Ironing Table v2.0: THE UPGRADE

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?

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    • 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!

    • 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……

    • 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!
    Nico

    • 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.

    • 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!