About 5 years ago, I made my own ironing table. I took a 30″ x 48″ piece of thick MDF, covered it with four layers of batting and some red-striped mattress ticking, and slapped it down on top of three cube storage units (two 3×3 units back-to-back, and a 2×3 on the end). It’s been great! (I only wish I had made it about 30″ x 54″ so I’d have a little more space on the side to rest the iron when I have yardage spread out over it.)

Lately, it’s been looking a little…funky.

Time to re-cover it!

First, I pulled out the old staples from the bottom with my practically-antique Leatherman pliers and removed the old cover from the ironing table.

I started to pull off the batting, but opted to re-use it and cover it with a layer of Insul-Bright before putting the new cover on.

I had several packs of Insul-Bright that I’d picked up on sale, but I only needed a little more than one piece. I cut the second piece down to size, and stapled all around the edges (about every 6-8 inches) with a staple gun. I made sure there was enough to wrap around to the back, because when I only had the batting on top, the corners felt a little sharp.

Next, I laid out the very inexpensive but still fabulous Waverly fabric I’d picked up, and ran an iron over it. I stapled along one of the short edges, then stretched it tight before stapling on the opposite edge.

Then I flipped it over and stapled the short edges on the bottom, pulling the fabric tight the whole time. When I moved to the long sides, I realized I needed to cut the corners of the Insul-Bright to reduce bulk, but I left the fabric intact, doing some weird folding (almost mitering…but not really) to keep from cutting it.

I used my fabulous sparkly hammer (it was my grandmother’s) to tap in the staples that weren’t all the way in. I left a lot of fabric wrapped around the bottom, because the table top is bigger than the shelves it rests on–I wanted all visible surfaces covered.

I flipped it back over, and voilà! A like-new ironing table. My studio looks cleaner and brighter.

What would you like to change about the surface you use for pressing fabric?






11 Replies to “Ironing Table v2.0: THE UPGRADE

    1. 56″ would be great! I love being able to spread out an entire fat quarter, so I think I’m spoiled and could never go back to a regular ironing board……

  1. You hit the nail (staple?) on the head–the size of my ironing surface is what I’d like to change! I’m saving your notes for a Mother’s Day suggestion 🙂 Thanks!

    1. You’ve got my info if you have any questions! I hope you have a happy Mother’s Day.

  2. Love the new fabric. And using the bookcases is a great idea…. I have to make me a ironing top for my during table as I will be combing two uses in one. So will have my board cut 30 x 56 And have the corners rounded….but will have the top placed 1″ above the old cutting surface for storage of my mats when not using. Yours is so pretty……

    1. Thank you! Rounding the corners is a great idea, as well as elevating the surface for storage. I hope you’ll share photos when yours is done!

  3. I wish I had the room to do something like this. For now, my normal ironing board will have to do. I do change the covers on a fairly regular basis. Thanks for sharing what you’ve done. I may have to bookmark it for a future date when I’ve got more room.

  4. Hey, Becca,
    this looks a) awesome and b) very useful and convenient. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough space in my beloved sewing room, but maybe some day…
    Thanks for the detailed instruction!

    1. Nico, it’s working out very well! Some day you’ll have the room for one (just make sure it’s a little wider than mine is).

  5. Wow, looks great! Excellant job! I did something very similar, but used duck cloth. Thanks for sharing the details. I’d love to know what it’s like to iron with the insulbright.

    1. This fabric is home dec weight, so it’s a little more substantial than the ticking I used before–which held up pretty well. I’m hoping that the Insul-Bright will help reflect some of the heat back up for more effective pressing, but so far, I can’t really tell. The only noticeable difference is the slight crunching noise it makes!

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