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.
Once supplies are ready, there are just six easy steps from start to finish!
- 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 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)
- Press a ½” hem along all edges, sew a straight stitch.
Tip: Save time—skip hemming salvage edge, if included.
- 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.
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. 🙂
- 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.
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.
- Lastly, center your fabric over the board. Using the same method as above, wrap and staple the fabric onto the board.
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.
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!
Enjoy your portable ironing board and kudos to you if you salvaged an unused board and raided your stash!