Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ironing Board Makeover

I finally buckled down and finished ironing all of Tyler’s work clothes.  Have I ever mentioned how much I loath ironing?  Well, I do and to prove my point I will admit that it took me approximately one and a half months to iron maybe 15 shirts and 5 pairs of pants.  Ugh!

As I was ironing, I was once again reminded how much I hate my ironing board.  It’s just your basic Target model that I’ve had since college, but it’s seen better days.


The padding under the fabric is minimal and drives me crazy because it shifts all over (notice it peeking out the side there?) and leaves places where I’m ironing without it.

The fabric for some odd reason doesn’t even fit all the way around the board anymore (even though I’ve never washed it) and it will slide up the sides and bunch up when I pull fabric across it.

And one of the huge things I hate about my ironing board is it SQUEAKS… badly!  Every time I take it out and put it away I brace myself for something similar to nails on a chalkboard.

I hope you’re convinced now of my utter distain for this thing.  No wonder I hate ironing!

So after ironing what seemed like Tyler’s entire wardrobe I decided I’d had enough.  Marie and I took a trip to JoAnn’s and found some pretty fabric, plush batting and all the other essentials to complete the project.

Before we left for the store though, I did some research online to find out just how to go about constructing your own ironing board cover.  It seems there are a few different ways, some more simple than others.  With all the problems my current cover had I decided to go with instructions from this site, which seemed like a very sturdy, well constructed cover to me.  I wanted something that will last, not that I would have to change with the seasons.

So, here’s what I got:


1 3/4 yards of cotton fabric

1 yard of cotton batting (mine was 90” wide so I didn’t need the full 1 3/4 yards like the instructions say)

4 yards worth of extra wide double fold bias tape

4 yards worth of 3/8” elastic

2 buttons

thread for the sewing machine

I basically copied exactly what the website says but I’ll run you through the steps just so you can see what I did.


After I washed and dried both the fabric and the batting, I marked 2 1/2 inches around the ironing board and cut out the fabric.  Then, using the fabric as a template, I cut out the batting.


If you notice, I folded my batting over so it would be double the thickness.  I wanted my padding to be nice and plush.  One yard gave me just enough, and thank goodness because I would’ve been sad had I ended up with just not enough and couldn’t double it.  Next time (if there ever is one…) I’d get 1 1/4 yard of the batting to be on the safe side.


Next, I pinned the fabric to the batting so it wouldn’t slip when I stitched them together.


Side Note: In all the traveling and chaos from Christmastime I never blogged about my spankin’ new sewing machine my parents got me for my birthday.  Thanks Mom and Dad, I love it!

Ok, on with the progress…


Once I had pinned the pieces all together, I baste stitched them together along the edge, nothing specific, maybe a 1/4 inch inseam.


Then, I took my two pieces of bias tape and stitched them together to make it long enough to go around the cover.  Pressing the seam open so it would fold back up nicely.


Next, I found the middle of the short back end of the cover by folding it in half and marking it with a pin (see below), this is where you start sewing the bias tape to the cover.

I sewed the short side (I hope that makes sense) of the bias tape to the batting just along the first crease.  Lining the edge of the bias tape up to the edge of the batting.  I also folded over the edge of the tape where I started so it would have a nice finished edge when it was all done.  When I got all the way around I left about an inch of space without any bias tape to allow the elastic to come out and be tied together.


Then, I sewed my two pieces of elastic together haphazardly to make it long enough.


Starting where the elastic would come out the opening of bias tape, I lined the elastic up with the edge of the cover on the fabric side and wrapped the bias tape over the elastic and stitched it closed all the way around.  Being very careful not to stitch through the elastic or it wouldn’t stretch later.

There were a few places where I got very close to stitching through the elastic and in hindsight using a 1/4” wide elastic instead of 3/8” would have saved me a bit of headache.


After the elastic was all encased, I pulled it from the two openings to gather the binding so it would fit snuggly onto the ironing board.

The last step after fitting the cover to the ironing board was to sew the buttons onto the elastic so it wouldn’t be lost once it was untied.



Viola!  My new, and much improved, ironing board cover! Although I may not like ironing any more than I did before, at least I have a nice ironing board cover to look at that won’t give me grief.  Now all I need to do is fix the squeak!


P.S. Bravo if you’ve made it to the end, this post was long!


  1. Lynelle! I am SO impressed! It's beautiful!

  2. Lynelle! I SWEAR you have special powers ;^) How is it that you can conquer all that you attempt when it comes to cooking/baking/housewifery!? You are awesome. I'm sure (even though you don't like it) your ironing is great too. Maybe the desire to do it will come now that you have a cute ironing board cover?


  3. Ok. I LOVE this and I am SO inspired! I also hate ironing. DISDAIN ironing. Ugh. A very dear friend and mentor of mine suggests a nice, German-made Rowenta iron to remedy against such disdain. When we get our tax return, I'm going to get one, but until then - I'm going to try this out! I can't wait to go to the fabric store!
    Thanks for posting!