Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tutorial: Easy Peasy Ironing Board Cover

I don't know why, but lately I can't seem to get enough of yellow and white stripes. Every time I look at them I see preppy beach umbrellas, billowing circus tents, and striped candy, all things that make me very happy.

This ironing board cover is part of a little stripe binge makeover in my sewing room. Making an ironing board cover might sound a little boring at first, but it's actually a fun way to use a big, bold panel of your favorite fabric. That makes ironing - which I find awful and tedious outside of sewing - a little more enjoyable. If you have an ironing board then you already have a pattern, and you can be pretty inexact and still be successful.

To figure out how much fabric you'll need, measure your ironing board end to end and add 10 inches. For most standard ironing boards you'll need 1.5 - 2 yards. It's always better to err on the side of too much than not enough.

Because you need a long, skinny piece of fabric you'll have a lot left over. Use it to make something to match - like coordinating pillow covers with my earlier tutorial [complete with yellow and white striped illustrations...I'm telling you, I can't get enough!].

Easy Peasy Ironing Board Cover
You need:
1.5 - 2 yards quilting weight or home decor weight cotton fabric
matching thread
cotton string (not stretchy)
existing ironing board cover

1. Take the cover off your ironing board and spread it out so that there are no gathers in it. Lay it down on top of your fabric, right side up, with a few inches of clearance around it on all sides. Pin it down.

2. Cut through the fabric around the cover, adding two inches around all the edges. If your fabric is still folded take care not to cut through both layers so that you have a large intact piece left over [you only need one cut-out ironing board].

3. Fold the edge of the fabric over a half inch and iron. [You'll have to put your old ironing board cover back on for a little while.] Do it all the way around. Then fold the edge over another half inch and iron again, all the way around.

NOTE: When you iron around the curves, there will be a lot of extra fabric. They will be very, very ugly. You could take the time to cut a bunch of little notches in the fabric, or you could just mash it down. I recommend mashing. You're not going to see it because it's going to be on the inside of the bottom of the cover. Just let it be ugly.

4. Starting a few inches off center on the wider end, backstitch and stitch all the way around on the edge you just created to make a casing. Stop before you get back to the beginning so that there is a two inch gap in the seam. Backstitch.

5. Thread the cotton string through the casing you made. I tied the string to a wire coat hanger that I bent slightly into a curve. You'll need something flexible to get around all the corners.

6. Put your new cover on your ironing board and pull the strings as tight as you can. Adjust the gathers so they're distributed evenly around the board. Tie into a bow.

Voila! Enjoy your new ironing board cover. Here's how mine looked in my sewing room. If you have pictures of your sewing space share it with me by posting a comment!


  1. someone wants to play with the iron cord :D
    what a great idea devon! i hate ironing and this is really a good idea...to look at something so cheerful while doing such a crappy chore!

  2. This is a great tutorial, Devon. I have been wanting a new cover for my extra big ironing board and can't find one. Now I will just make one! I love the yellow and white stripes, too.

  3. This looks like it could make a nice birthday present for a mom :0

  4. This sort of reminds me of when my ironing board collapsed while I was on it. But seriously.. your blogs are so interesting! It sort of motivates me to try one for myself, but I think I need a plan first, or else I'll just write about things like Troop and Sleeping. Keep up the good work!



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