tutorials, Uncategorized

DIY Portable Ironing Board

One thing that’s for sure is I’m all about recycling and reusing, and I especially enjoy repurposing. With the help of my husband, I turned an ugly unused piece of plywood into a cute, portable lightweight ironing board.

After watching videos of quilters using wooden boards transformed into actual ironing boards, I knew I needed one. I really liked the idea of something lightweight and easy to move around, and it was time to say goodbye to my metal tabletop ironing board (via donation).

So, I did some research and made my own. Here’s how you can make one, too, and here’s what you’ll need:

*A board of your chosen size (plywood recommended)
This DIY = 13 ½” W x 24″ L piece of plywood (reused from irrigation pump packaging)

*Two pieces of cotton batting

*Cotton fabric for board cover

*Aluminum Foil – Enough to cover top with approximately 1″ wrap around back.

*Wood Glue – To glue down aluminum foil edges on back.

*Staple Gun / Staples – To attach batting and fabric.
This DIY = Heavy Duty Staple Gun and  3/8″/10mm staples (a less powerful one would also do fine).

Additional materials: scissors, measuring tape, toothpick, sewing machine and general sewing supplies.

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Once supplies are ready, there are just six easy steps from start to finish!

  1. Cut both pieces of batting:
    Cut ONE approximately 1″ larger than your board, on all sides.
    This DIY = 15 ½” W x 26″ L

    Cut ONE approximately 1 ½” larger than your board, on all sides.
    This DIY = 16 ½” W x 27″ L

    Place the smaller one on top of the larger one (it will be against top of board). When it’s folded around the board, edges will be hidden under the larger one.

    Cut fabric:
    Cut approximately 3″ larger than your board, on all sides. NOTE: Subtract 1″ for selvage edge, if included in the cut fabric.
    This DIY = 18 ½” W x 29″ L (fabric included selvage edge)

  1. Press a ½” hem along all edges, sew a straight stitch.

Tip: Save time—skip hemming salvage edge, if included.

  1. Cover your board with aluminum foil (like wrapping a present). I used a toothpick to apply the wood glue under the folded edge on the back side. Gluing down the foil really helps keep it in place.

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A side note about the foil…I was skeptical if this actually helped to protect the wood, as I had covered this board a while back (this is a redo). Fast-forward a year and a half until now, when I removed the cover and batting. The fabric and batting were water-stained and scorched, but the board was untouched! It definitely works, so I don’t recommend skipping this step. 🙂

  1. Staple on the batting once the glue has dried. Start by pulling in at the point of the corner (helps reduce bulk), staple once. Trim off point. Fold in the sides, staple down each side. You can see what lovely corners you get! Repeat for each corner.

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Continue along stapling down the sides, wrapping the batting nice and snug, but not too tight. Once my batting was attached, I chose to trim it back so the fabric would completely cover it when stapled on.

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  1. Lastly, center your fabric over the board. Using the same method as above, wrap and staple the fabric onto the board.

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As an option, you can apply felt pads to the four corners. I put them on mine as it gives the board a bit of a lift and helps it set even on your table.

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I love this DIY project because it puts an unused item to good use, and it uses materials most people have on hand. As for me, I was happy to use adorable stash fabric that I wouldn’t have used otherwise.

I also discovered that my board doubles for measuring. It’s 24″ long so if I need a quick estimate on how much fabric I’m working with; I can use it as a general guide. You might want to keep that in mind when choosing your size!

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Enjoy your portable ironing board and kudos to you if you salvaged an unused board and raided your stash!

Uncategorized

DIY Design Wall Hanger

We quilters know that a functioning design wall is incredibly useful, if not essential, especially if you’ve ‘had enough’ of laying out your quilts on the floor. I had been hanging my design wall on Command hooks that kept falling down and it was getting rather frustrating. It was obvious I needed some sort of a dependable hanger, and thankfully my husband came up with this great solution.

I don’t have a technical name for it, I just refer to it as my design wall hanger.  In a nutshell, it’s a 6′ wood board with cup hooks screwed in and it’s securely attached (with screws) to my sewing room wall.  I’m sure some people wouldn’t want something semi permanently attached to their wall, but since I have a room dedicated to sewing, I’m perfectly fine with it.

If this is something you’d consider for your sewing space, here are a few photos with details regarding the making process, including the cost & the amount of time involved.  In short, we spent less than $9* & it took about 3 hours to make!  *This price is for the board & hooks (+ tax) as we had other supplies on hand, e.g. sandpaper, screws, stain and finish.

MATERIALS:  One 1″ x 3″ x 6′ select pine board ($5.95); One pack of 6 – 7/8″ nickle cup hooks ($1.98) {both purchased from Home Depot}; Espresso Minwax Wood Finish; Minwax Water Based Polycrylic Protective Finish; general woodworking tools–router & drill; various other supplies such as rags, sandpaper, foam brush, etc.

Since I’m not handy with tools, my husband did all the drilling, routering, etc.  I was in charge of sanding, staining & finishing.

The first thing my husband did was router a plain design around the perimeter of the board to class it up a bit.

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Next, he drilled the three screw holes with a bit so the screws would be countersunk, placing the holes under the routering & toward the top so they wouldn’t interfere with the cup hooks.

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Before staining, I used 220 grit sandpaper for a super smooth surface.  Up next, I applied  one coat of stain.

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Once wood is stained, the grain tends to raise somewhat, so I sanded it again with an extra fine grit sanding sponge.  After wiping away any residue, I applied two coats of polyurethane finish allowing a few hours drying time in between coats.

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Next, we got out my design wall & screwed in the hooks in accordance to the grommets.

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Finally we were ready to attach the board to the wall.  Once leveled, 2 1/2″ screws were screwed into the countersunk holes/wall, making it strong enough to support the weight of a lot of fabric.

Now I can put up & take down my design wall with ease.  It’s such a simple & affordable project & I’m really happy with it!

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(excuse the terrible lighting–my sewing room window faces north!)