Ironing Center for Under $10




Introduction: Ironing Center for Under $10

This is my FIRST "Instructable" that I want to share with all my sewing and quilting enthusiast friends! I just recently got married and moved. The room I use as a sewing/quilting area is also used as a spare bedroom, so space is very limited and needs to be "neat". I was using a standard ironing board, which was large and awkward to navigate from sewing table, to around bed to the board to iron every seam on a quilt block as its prepared. I had saw on Pinterest pins made from a TV snack table...but alas I didn't want to break apart a set, and wanted a larger ironing place....So, with thought and seeing a bookcase that my new hubby had sawn down, I had a vision. Don't all DIY projects start with this crazy vision of a completed masterpiece? We had this bookcase that was very tall that he had cut down into a smaller bookcase to fit in our office. I quickly grabbed the measuring tape and measured the castaway part. It was 36" from floor to ceiling! PERFECT height!! (if yours isn't, just measure and recut!)

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Step 1: Starting Bookcase

So, here is the beginning of my "masterpiece"! Its a sturdy particle board bookcase. You could also use an old dresser or table for the same purpose!

Step 2: Attaching New Top

Ok hubby will probably kill me for posting this pic of him, but what the hey....I had him cut a piece of scrap plywood that would overhang the top of the bookcase. It was 36" wide, which again fit perfectly for a yard of material! You might need to adjust your size to fit the repurposed furniture item you use! He clamped it down to hold it tight and using screws attached it securely. Now I know many women are saying "I could do that myself" which I probably could, but, hubby was being so helpful and think he was excited also to see this vision to completion! NOTE: On several pins of making an ironing center out of the TV trays, it said to drill holes in the top to allow for iron steam to escape...I thought this was unnecessary so skipped doing it. Go ahead and give that a whirl if you feel it important. I quilt mainly and so, do not use the steam function of my iron. Hubby rounded the corners and sanded them smooth for me also! What a SWELL guy!

Step 3: Painting Your Project

Again, I did not want to spend a large amount of money on this project, so I scoured the paint cabinet in the garage. (I LOVE playing in hubbies garage! so many tools, so little time!) I had a quart of leftover paint in a chocolate brown...Bingo! Now, I know that to be painted "perfect" I should have used a primer first, but since the bookcase had already been painted and honestly I was too excited to finish it, I (with a little help) propped it upside down on saw horses in the driveway. It was a sunny day, and would provide great ventilation. (make note, I did not use a drop cloth underneath, again in my haste to might consider this to avoid drops and spills on your driveway)

Step 4: Painting Finish

Above is a pic of the finish paint job...spiffy huh! I did NOT paint the plywood addition as I am going to cover this beautifully in my "vision". I brought my masterpiece into the house after it was dry of course to finish it.

Step 5: Batting Top

I did purchase "batting" to cover the top piece of plywood. This isn't your ordinary batting, it has a "metal" flaked finish to the top side. This is used for making potholders, etc, where heat is involved. Thought it was perfect for ironing. It is "low loft", so will provide a soft but hard surface. You do NOT want batting that is thick or "fluffy". You want to be able to firmly PRESS down with your iron to get crisp seams. To attach the batting I roughly measured it by laying it on top of the plywood and cut a couple of inches away. This would allow for pulling it to the underside. I then laid the batting, metal flake side down against my carpet and positioned the bookcase on top. I used a staple gun (don't you use this for everything!) and stapled the batting to the underside of the plywood piece. This is where those rounded edges come in SOOOO handy!

Step 6: Removable Cover

Whoot Whoot, its coming along!! of my hugest pet peeves is that normal ironing board covers are NOT washable (know this one from personal experience and well should have read the instructions before ripping open the package and throwing it away). I use starch when preparing my fabric to cut, and wanted to make sure that the cover I used could be washed and re-applied. I bought a yard of fabric (of course on clearance for $5.00) out of the home interior design department of my local fabric shop. I wanted something that would be cute of course, but also STURDY. Again I laid my cover fabric on top of the bookcase and using a washable/disappearing sewing marker, roughly traced around the plywood top and cut a couple inches out from marking. (See first pic)...then headed to my sewing machine. I turned under the edges to make a casement! Be sure to leave an opening for your tie! NOTE: you will need to make a vertical seam in your opening to be able to "tie". VIOLA...I inserted a piece of grosgrain ribbon as a the tie. I then put the completed fabric top on the plywood and pulled the ribbon tight. This took a couple of re-sewing adjustments of the casing to get it just perfect, as I again rushed and did not mark very good. When I finally got it tight around the edges and corners, I just tied it into a bow underneath. I made sure this was positioned on the back side.

Step 7: Awesome Attachments!!

Now, many of you may NOT have this awesome ironing board covered wire attachment just laying around. I did...had it for probably 5 years and never managed to hang it up anywhere! Guess "It" knew it was destined for a greater purpose! I quickly thought how awesome it would be attached to the side of the bookcase, would keep my iron and starch and water bottle handy and off of the surface! BINGO another brilliant idea. If you shop at Bed Bath and Beyond, Walmart or any home center store, I'm sure you can purchase me, its well worth it! I apologize that I do not have a pic of the electrical here, but had hubby attach a power strip to the bottom, also another ingenious attachment. The "other" side looked bare, and my symmetrical self thought, what a good place to vertically store all my quilting rulers! So, I took an eye hook and bent it out straight and screwed it into the side. (A coffee mug hook would work...I'm not sure what the "technical name" for these screw in pieces of hardware are called) Perfect!

Step 8: Finished Station!

As I said previously I had just moved, so I had several fabric lined office trays not being used. These are now on the selves holding previous sewing projects. Cute fabric boxes/containers or a unused crate works! The finished pic shows it a bit "messy" as I started piling in "stuff" I guess you could cover the front with a cute "curtain" but just gives me a reason to organize it better! After a couple of months of using, it has worked out perfect. It cost me under $10 and some time and effort to repurpose an item destined for the scrap heap. Upcycled! Love that new word! Again, if you are in need, look around at thrift stores, your home, or yard sales for unused tables, bookcases etc...YOU can do this!

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    4 Discussions

    WOW! What a great idea (lots of good ideas really). I quilt a lot and of course, nothing is close to where my ironing board is. I tire from all the running back and forth to get the things I need and then have to set it all off to the side of the iron or set it all on top of fabric totes. This is my next project when I can scout out an old book shelf or something. LC, you are the smartest quilter/seamstress I have come across. You have my vote for sure. : )


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Would love to see your end project...this really made me stop to look at things differently to repurpose! I've been using it almost 2 months now, and honestly was the best idea I've ever had! Thanks reikimaster5555

    What a great idea! I love the color and the fabric you picked for the top, it looks great and so much cuter than a regular old ironing board :)


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you "Danger", appreciate the wonderful comment!