One hour project: Easy ironing board cover

4 Mar

Ironing bites, doesn’t it? I have a semi-official, ‘no buying clothes that need ironing’ rule, which means that apart from the occasional shirt, I don’t have to iron.

But when it comes to sewing, I’m the opposite. I iron A LOT. If you want to sew anything, then your iron is your friend.

A firm hand with a steam iron can fix a wonky seam, square a quilt piece and dry that fabric you forgot to wash but are desperate to cut out, like NOW.

My ironing board has seen better days and recently has been leaving a grid like pattern when I turn the temperature up, so I realised it needed re-padding and recovering.

Probably something to do with this…


Happily, this is a very easy job.

Here’s how.

1) Take off your old ironing board cover. Commercial covers are usually held on by cord (cheaper than elastic), so look underneath and you’ll find a fastening like this:


2) Unwind the fastener and remove the cover. You’ll find a layer of foam or wadding.


3) Take that off, and place it on top of your chosen padding. I’m using an old towel, but left over quilt wadding works well too. Draw around the original padding, closely, using dressmaker’s chalk (or a felt pen if you haven’t got that).


4) Cut it out. Now lay it ON TOP of the original foam (the more padding the better). Trim it to match if it doesn’t fit.


5) Now place the new padding on your chosen cover fabric. I’m using a mid-weight home furnishing cotton, by Amy Butler, but any mid-weight smooth cotton is fine. This piece just happened to be the right size and needed using.


6) Draw around your padding, leaving a 3in/7.5cm seam.


7) You can finish the edging with zig-zag stitching or an overlocker, or, use pinking shears – the easiest option (especially if you remember to use them to cut out with, unlike me).


8) Fold over a 1in/ 2.5cm seam and pin. You will need to make small pleats at the corners. Make sure they all go the same way, as this will make threading through the elastic (see next step) much easier.


9) Sew a straight seam around this edging, making sure it’s wide enough for your elastic (I used 0.5cm elastic) and leaving a 1in gap in the seam.

10) Attach the elastic to a medium safety pin and use that to push through the gap, and feed the elastic around. This is the fiddly bit. Pin the other end of the elastic to the fabric so that the tail doesn’t disappear into the casing.


11) When you’ve threaded it all the way around, tie a very tight reef knot in your elastic and push the knot into the opening. Overstitch the gap and make sure the ruffling caused by the elastic is pretty even. But remember, it won’t show!


12) Return the various items to the ironing board in this order: original foam, new padding, original cover, new cover.

13) Voila!
Your ironing board is as good as new, and you’ll get a pristine finish every time you use it. Not that you I’m saying you should



3 Responses to “One hour project: Easy ironing board cover”

  1. rinsimpson March 5, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    I have the same rule! And I point blank refuse to iron the other half’s shirts. In fact, my iron is currently residing at his house… Perhaps that’s why I prefer knitting to sewing; there’s far less ironing involved! But your new board is so pretty I might actually be tempted…

  2. Sara March 7, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    I LOVE this idea and the fabric is lovely. Just one question how much elastic would you need as I might well have a go and have plenty of bath size towles can use.

    Thanks Sara

  3. Rosee Woodland March 8, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    Hmm, I think I probably used 1.5m of elastic. But I have bits lying around so I didn’t buy it specially.
    For an estimate, measure the length of your ironing board cover and times by 1.5. This should be long enough.

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