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Quick and Easy Ironing Board Cover

November 6, 2011

About a year and a half ago, I moved into a third-floor apartment with plenty of room for me and my crazy cat, Fitzy.  The main draw for me was not the beautiful hardwood floors, or the dishwasher (though that is a BIG plus)–it was the fact that I’d have a room dedicated exclusively to sewing that I could keep closed off from kitty shenanigans.  Up until a few months ago, the only furnishings in the room were a tall bookcase (to store quilting fabrics, craft books, and patterns), a Lack coffee table from IKEA in the corner, and a $20 table (also from IKEA) to hold my sewing machine and rotary cutter mat.  I still don’t have a great chair in there–I’m using one of the chairs from my dining room.  One of my ongoing tasks has been to decorate the sewing room, and a few months ago when I started dedicating more energy to the task, I decided that I wanted the room to remind me of all my lazy days spent at the beach.  My ironing board was in sorry need of recovering, so today I sat down and made a new cover with some fabric I purchased yesterday.

Project:  Ironing board cover

Time commitment:  Little–this took me about 45 minutes, including taking the pictures.

Materials: your ironing board

  • 1 1/2 yards fabric of your choice (I used a Matisse-inspired fabric by Alexander Henry)
  • 1 1/2 yards quilt batting (optional)
  • a ruler
  • a pencil
  • coordinating thread
  • a safety pin
  • a piece of string or narrow elastic longer than the circumference of your ironing board (NERD ALERT: “circumference” means the distance around.  It is NOT Pi times radius squared)

Step 1:  Take the old cover off of your ironing board.  Wash it to save as a backup, or, if it’s as manky as mine was, throw it out completely.  I saved the string that was holding it on and the batting underneath for use later.


Step 2:  Lay your fabric out on the floor, wrong-side up, and lay your ironing board on top of it.  If your ironing board is longer than a standard one, you may need 2 yards of fabric.  Trace the shape made by the ironing board with a pencil.  (Note: if your ironing board didn’t come with extra batting or your old cover was already padded, you will need to do this step with quilt batting, too).


Step 3:  Using your ruler, on your fabric mark 3 inches away from your original line on all sides.  Then cut this new shape out.  You’re making the ironing board shape bigger so you can fold the fabric underneath and so you have a lip where your string will go.  If you needed batting, you don’t have to do this step–just cut out the shape you traced in step 2.


Step 4:  Using your ruler as a guide, fold an inch of the fabric over so that the right side shows and pin/iron the crease you made.  It may be bumpy around the curves, but it won’t show in the finished project.  When you’re done, all around the outside there should be a 1-inch lip of fabric (this will serve as the holder for your elastic or drawstring.



Step 5:  Sew a 1/4″ seam all around the lip you just created, close to the raw edge (not the folded edge) of the fabric.  Again, there may be bumps and creases, but these won’t show.  Leave a 2-3″ gap in the stitches–this is where you’ll put the drawstring.  I put this gap in the front, since that’s where it was on my old cover.


Step 6:  Take your string, tie a knot in it, and place the safety pin through this knot and close it.  Then put the safety pin into the gap in the stitching you made from the previous step and work it through the entire length of the lip you sewed.  You’re threading the drawstring, and should do it slowly and carefully (the first time, my safety pin ripped through the string and I had to start over).  Don’t let the other end of the string (non-safety-pin end) disappear into the lip, or you’ll have to start over.  When you’re done, you should have a bunchy-looking cover with string coming out of both sides of the stitching gap.





Step 7:  Put the cover over the ironing board (make sure your batting is on there first), evening out the bunches in the drawstring.  Make sure everything lies flat so you have a nice ironing surface, then pull the drawstring tight and tie off in a bow.  Congratulations–you’ve added a bit of pizzazz and flair to your sewing room!



If anybody makes one of these, I’d love to see a picture.  Thanks to eHow for giving me some inspiration in creating this!


~Love and Stitches,

Miss Pascal

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