Make Your Own Small Ironing Board

Today, I sat down to sew and realized I needed a new little ironing surface for small projects.  I like to keep a small ironing “board” by my sewing machine so that I’m not always having to get up and go to my full-size ironing board.  It saves tons of time!  I wanted to share this frugal way of making one.  

Here are the things you’ll need:

  • Cutting mat, acrylic ruler, and rotary cutter
  • Sewing machine, thread, scissors
  • A piece of thin plywood
  • Cotton fabric (I used a piece of a cotton sheet that I bought at a thrift shop)
  • A piece of Insulbrite (or two pieces of cotton quilt batting) that measures the same size as the board you cut (Insulbrite can be bought at Joann’s and other fabric shops)
  • Utility knife for cutting the plywood

Just follow the instructions below each photo to make this project!  If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.

For my ironing board, I chose a piece of 3/16″ plywood. The thinner, lighter weight makes it easier to take to a class or a friend’s house, etc. I used my utility knife to cut it at 12″ X 16″ (be sure you place cutting mat under board before cutting). Also, keep in mind that if you use a thicker plywood, you’ll need to cut it with a saw. I cut two pieces of fabric from the sheet at 13″ X 18″. The Insulbrite was cut to the same size as my board, 12″ X 16″. If using a thicker plywood, make sure you add 1″ plus the thickness of the board to your fabric cut for the width. For the length, add at least 2″ plus thickness of board.
Clip or pin your fabric pieces together, right sides touching, and sew with 1/4″ seam allowance. Start at one long edge, sew to corner, turn, sew across bottom, then back up the other long side. Start and end your seam with a back stitch.
Trim your corners about 1/8″ away from the seam, then grade seams. (When grading a seam, place scissors at the 1/8″ cut and angle toward outside edge of seam allowance, snipping to reduce bulk.) Turn cover right side out.
Now you are ready to hem. Turn fabric under 1/4″ all the way around ; press. Then fold up again, using the 1/4″ folded fabric as a guide to turn hem up again. Clip or pin hem in place. Sew about 1/16″ away from hem edge. Now, insert your board and the Insulbrite or batting. The cover will fit very snugly, which is what you want.
Enjoy your new ironing surface!

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