20 May 2015

Pimp My Sewing Room! How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

Do you like the cover that came with your ironing board? Is it still clean, or has it got interfacing gunk stuck all over it like ours did (ssshhh!)? Vanessa here today – I recently recovered the ironing board at T&TB HQ in a gorgeous yellow fabric, and thought I’d share with you how to go about it. A nice and easy project that will make you smile whenever you press those seams!

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

You will need:

  • Ironing board
  • Enough fabric to cover it – medium weight cotton is ideal (the fabric I used is from Ray Stitch)
  • Matching thread
  • Heat protective wadding – or reuse the stuff that’s already on your ironing board, like I did
  • Bias binding – a bit longer than the circumference of your ironing board
  • String – a bit longer than the circumference of your ironing board
  • Medium-large safety pin
  • Sewing machine and basic tools, including a chalk pencil or washable pen
  • Optional: Pattern paper
  • Optional: About 40cm (15in) of 1cm (3/8in) wide elastic

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

Remove your current ironing board cover. Lay your ironing board onto your fabric (or pattern paper if you want to make another one for later) and draw around it, 5cm (2in) away from the edge.

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

Cut your marked shape out of the fabric. If you're adding new wadding, cut it to the exact size of the ironing board (I'm just going to add the stuff that's already on the board).

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

Open out the bias binding and press one of the short ends under about 1cm (3/8in), wrong sides together.

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

With one of the long sides of the binding opened out, pin it to the raw edge of the fabric, right sides together. With the short end still pressed under, start stitching the binding to the fabric together along the fold nearest the raw edge...

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

When you are about 2cm (1in) from where you began, stop stitching and cut your binding with about 4cm (1½in) to spare. Fold this end under, pin and press with your fingers, then stitch over the folded edge, guiding it under the needle carefully.

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

Press the binding away from the fabric, then press it towards the wrong side of the fabric, rolling the seam under slightly. Pin the binding to the fabric, then edgestitch approximately 2mm (1/8in) from the folded edge.

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover
How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

You should now have a little self enclosed tube running around the underside of your fabric. Attach a safety pin to one end of the string. Post it into the tube and using both hands to push and pull, guide it right the way around the casing until it pops out the other side – make sure the end of the string doesn’t vanish inside the tube!

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

And now you will now have something resembling a shower cap ☺

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

Again making sure neither end of the string vanishes back into the casing, distribute the gathers out until it takes the shape of your ironing board. Remember – more gathering = more curves. Position your ironing board inside the cover, with the wadding in between, then tighten the string until it fits snuggly around the base. Tie a double bow as tight as you can to secure.

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

For extra security, you can stitch a piece of elastic to either side of the cover to secure it – not essential, I added this as an afterthought.

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

Give your new ironing board an iron (not something I ever thought I would be suggesting people do, but as zen a task as any). You now have a beautiful, clean and un-scorched ironing board!

This project has given us the bug for tarting up more stuff around the studio, so look out for more posts in our ‘Pimp Your Sewing Room’ series!

PS. Have you seen we've got new dates for our sewing workshops? Come and brush up your skills at our studio in South London. (You can use this ironing board if you like!)

15 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tutorial! I actually have some fabric to do this sometime--my mom got me some pretty cotton for that very purpose a couple of Christmases ago--and the plain off-white cover that came on my ironing board has gotten a bit water-stained and dingy. It's just one of the things I haven't gotten around to yet, but this tutorial will certainly help to motivate me!

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  2. Ironing board covers are always surprisingly expensive I find, will make my own from now on! Are there some steps missing from that instructions though? Can't see where you insert/use the wadding, no mention of it after the materials list...

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    1. Oops, thanks for pointing that out, Mads! I've updated the post - you add the wadding when you place the board inside the cover :)

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  3. this brilliant,, thanks so much for your post!! my iron board could need a new cover and until now I was too lazy to think about it... so you're post come at the right time!! merci!!

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  4. I'd like to make one I can slip over the one that is there normally just for when I do interfacing as a sort of sacrificial cover to keep the real one clear of tacky stuff. Brilliant tutorial, thank you.

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  5. I've done this a couple of times for my full size ironing board. I used the old cover as the pattern. It's a lot easier than turning a great big wooden ironing board upside down and tracing around it. They can also look good with wide cotton tape in a contrast colour used as a visible casing. Ours is currently turquoise cotton gingham with dark red binding.

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  6. Fun project! I just saw someone else's cute ironing board cover the other day and wondered how easy it would be to make one for me - looks quick and easy!

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  7. great post! thanks! And very timely as I recently realised how much I hate my ugly ironing board cover, yet it is one of my most used pieces of furniture - it is always out, either for sewing purposes or just generally for putting things on!

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  8. What a timely blog post! I've been despairing over how grubby my current iron board cover looks. The wadding has pretty much worn through as well, ugh! Bookmarked this post for future reference :)

    By the way I've just finished sewing the pockets onto my first Coco dress...... I'm in love!!!

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  9. Such a pretty fabric choice for an ironing board cover! We just recovered ours with plain white...maybe when it's ready for a redo we'll go for a fun print like the yellow. :)

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  10. I need to make one for sure! I'm ashamed of my well used stained cover! Too much sewing recently has left it a bit sad.

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  11. The best investment I ever made was a thick piece of wool (think blanket weight) as the padding in the ironing board, with a second layer at the ends. You would need to make the cover a little wider and longer to hold it on (and the covers that come with are usually too small anyway), but it makes so much of ironing so much easier (iron shirts with the button placket face down, get more steam through seams, and so forth). You can often find it as wool batting for quilts, or reuse an old wool blanket.

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  12. It's fun to make your own ironing board cover especially since those available in the stores are so very ugly and low-quality. I want to helpfully point out that more padding/wadding is definitely in order here ... and on most ironing boards. As SJ Kurtz above suggested, thick wool is great for padding. Old towels work too. Just so long as the fibers are natural (to let moisture escape) and can take the heat. I usually just keep adding on top of my current cover/padding. No need to take it all apart.

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  13. This is brilliant I will definitely be giving it a go, sewing has taught me to make friends with my ironing board so it deserves some love ;-)

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  14. Thanks for posting this! I love it! But I'm a bit hesitant to start...
    How do you know if the fun printed fabric will bleed or not in use?

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