Hey all, Amy here. So we have been busy, busy, bees around the studio getting everything prepped for our latest sewing workshop video shoot! Last week I was tasked with making another ironing board we could use on camera(Heather made a bigger one using this same technique when they moved into the studio). We thought we would show you the simple steps because having the ability to make an inexpensive, custom size ironing board for whatever your sewing set-up might be is one of those easy things that makes a huge difference. For one thing, you can use an already existing work surface that might serve other purposes (a counter top, desk, etc.) and allows you to free up a ton of floor space an ironing board would otherwise occupy. I also found once I was used to ironing on a larger surface (I have one of these at home as well) I could not go back. A regular ironing board seems mini by comparison! So start with where you think you will most likely use your board, and then measure your wood and fabric. Nothing about this technique is fixed, so this is truly a custom situation.
- 3/4" plywood (you could use thicker but it will be heavier and therefore harder to move).
- Fluffy polyester batting, the thicker the better. If you only have a thinner kind, just use two layers. It should be at least 2" bigger than your board on all sides.
- Cotton batting 4" bigger than board on all sides.
- Sturdy woven cotton fabric 4-6" bigger than board on all sides. Canvas is ideal.
- Staple gun
- Heavy duty staples
- Fabric shears
Harry got pretty curious to know what we were up to and assumed we were making him a bed! He was asleep on here two minutes after I wandered away.
Go ahead and line up the polyester batting with your board. I recommend pulling the extra over to one side so you can cut along the edge of the board by feel. You just want enough of the first layer that when you pull it taut it will just wrap around the corners, but not so much there is a lot of bulk on the wrong side.
Repeat this step with the cotton batting leaving a little more extra than the poly layer. You want to be able to get your staples through this layer.
Alexis was my other set of hands for this project. Particularly for the stapling bit, you want someone to help hold it tight.
Go ahead and put a few staples in your batting layer just to hold it evenly. We will reinforce this later, it's just to keep things from slipping around.
I included this photo because, "teamwork makes the dream work".
Here Alexis is showing us a good way to deal with the corners. You want them as flat as possible to get your staples into as much wood as you can. You could cut a corner out of the batting if you have too much bulk.
Next you will fold the cotton fabric over a few times so you are stapling into more than one layer of fabric. This will make the fabric less likely to rip. You want as many staples as possible to disperse the strain. Stop stapling before you get to the corners. Start with whatever side you like and then do the opposite. We did short side, short side, long side, long side. This way you can pull it super tight in between sides and distribute the fabric evenly.
To start the long side, fold the corner and then continue to the other corner.
It was such a busy day, Alexis immediately had to use the board to prep some fabric...multitasking!
Here it is in situ on the set!
So there you have it! Your own custom ironing board! Had we not been making this for a shoot we probably would have chosen some more fun fabric. The great thing about this idea is after you get some marks on your board, or a little tired of it, you can staple on another layer of fabric and it's good as new! Who doesn't have fabric in their stash for that??!