Saturday, March 17, 2012

Tutorial: Ironing Board For Crafting

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I whipped this crafting ironing board up in just over an hour. No more big ironing board and no more unstable tabletop ironing boards. The tabletop boards are too skinny to even work with. I chose one of the fabrics that coordinate with my sewing room, but any 100% cotton fabric would work. As for the bath towel, any old thing will work. See the horrible thing I found in the laundry room (a couple images down). I'm really happy with the way this board turned out.

1/4" plywood or luan
Old thick bath towel
3/4 yard of 44"/45" fabric (I used a med weight decorator fabric)
Thread to match fabric

General sewing supplies: needles, pins, scissors, ruler, sewing machine, iron, cutting mat & rotary cutter (optional)

NOTE: If you will be making your board a larger size than mine, take that into consideration when choosing fabric. With my board being 16" from top to bottom, this allows plenty of excess fabric to fold to the back. If making a much bigger board, you will need to choose a fabric that is bigger than 44/45 inches.

Cut your plywood to desired size. I had mine cut 16" x 23"  If you don't have the tools to cut the wood, your home store or a friend can do this for you.

Fold the old bath towel in half and lay your plywood on top with the bottom edge of plywood (the 23" long edge) at the fold of the towel. Cut the fabric about 1" away from the plywood along each side, and the upper edge.

TIP: This is something you will want to do outside because the little loops in the terrycloth will be all over the house. Be sure to shake it good after cutting. 

Leaving the towel folded, stitch up each side with a 3/4" seam allowance. Leave the top edge open. Take it back outside and cut away some of the seam allowance, shake again. This will reduce the bulk at the edges. 

Turn right side out and slip the board inside as if you were stuffing a pillowcase. I just slip stitched the open edge closed. I used large stitches with contrasting (heavy duty) thread so that I will be able to remove them quickly if I ever need to launder this piece. These stitches will never show.
Since different towels are different weights, or in the event that you cut your board a different size than I cut mine, wrap a tape measure around the board/towel along the widest edge, but don't pull tight. Mine measured 50" so I divided that by two and added an inch which means I'll be cutting my fabric 26" wide. You will be using a 1/2" seam allowance which will give the outer fabric a nice, snug fit.

With your fabric in half so that your selvages are meeting at the top, cut the fabric to your desired width. Mine is 26" wide which gives me a piece of fabric 26" x 45" when opened up.

 Fold in half with right sides together (selvages meeting at the top) and stitch each side, leaving the top open.

Trim away about 1/4" from the seam allowance to reduce bulk. You can finish the edge of your seam allowance if you like by running a zig-zag stitch along the edge you just trimmed.

Turn right side out and slip the covered board inside. Flip the excess fabric to the back.

I turned my edges in slightly and stitched the sides to the back of the board. This only took a few minutes and will be easy to remove the stitches when cleaning or replacing this outer fabric. You also have the option of attaching snaps, eye hooks, Velcro, or other fasteners if so desired.


  1. This is a great idea! I sure hate lugging the big ironing board out just for small things and crafts.

  2. Great tutorial! I've been using a tabletop -- but you are right, it is too small and wobbly for many projects.

  3. what a great idea. I always have to run down to the basement which is where I keep my ironing board. Something like this would save me all that running back and forth

  4. I've been wanting to make one of these forever and have just been too lazy! I so need one of these.

  5. I like that this can be made any size to fit your work area and the size of the projects you do most! Great idea!

  6. What a great idea. Love the fabric you chose.

  7. Nice! I just bought a table top ironing board and it can be a little unstable at times. As soon as this one fall apart, I'm making one of your ironing boards!

  8. I second Edi's comment about the versatility of this tutorial. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Great idea! Must have a go at making my own.

  10. Great idea! Must have a go at making my own.

  11. Great tutorial! I'd like to try and make one of these if I ever get back into sewing :)


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