Tuesday, September 02, 2014

one way to make an ironing board cover

Over the weekend I recovered my ironing board. It seems like I always wait so long, and then when I finally get around to it, I kick myself for putting it off. (Same thing happens with my dull rotary cutter blades. I'm sure I'm not the only one, right?)
This is the before...just for a point of reference. It was actually worse in person. (Gross, I know.) Anyway....I know I could go out and just buy a new one, but they never fit quite right and the fabric selection is usually lame. I had plenty of supplies on hand (ahem) and it was a good Saturday morning project. I'm quite pleased with the results! I took photos along the way, so I could share the instructions with you, too.

Supplies needed:
-1 3/4 yards fabric** (I used quilting cotton, but a home dec or light canvas weight would also work)
-scrap batting (enough for 2-3 layers)
-4 1/2 yards of double fold binding*
-3 yards of 1/4" elastic
-basic sewing supplies

*double fold binding is basic quilt binding. I cut my strips 2.5" wide, joined them together end to end, then folded it in half lengthwise and pressed. If you need more extensive binding instructions, please see this tutorial.

**the fabric shown is Fly a Kite by October Afternoon for Riley Blake (2012)

Instructions:
Cut a layer (or two) of batting using your ironing board top as a template. I used two layers because while my batting is lofty, it's not super thick and I want my ironing board to be nicely padded.
This is a great way to use up batting scraps! If you have smaller batting pieces, simply zig zag a few together to make the pieces longer.
Cut another layer of batting, but this time let it drape off the sides a few inches. Set the batting aside.
Take the main fabric and cut it lengthwise, then trim off the selvage edge. It should measure about 20" x 63". You can save the other half for another ironing board cover some day, or you could share it with a friend.
Place the fabric on the floor, right side down and then place the ironing board on top of the fabric.
Measure and mark  2.75" from all of the edges of the ironing board. By the way, I love my Clover fine tip water soluble marker. It works perfectly for this!
Cut it out using a sharp scissors/and or a rotary cutter. (I did some of each.)
Now we will add the binding. Take the double fold binding strip and pin it to the bottom edge of the main fabric. In the photo the top pin is near the center mark. The bottom pin is where you will start sewing.
Use a 1/4" seam allowance and sew the binding to the main fabric. Take your time going around the curved edges. You will need to leave a tail at the beginning and the end of the piece. Once you sew around the final curve, back stitch and cut the threads.
You should have a loose tail at each end.
Trim the ends so they overlap by 1/2". Open up the strips, then sew the ends together using a 1/4" seam. Finger press the seams open.
Fold the strip in half once again. Take it back to the sewing machine and stitch the remaining section down using a 1/4" seam allowance. The binding strip should now be fully attached to the main fabric.
Finger press the edges, rolling the fabric back and forth to make a nice crisp edge.
Top stitch the entire piece.
Since your are sewing around curves, the binding will kind of stand up in certain places. It's ok. No worries!
Working on the bottom edge once again, place two pins about 2" apart. This will be the starting and stopping points of the second seam.
Sew on the inside edge of the binding. This will create a casing for the elastic. Back stitch at the beginning and the end of the seams.
When you are sewing, you will have to gather/pleat around the curves. It doesn't have to look pretty, since it will be hidden inside. Just make sure that you sew several small pleats as needed, not one big unruly one.
Use a safety pin to thread the elastic through the casing. This will take awhile.
 Gather the fabric as you work.
Once you get the elastic all the way though, distribute the gathers as evenly as possible. Make sure neither of the tail ends retract into the casing.
Place the layers of batting on top of the ironing board, then place the cover over all the layers. Tie the elastic and trim the excess tail ends, if necessary.
Tuck the ends inside. This is my favorite part about making my own. No awkward Velcro strips, no loose ends or strings dangling. Everything is neat and tidy and hidden. Hurray!
It looks pretty dandy on the back....and on the front!
I think it's time to break it in! The kids started school today, so it's perfect timing.

Speaking of my kids...they didn't want me to take first day of school photos at all, but were ok with it once I said I wouldn't post them here or on Instagram. It kind of makes me sad, but I can also understand where they are coming from. They started grades 8, 6 and 3. I can't believe it! On the other hand, helloooooo sewing time! :)

Happy Monday to you!

55 comments:

Chantal Thibodeau said...

Thank you for the tutorial. You think your fabric is gross, you haven't seen mine. I wash it for the first time in 15 years a week ago. The fabric shred in several places. Now I need another one. And I found my iron board size is not standard. A excuse to buy funky fabric.

Brenda said...

