How to Recover Your Old Ironing Board AND MAKE IT FABULOUS!

So, I find that I get a lot of joy from all of the things in my space being coordinated and colorful in some way. I’ve always liked the thought of “beautiful things work better” and sought to apply it to my work space and home whenever I can. When I’m out thrifting I’m always searching for bright glass jars or colorful containers that can help me in the eternal battle of organizing. Must be why I have an exorbitant amount of vintage tins floating around…

Actual image of me walking into a space that is colorful and happy.

Now, here’s a simple way to add a bit of personality and joy into your space by way of one of our most used tools during the sewing process: the ironing board! To outfit my studio when we were re-doing the space, naturally I had plans to hit up the magical lands of Ikea for tables and chairs (clean lines, affordable, well made, swoooon) and luckily while we were up there I snagged a few other important items for a functioning sewing studio. One of those things being a nice, sturdy and adjustable height ironing board.

flowers and colors weeeee!

Adjustable height is important, Jul? It is when you’re teaching super short 8-year-olds how to press their seams, my friend.

I bought the ironing board with full intentions to recover it’s slightly-too-thin padded top with a fabric that matches my space at Old Spool. Finally, like, 4 months later, I got around to this project will all in all took me about an hour to complete. Now every time I iron something I smile looking at the bright Cotton & Steel mod flowers that adorn my once Boring with a capital B ironing board.

The original Ikea Ironing board.

Here’s how you go about doing this yourself!

What you need:

  • An ironing board you wish to transform into a site so beautiful, mere mortals can’t look directly at it.
  • 2 yards Cotton Fabric. Quilting cotton is wonderfully affordable, comes in an array of prints and colors. Make sure to purchase
  • Cotton Batting. I used a cut from a twin sized package of Warm & Natural (*Cotton is important both as the covering fabric and the batting because it has a high melting point. I have heard of people using poly batting, but I like to be safe!)
  • a cord, ribbon or elastic between 1/4”-3/8” wide and long enough to go around the edge of your ironing board. I use a ribbon in this tutorial because it’s what I had around!
  • Chalk, Frixion Pen, Fabric Markers or something to mark fabric with.
  • Ruler or Tape Measure
  • Safety pin
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine, thread, pins.
  • *Optional is a layer of Insulbrite in addition to your batting layer, for added heat absorption.

Let’s Get Going:

  1. Iron your new covering fabric so it’s free of wrinkles. If you’re using cotton batting, feel free to iron it as as well to get the creases from being packaged out.
  2. Lay your fabric face down on a large work surface. Despite having a perfectly lovely large cutting table, I decided to work on the floor, try not to be like me if you can help it.
  3. Flip your ironing board over on top of the fabric, being mindful of fabric waste. I placed mine towards a corner with about 3 1/2” of a border.

4. Grab whatever you’re using to mark your fabric and your measuring device and measure out 3” around the entire ironing board, following it’s curves. The reasoning behind 3” is that we will be making a 1/2” casing for the cord, elastic or ribbon and that will give it 3” to fold around the edges and under the board. *If you are not using 1/4”-3/8” cording, you need to increase the added amount the the fold under to accommodate your cording.

5. Remove the ironing board and cut along the drawn line.

6. This step is optional, but I serged the edges of my new cover because we’re only turning it once. If you don’t have a serger you may also: bind the edges, pink them, or leave them raw. They won’t be handled often so they shouldn’t fray. This step is up to you!

7. Bring your new cover over to your old ironing board and press under a 1/2” channel for your cord/ribbon/elastic. Use plenty of steam and it should stick in place, but feel free to pin the fold as well.

8. Step on over to your sewing machine! Let’s get stitching! Beginning on one long straight end, sew the 1/2” casing down close to the inside edge. Leave a hole where you began, though, so we can get our cording through! You may come across some pleats where the ironing board curves, that’s ok! I grabbed a seam ripper to help me ease these guys under the presser foot. You won’t be able to see them, so embrace the imperfections!

9. Once you’ve stitch all the way around (and left a hole) grab your safety pin and cording. Thread the cording through the casing, leaving a tail at the beginning and end.

10. Grab that batting you’ve left aside until now and spread it out on your work surface. Again, flip the ironing board over and trace the shape plus 2” onto your batting. Cut on that line. This is so that the batting wraps around the edges of our ironing board, but not too much. If using Insulbrite, do the same.

11. At this point you may remove the original cover and batting layer. I, however, am lazy and did not. Also, I teach kiddos here and they tend to get intrefacing glue on the iron, which then ends up on the cover, so I wanted to know there was a back up in case a cover needed to be removed and washed/replaced.

12.Lay your batting on the cover and make sure it is nice and flat and centered on the board. I have a iron rest attachment on this iron that refuses to come off, so I have to work around it. I trimmed the batting to end right where the board ends so that I have enough room to pull my cover between the iron rest and the board.

13. Begin fitting your new cover over the batting, smoothing things out as you go. If using cording or ribbon, adjust the gathers around the board so that it fits snug. Tie a knot in your cording and cut the strings short so they don’t hang down and look at untidy. If you’re using elastic: A) pull until it is snug B) pin the elastic together C) take the cover back off, over to your machine D) Stitch elastic together E) Close hole F) return it to its new home on your ironing board.

Marvel at how cute your ironing board now looks and how little time that just took you to accomplish!

If you run into any issues or have any questions or comment, tell me below!

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.