Simple and Quick: Ironing Board Recovery


Yesterday, after months and months of telling myself to recover my ironing board, I finally did it!  Why is it so hard to do these little maintenance jobs?   I took a few pictures to show you how I did it- it’s kind of quick and dirty with a serger thrown in, but effective.


As much as I enjoyed sharing my sewing space with these gnomes, I had to admit the fabric was no longer suitable as a pressing surface.  It’s been washed multiple times and is stiff as a board and perma-sticky.  I think I should invest in an applique mat.


I had a cute self-made textile design printed onto Spoonflower linen-cotton, which arrived the other day.  I washed it well and pressed it.

The blue quilt is lap size.  It began life as a dye experiment, then a free-motion quilting primer.  I finished it but it never gets used and we have plenty of other blankets so I’m using it to help pad out my ironing board surface.


I started with one of the original layers of batting.  It’s polyester and wool, which helps hold in heat and moisture when I’m steaming and clapping seams on twill or bulky fabrics.  It was already trimmed to my ironing board shape.  Then I layered the board with even more padding (and covered the end, too).

Recovering an Ironing Board Brief

I used the wool blend, a thermal layer (potholder batting), and the cotton quilting practice.  It’s very firm.  Then I draped the fabric over the board and adjusted as desired and trimmed away the excess.


I trimmed the fabric in such a way that it hung down about 1/2″ (1.2cm) below the lower edge of the board- roughly a thumb length.


Then I used 1/4″ (6mm) underwear elastic on the edges.  I suggest using regular elastic, this isn’t really starchy enough.  Pull the elastic fairly tightly while serging the cover to the elastic without cutting the elastic much.  It takes a little coordination at first, but it’s quick and very neat.  I start with a few meters of elastic in my lap and simply trim it off at the other end.


Mine isn’t perfect- I pinned the fabric below the board in a few places. Weak elastic.  But it’s clean and fresh and won’t damage my fabrics, which is the main consideration.


Now I can get on with some other work!

Pavlova Shipping

The Pavlova Wrap Top & Skirt patterns have shipped to Cake NH and Cake Central to be shipped to youCake Stockists will receive their orders as we ship out the presale.  Then we can get started on the new tutorials!  Woohoo!  I didn’t want to get too much into the technical posts until the pattern was also in your hands, I’m so thrilled to get started sewing up Pavlovas together!


Meanwhile, a little bird is in production…


    • Yeah! Clean it up! :) I had to really, really push myself to do it. It’s like mending… I never want to do it, but once it’s done I’m surprised how quickly it went and pleased to have done it… :)

  1. I agree with Amanda, a well timed tute. My ironing board cover needs replacing and I now have no excuse. Thanks for the reminder and the nudge to get in and do it.

    • Yes! It gets like that so quickly! And a bit scorched, too, truth be told… I think I’ll use the gnomes to line something, I keep telling myself to make machine covers so maybe now I will. And line them with sticky scorched old gnomes… ;)

  2. Aw, goodbye gnomes. But hello Cake themed board! What adorable fabric!

    I have a bad feeling that Pavlova is going to arrive just as I’m leaving for camp again and I’ll miss out on the sew-along. But we’ll see! Maybe it’ll just start when I get back. :)

    • Thanks! I’ve been wanting to make some kind of fabric with those symbols for a while, then got a chance to sit down and do it… :) Will probably kit out the rest of my sewing room in matching accessories, everything is very dilapidated and in need of replacement…

      Ooooh no! I’m thinking we’ll start the sewalong on March 10-20. How does that work for you? Yes, I am quite willing to attempt to work around your schedule old friend. :)

      • AWWW. I’ll be in camp from March 5-21. :( But that’s alright. I get back just in time for my birthday on March 23, so maybe I’ll have a Cake Pattern’s sewing weekend to celebrate!

      • And that way, the tutorials are all together all ready and I can just zoom through them if I’d like. :) Plus I really should finish my Tira. Poor thing got shoved aside for some knitting and Rendevous (our winter festival) projects. (I did finish my curtains, though)

  3. Perfect timing on the ironing board! I really need to do this…
    Can’t wait for the little bird to fly to me!! I bought some wool yesterday with that skirt in mind…

    • Oooooh well… Just sneaking peeks of the bird for now, she’s a bit shy but zooming along. :) Once we finish up the Pavlova Sewalong, I think it’ll be time for a Circus… :) Back to the longer type of Circus like Tiramisu I think. Pavlova was.. Chaotic…

  4. Exciting! Exciting! I love how Hummingbird looks! And I’m in the middle of trying to decide what color fabric to buy for my Pavlova top!!! And a quick question (or two) about the Pavlova. Will you be showing us how to add a lining to the skirt? Will you show us how to shorten/lengthen the top (I’m almost 6 feet tall)? Or maybe it won’t be necessary? (I didn’t have to lengthen my Tira bodice.) The skirt I lengthened a lot just to hit my knee. :) Thanks, Steph!!!

    • Lining in the skirt- highly recommend simply cutting a shorter version of the exterior so it has the same folds and seaming. Experience tells me this is the best way.

      Yes- I’ll go over lengthening and size choice. :) It’s just one of those things I didn’t see a point in posting about until y’all have your patterns in hand, but it’ll be a nice clear short visual reference on

      • Thanks, Steph for the info on the lining. I just ordered my lining fabric and finally decided on the color for the top – a dark red tencel knit. :) And, thanks so much for being so detailed and for giving us the info just when we need it. I’m just chomping at the bit, I guess…

  5. I need to re-cover mine too, not sticky, but stained. :(
    I’ve heard that stripes on an ironing board make it easier to keep an edge straight while pressing – do you ever use the repeats in your pattern to line things up?

    • Yes! That’s it! Insulbright. I couldn’t remember the name of the stuff… Drew a complete blank. And the casing/cording/toggle works really well. :) Thanks for the tip.

  6. Thanks for the ironing board tute I have always thought I should make them now I will. I do love your blogs.

  7. I made a new ironing board cover this weekend. I cut the “string” off the original and drew round the board on the new fabric, added seam allowances and stitched it back on to the new cover. I added a few layers of fabric – old curtain lining, the old cover as padding and put the new cover on. It still needs a bit more padding, so I think I’m going to use thermal interlining from an old curtain cut to shape. A vast improvement but a work in progress, amazing how much difference it makes when I’m using the iron..

  8. A timely reminder and thanks for the tips. My ironing board cover is a tattered, lumpy stained mess. And it seems to be impossible to buy a cover the right size and shape. It’s of those extra big ones for an iron built like a small steam engine.

  9. Pingback: Weekend Inspiration | Go To Sew

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