Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ask Candy: Building a Custom Size Ironing Board

Hey there, it's Candy! It's been awhile since I've posted an Ask Candy, but I promise, this post is worth waiting for! My friend Liz, from "Bizzi Lizzi Creations" asked me how I made my great big removable ironing board pictured here:and since she lives about a mile from me, I figured instead of just writing up what I did, we'd make one for her and take lots of pictures to share with the rest of you!

  • Plywood size of finished board: This tutorial we're using something that's around 24" x 28". My board is 24" x 48". In both cases we used scrap plywood - mine was 1/2" thick, but this tutorial uses 1/4" thick, and it worked great, and it sure is lighter than mine. If you need to buy this, most hardware stores (big box or Mom & Pop) will cut it to size for you.
  • Padding size of finished board: We used 1" thick Nu-Foam (Densified Polyester Fibers) for this tutorial, I used 1/2" thick green upholstery foam in mine.
  • Needle Punched batting (like Warm and Natural) cut 5-6" larger than the finished size
  • Fabric for cover cut 5-6" larger than the finished size:although you could any strong fabric, we used Rain no Stain curtain lining, so that if any liquid gets spilled on the surface, it shouldn't penetrate immediately, which could be a good thing!
  • Tacky Glue
  • Scissors (or rotary cutter and mat)
  • Staple Gun (I'm lucky enough to have a pneumatic upholstery stapler, but you can use a regular staple gun)

  • Step 1: Glue foam to the plywood.

    Liz's foam wasn't wide enough, so we just pieced it. Having a rotary cutter and mat was a great help here - it was very easy to get straight cuts. We used lots of glue, and after placing the pieces on, we flipped the board upside down and did lots of pressing to make sure they held in place (using tacky glue helps a lot with this too!

    Step 2: Add batting

    Center the batting over the foam and flip the whole thing over. When you wrap the batting over to the bottom, this holds the foam in place and softens the edges of the plywood.

    Step 3: Begin stapling

    Drive a staple into the center of the back. Go to opposite side and pull fabric tight, until a straight crease is formed running across front. Maintain tension and drive staple (with right hand for right handed person) into the center of back of 2nd side. Stretch and attach the top and bottom centers in the same manner.

    Once you're satisfied that everything is straight and taut, continue stapling the sides, leaving the final 3-4" at each corner unstapled.

    Step 4: Staple the corners

    To staple corner, pull the corner of the fabric over the corner of the plywood and staple. Then straighten and fold one side over,and then the other. Staple this corner.
    Repeat for the other 3 corners...Phew! Give your hands a rest!

    Step 5: Repeat with fabric cover

    Step 6: Glue backing on

    We used scraps from the fabric she used from the front to cover the back side, so that if she places the board on a nice piece of furniture, the staples won't scratch it. We used LOTS of sticky glue, folded the edges for a nice finished, and placed a line of glue just under the edge to keep it nice and secure

Step 7: Tadah!

Liz is in the middle of organizing her new studio space, so we don't have any pretty pictures of the finished product in action. Here's a couple more shots of mine, though:

One great thing about the huge board I have, it originally was designed to fit on top of my big work surface, I found I was able to balance it on a much smaller shelving unit (carefully!!!!), expanding my work surface when I needed it. We eventually built the rolling cart with lots of storage cubbies pictured at the top of the post as an almost permanent home for the board, but it's been a real flexible work surface!

OK, who's next? Got a question for me? Ask away!

[Candy lives in California with her husband, 2 boys, and dog. Aside from being wife, mom, teacher, crafter, web guru and all around doer extraordinaire she manages her own business, Candied Fabrics. You can read her blog here.]


  1. Great tutorial! I especially like the step by step visuals of the corner stapling. Nice work, Candy!

  2. very smart- I am always taking my ironing board up and down and it is definitely not the right size- I am making this- thank you!

  3. Candy, I have to make one of these once we move! Thank you for such detailed information! Like Cat, I'm always fussing with my board (or not bothering with it at all).

  4. Glad you like it ladies...dollar for dollar, this was by FAR the best thing I've ever done for my sewing room (it was so cheap, and it is SO useful!)

    Cyn - I've read a gazillion different tutorials that involve corner wrapping and I always find that step wanting for details, thus I made sure this step was crystal clear!

  5. Awesome post! I love DIY's with lots of pictures! Thank you!


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