Introduction: How to Re-cover an Ironing Board
I've had the same ironing board for about a decade now and recently I realized I really needed to change out the cover and padding.
If you're having problems with your iron dragging on your ironing board, or if you can feel the metal through the padding you should re-cover your ironing board too! :D
Keep reading to find out how I re-covered my ironing board - it should work for any ironing board you've got!
I'm super pleased with how it turned out. Ironing is not as much of a chore with nice new padding under the cover!
Step 1: What You'll Need:
- old ironing board with cover removed - keep it if in good shape!
- 2 yards fabric of choice (cotton is best)
- padding (lots of choice here - I'm using 2 pieces of low loft quilt batting)
- sewing machine
- cord / embroidery floss
- safety pin
I'm using a quilting cotton by Cotton & Steel for the cover.
As far as padding, you can use lots of different things:
- wool blankets
- quilt batting
I prefer quilt batting because I always have it around and you can use multiple layers easily to make a well padded board.
Whatever fabric and padding you choose, just make sure you can use it in a whole piece. If you have to sew muliple pieces of fabric or padding together to form one piece, the seam lines will cause bumps in the cover. This means you'll have to work a lot harding to get wrinkle free pieces!
Step 2: Prep the New Padding
Remove the old cover and set aside.
Place your padding on the floor and flip the ironing board face down onto it. I doubled over my low loft batting so I could cut and mark two layers at once.
Take a marker and go all the way around the edge of the ironing board.
If you're only doing one layer of padding, just cut along the line. If you're doing multiple layers, pin the layers together and cut outside the lines - we'll sew them together!
Step 3: Optional: Sew the Padding Together
If you're using multiple pieces of padding, it's a good idea to sew them together so you don't have any shifting.
Sew right on the line that you drew with the marker.
Once done, take out the pins and cut right outside the stitch line.
You can put the padding on the board frame now to use as a makeshift ironing board for the rest of the time. :D
Step 4: Get the Old Cover Ready
If your ironing board had a cover, now is the time to flatten it out!
Remove the string or elastic (you may need to cut it away) and place on the ironing board. Use your iron to make the cover as flat as possible.
I laid the cover on the floor and placed the ironing board on top to see how much overlap the cover had. For best results, you really want the new cover to overlap the edges of the board by 2.5 - 3 inches.
Step 5: Marking the New Cover Pattern
Iron the fabric for the new cover and lay it right side down on the floor.
Place the old cover OR the ironing board on top.
You can either pin the old cover to the fabric and cut around it (add additional seam allowance as needed - remember you want 2.5 - 3 inches of fabric all around the edges of the ironing board.) or lay the ironing board down and draw the proper seam allowance around it.
I added maybe .25 inches all around the old fabric cover and cut it out using pinking shears.
Step 6: Fold the Edges Over 1/4 Inch
We want to form a casing to pass a string through - this is how we'll keep the cover in place!
Set up the ironing board with the padding on top again and place the new cover on top. Fold over the edges by about 1/4 inch and press well with the iron.
This doesn't have to be perfect - just eyeball it!
Step 7: Fold the Edges Again by 3/4 Inch
Now you'll want to fold over the edges again! This time by about 3/4 inch.
This can get a little tricky - the corners are weird if you've never done this before. Try approaching the corners from different directions if you can't get them right the first time. You'll kinda pleat and fold over at the same time. Just make sure you aren't pleating too much - it'll make it hard to get the string through the casing!
I was pretty quick and sloppy with this - it's okay if you are too!
Step 8: Mark the Casing Opening
Take two pins and place them a couple inches apart in the center of the back of the cover.
This will mark where you won't sew - you want to leave the casing open here to insert the string. :)
Step 9: Sew the Casing
We'll be using a 1/8 inch seam allowance all around it.
Start at one edge of the marked opening and sew all the way around.
When you come to the pleats in the casing, your sewing machine may catch on them. If this happens, stop the machine with the needle down and raise the presser foot. Push the pleated casing back under the foot and continue sewing.
Continue to the other marked edge of the casing - remember to backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitching!
Step 10: Thread the Casing
I told myself I'd reuse the cord from the old cover, which didn't go so well. Turns out it wasn't long enough! I ended up replacing it with embroidery floss. You really want the cord/string to be about 12+ inches longer than the length of the outside edge of the board.
Tie or otherwise secure the cord or string to a small safety pin and close it.
Place the safety pin into the opening and start to thread it through.
Hold the pin by the back and push the casing onto it so it bunches. Then pinch the front of the pin and push the bunched casing off the back. Repeat until you reach the other end. The cover will bunch but we'll fix that!
I recommend safety pinning the cord to the opening once it's through - just until the covers been flattened out.
Step 11: Assemble and Enjoy!
Hold the ends of the cord and straighten out the cover so it's flat.
Place the padding onto the board. If you think it'll shift, you can stitch it down to the metal base using some thread and a needle. I did this to the pointy end - it's easy because of the open grating.
Now put the new cover on and use the strings to tighten it up and gather it. I used the old cord winder (see the last photo!) that came with the ironing board to keep them secure - you could knot it too!
You might also want to invest in some ironing board straps to keep the cover nicely in place. I just found out about them oddly enough! I bought some immediately. :D