Well, look at you at the beginning of Quilting Season with a pretty new ironing board to work on!! ;-) And all I did was buy thread and fabric with a couple patterns thrown in!

I think this looks really good and the instructions are nice and clear. How long till it is 'gross' again and this needs to be re-done?? I think I am going to just keep covering mine up so no one will notice how bad it is, but you do have me thinking....... and enjoy your first day of sewing madness!!! Enjoy the time to yourself and make it work for you. Go iron a few things to make sure the board is working just right why don't you??! :-)

Sheri said...

Great ironing board tutorial-- I have a piece of cloth just laying on my ironing board and need to make the cover. Also sweet little blurb about your kids, photos, and going back to school! I remember the days!

Susan said...

Great tutorial, thank you for sharing. A word of warning. I had a home decor plaid that I was using for a while. I thought it was going to be great, and I had some straight lines now, with the plaid, that was helpful as I use lines when I am pressing. Anyway.... I realized that the blue from the fabric was fading a few times when I was using steam!! Quickly, that was the end of that cover! Don't know if that means you should stick to 100% quilting cotton .

saphre1964 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
saphre1964 said...

I will do this, I will do this, I WILL DO THIS....
Thanks.
Nicole

Lyric said...

Thank you. Just what I need for my regular and table top one. They are ratty.

Cheers,

Lyric
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sew-Lyrically-Vintage/1475592126015948?ref=hl

Lana said...

Easy Peasy! Great tutorial! Thank you!

FlourishingPalms said...

You made making an ironing board cover seem so easy. I don't have a traditional ironing board, but I think your tutorial could apply to any shape, including my large rectangle board. Funny, but every year I took first-day-of-school pics of our two kids... and they were fine with me taking the pictures. We had no Internet or IG to put them on! :-)

Suzanne said...

Hurray for a happy ironing board. Why do I think I am going to see that strip of strawberries popping up somewhere soon???

Moogsmum said...

What a pretty ironing board cover and a great tutorial!

I'm ashamed to say the last time I recovered mine I used a stretch jersey bed sheet and a whole load of bulldog clips. It looked as good as it sounds :/



Svetlana said...

love your new cover, thanks for the tutorial. Funny, our kids are almost the same age, mine are in 3,6, and 9th grade this year - we already have two weeks of school under our belts :) Good luck to your children.

good4life said...

fantastic tutorial! you won't get to see my cover, but you should know it's way worse than yours! i'll have to get started on a new one now, no excuses! i thought my kids were the only ones that detested photos! they sure take enough selfies, so i can never understand their photo protests. they are entering grades 12, 11, 9 and 6. hope you all an easy adjustment back to school! ;)

Zehrina said...

Love your tutorial! Thanks for remanding me it's time to change my ironing board cover as well :)

Frog Quilter said...

I do something similar but use rope. Yay!

Granny Maud's Girl said...

I occasionally think about doing this, but when there is so much fun sewing to do instead and the shop-bought ones are so inexpensive relative to fabric costs here ...

Katiejane said...

I can't wait till my day off Friday so I can make a new cover for my ironing board! THANKS !!

Katiejane said...

I can't wait till my day off Friday so I can make a new cover for my ironing board! THANKS !!

Sweet bamboo said...

Your tutorial came at a perfect time just because my ironing board really needs a makeover! Thanks for sharing!

Sheepish said...

Great tute, I have a dorm size board that was outfitted with a full size cover..yuck...I am raiding the stash tomorrow for appropriate fabric...I.E. fabric I have wanted to get rid of and couldn't just toss it out!

Jenn @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge said...

I just made a new ironing board cover myself and it NEVER occurred to me to use a double fold binding as the elastic casing! That would have been so much easier than measuring and pressing a casing on the main fabric. Thanks for the great idea! (Though it'll probably be forever before I put it into action... I too leave my ironing board covers until they are positively unsightly!)

Daytona Damsel said...

Oh my you have a lot more use out of that old cover. It looks new compared to mine. LOL Great tutorial. I might make one now that I have a nice clear one.

Christine S said...

Thanks!

Julie said...

Brilliant!!!! Might even attempt this next weekend.

Aliceart said...

Thank you! Totally saved me the time and errors of figuring this out on my own. I must say, those are amazingly straight lines - wow!

Lorna McMahon said...

Your new cover looks fantastic, Amanda Jean. Thanks to your step by step tutorial, you have totally convinced me to try this!

margaret said...

great tutorial but I am afraid I buy cheap ones as I seem to distress them so quickly mind you cannot get nice ones like you have from a shop

house on hill road said...

i so need to do this. in fact, i had a dream about it last night. true!

Sandi said...

