just last month, I saw some fabric that just screamed "CRAFT ROOM" to me, so I bought enough to cover the ironing board and make curtains. I was just going to wing it, but now, I'll look at the tutorial before I start.

    And, instead of just batting, I have this insulated batting that is sold for hot pads. I have some left over and will have to piece it in the middle, but that will work.

  2. Wow. You are amazing! It looks awesome!

  3. Oh, I so need to do this!! I loved your sharing al of the mistakes I am sure we would have made!! I am bookmarking this, the best compliment a blogger can get! This was a lot of work to blog all of these steps!

    Thank you!



Novelty Print Quilt Pattern

I have had a hard time finding good quilt patterns for novelty prints the past couple times I purchased them.  I made up this pattern so tha...