Make your own ironing board that fits anywhere

Guestpost by Kim on Apr 12th

I hate ironing. Don't we all? I've avoided buying everyday clothes that have to be ironed because, ultimately, they end up at the back of the closet. It's also tough when you're used to apartment dwelling without enough space for a full-sized ironing board. A few years back I bought an upright steamer which made the situation a little easier to manage. However, with frequent sputtering, I think the life of my steamer is coming to an end. So I needed a new solution. I immediately thought of making a new ironing board. I could control the size and had a lot of the materials on hand already.

First things first, I needed slab of wood. I set out to Home Depot where I found a 2 ft. x 4 ft. board and had them cut it down to 2 ft. x 3 ft.

The rest of the materials needed:

  • 2 ft. x 3 ft. piece of plywood (1/2 in. thick)
  • 1 piece needled cotton batting, folded (88 in. x 124 in.)
  • 1 piece of cotton muslin (34 in. x 46 in.)
  • 1 piece of top fabric (34 in. x 46 in.)
  • 1 roll grip liner
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun

I contemplated batting options for a long time in the fabric store. I started with loose batting but thought it might clump and wasn't sure if it was heat safe. I looked at felt too but didn't like the texture. Finally I found this natural needled cotton and it was perfect. I bought about 3.5 yards and used it folded in half.

To start, spread out the batting on a smooth surface, lay the wood on top, pull tight, and begin to staple the edges down.

Staple down two opposite sides first and then the other two sides. I had a lot of excess fabric (which I recommend) so I pulled the cotton very tight and started with a middle staple to hold everything in place.

The excess fabric is only problematic at the corners. My solution was to cut a square out, tuck the straight edge into the board, fold the corner back over, and staple the heck out of it. I hope this makes sense and that these pictures help to visualize what I'm talking about.

When the batting is done, flip the board over to make sure everything is smooth. Pulling the fabric tight as you go will really help prevent wrinkles or bunching.

Next, take your cotton muslin layer, lay it out flat, pull tight, and staple down over the batting. I wanted a thin muslin layer between the batting and top fabric just to provide extra support and structure.

Finally, take your top fabric layer and repeat the same steps again (lay it out flat, pull tight, staple down, and check your work). I had some extra fabric from my DIY ottoman covers project and it worked perfectly here because it is heavy and very sturdy.

The final step is to line the back of the ironing board with grip liner. You can omit this step if you want. I decided to do it because I will be using my new ironing board on top of our dining room table and I wanted to avoid it sliding around or scratching it up. The grip liner is amazing – the board will not budge. The grip liner also doubles as an extra step to cover up all the staples on the back of the board.

I rolled out the liner and measured and cut two panels to cover the back. I cut enough to cover the back and to go up the 1/2 in" edge on both sides.

I started with the edge, stapling the liner up the side, making sure the panel stayed flat.

I used a double staple in the corners for extra hold and to secure down any corner fabric that had peeked out.

I repeated the same steps for the panels as I did with the fabric – pull tight, staple down, and smooth as you go. I also used 3 staples in the center of each panel for extra security.

The finished product – In action!

The best part is that I already had the perfect place to store my new flat ironing board. There is a 5-6 inch gap between the washing machine and the wall in our laundry area. The ironing board is the perfect fit and is right next to the dining room table. Easy access!

Imagine taking this project to the next level with custom fabric! Ooh

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About Kim

I’m a lady who enjoys photography, cooking, football, long drives with the windows down, biking, This American Life, cereal, going to shows, scarves, kettlecorn, Gwen Stefani, pilates, cheesy pop punk, my nephews, my cat Reggie, and my home: Boston.