Thank you for the tut! This is the best one yet. I have one question, though. Do you use 100% cotton batting or can I use any leftovers that I have?

amandajean said...

Sandi,

I think any leftovers that you have should be fine. I used Hobbs 80/20 for this.

Hope that helps!

AJ

Carol J said...

Looks great! Thanks for sharing :)

SarahZ said...

What timing! I have had new fabric just tucked into my old cover all summer! I suppose now is as good a time as any to actually MAKE the new cover :) (and it is super cute orange Lotta fabric...what am I waiting for?)

Kendra said...

I'm doing this. Today. I'll tag you on IG. Thanks for the tute

sue said...

A great idea for the casing and I save my leftover binding strips so hooray, a good use for them!!!! Also even though I am many years past sending children off to school, I always celebrate the beginning of Sept. as the New Year. I have never thought of it as the beginning of Quilting Season but I will now!! :-)

sue said...

A great idea for the casing and I save my leftover binding strips so hooray, a good use for them!!!! Also even though I am many years past sending children off to school, I always celebrate the beginning of Sept. as the New Year. I have never thought of it as the beginning of Quilting Season but I will now!! :-)

Liz said...

I love your tutorials! The instructions are so thorough and you always include lots of pictures. Thank you!

Cheryl Arkison said...

I so need to do this. And using binding! I bet I have some leftovers laying around that need a new home...

Johanna said...

Thanks for this tutorial! You explain each step so well. I must make myself a new cover. Mine is looking pretty unsightly and the fabric wasn't nice in the first place. It's silly for crafty people with so much great fabric not to have an amazing ironing board cover!

Judith Blinkenberg said...

Thank you! Yours is WONDERFUL! Love that fabric. I hope I can find something as pretty for mine. Wow!
jlblvn at gmail dot com

Debra said...

Wonderful outcome! It's one of those need to do but gets shuffled to the bottom of the list projects for me. Because I am a heavy starch user, thin covers seem to scorch quickly and the whole thing starts looking like I left it the oven to bake. Having to recover my board too often, I switched from quilting cotton covers to canvas (10 ounce). To make attaching it hassle free, I make the drawstring casing and side edges of the board from tricot or single poly knit. This makes the new cover conform to the shape of the board much easier and gives a tighter fit.

Kimberly said...

Love it!
Wanna make one for me?

Judy said...

Wow!! That sounds so easy. Guess that will be an October project as most of September is already booked. Thanks!!

CapitolaQuilter said...

Thanks for the step by step. The one that came with my machine just started falling off recently so I may have a re cover in my future. My boys always frowned posing for the first day picture even tho they liked school just fine.

Clair said...

I need to make one of these when I return.

silversmith said...

i'm in desperate need of a new cover. mine is embarrassing at how icky it is from lots of quilting and sewing and every day ironing. the fabric was even purchased a couple years ago... I have no excuses. your tutorial just made it seem even easier than I thought, so now I have even fewer excuses! thank you!!

Julie Cefalu said...

This is a great motivator to give my ironing board a new look. Thanks for the great tutorial!
Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

MissEnota aka Kristin S. said...

Love it! I was just thinking that I should try to wash my ironing board cover. I made mine over a year ago but learned my lesson using heavier weight fabric and making the casing out of the same piece (it was very hard to thread the elastic trough!)

I'm saving your post in case the stains don't wash out.

Roxanne said...

I bought a great ironing board cover on Etsy last year but it would be fun to do this next time. A really nice tutorial, you make me think I could do it!

Nancy said...

Thanks for the great tutorial. I just finished making mine according to your directions. Only I cut the elastic cording out of my old cover and just stretched it as I sewed in the casing. (It was already sewn altogether.)

Carm said...

I can't find a cover I like and was thinking about making one. Now you've made me want to make one! Thanks for the tutorial.

Sharon Kimber said...

Thanks I need a new ironing board cover and could not find one I liked at the store. Will go make it now.

cantonlace said...

Good informative post.

trikatykid said...

I can't wait to make this. I *hate* my current ironing board cover and wasn't sure if it was made out of something special.. This calls for bicycle fabric. YAY! Thank you for the step-by-step instructions!

ros c said...

Couldn't get a new cover for my assymetric board except dreary and unsatisfactory one similar to that originally provided - for a mere £30! Your tutorial is brilliant - and by far the best on the net. New cover is brilliant - used old blanket for batting and no longer used tablecloth for the cover - so beautiful, practical and free! Now to do the ironing ........!

janet dixon said...

Great tutorial and lovely photos, you have taken a lot of care to make this really simple to follow love it now where is that ironing broad lol thanks Janet x