When your ironing board needs a facelift…

I’ve had this ironing board from Reliable for many years and I love it, except for one minor thing. Well, two minor things. #1: The piece that slides onto the end of the board to square it up wants to come off when I fold it up and carry it to the closet (which rarely happens). I have trained myself not to grab it by it’s end. #2: The covers that go with the board do not want to stay on and they get dirty. (The getting dirty part is my fault.)


Yesterday I decided that I would re-cover the board in the easiest way I could think of. I left the old cover in place and cut 2 yards of a more neutral fabric and trimmed it about 8-10″ bigger than the board on all sides. (I didn’t measure, sigh.) I pressed a 3″ hem on each side and ran a length of nylon cord inside the hem, thinking that it was easier to sew it in place than it would be to insert it later. I made a cut in the casing at one narrow end for the cord ends to go through.

Once sewn, I ran the ends of the cord through a toggle, placed the fabric right side up on the ironing board, and cinched it down. I stood the board up on it’s end for easier access. As I looked at the bottom of the board, it occurred to me that I could wire the two parts of the ironing board together. Why didn’t I think of this years ago?


It turns out that I started with way too much fabric, but it works, but it did not fit the board tightly. The old cover has elastic bands that hold it tight and I borrowed that idea. I cut more elastic and used safety pins to hold it in place. Seriously, who besides me (and you) is going to know that I did it the easy way?


I had not realized until I made this change how distracting the blue cover was. This quieter color is much, much better.

And, in case you are wondering, I have made serious progress on the Kauai Road quilt, seen on the wall in the first photo. Here’s a snippet, quilted. I love this quilt!


20 thoughts on “When your ironing board needs a facelift…

  1. Becky –

    Your quilt is lovely! The only things missing are the sounds of the surf and the smell of salt air.



  2. Thanks Becky. Sometimes we forget that the easiest way can be just as useful. Like you said..who would know. Any friends that are going to climb under my ironing board would not be a friend. 🤗



  3. Becky, I have a very old wood ironing board. It is 3/4 size and new covers are way too big, so when my cover is dirty or needs changing, I use my electric stapler and whatever fabric makes me happy. So easy to lay the board on the floor, pull the old cover and staples off, lay down new fabric and staple away. ( Sometimes I don’t remove the old cover! ). Love a new cover but it sure doesn’t look new for long!


  4. Every time I take out my ironing board, I think to myself that I really need to get a new one. Then I put it back in it’s place and forget all about it until I use it the next time. That neutral shade is just perfect. Thanks for the inspiration.

    PS Your quilt is just beautiful!


  5. My ironing board is just part of the decor in my sewing room. It is 24×54 and sits on a counter. It is covered with an old wool blanket for padding which I re-cover with new muslin about every six months. I like the neutral background which makes it easy to see what I am ironing/pressing. I do also iron my clothes on it and have been using it for at least 20 years, so it has held up well. The wood makes a firmer surface for pressing and you don’t get the little marks in what you are pressing from the grilled-type tops on metal ironing boards.


  6. My ironing board could use a new cover… I mostly keep a piece of muslin laid over the top of it to keep it cleaner ( or keep the dirt on the cover from getting on the stuff I’m pressing) I do a fair amount of spray starching when piecing & that does really mess up the ironing board. Periodically, I pull that piece of muslin off & run it through the washer & dryer to clean it up. that’s the really easy way!


  7. I’ve never been any closer to Hawaii than Las Vegas and that was in 1972. But, I’m loving that quilt. Makes me want to visit. Love your ironing board cover. My husband made me a big board years ago – and the cover is stapled down. It’s blue now and need recovering. I was going to do a bright stripe – but now I’m thinking yours looks terrific and is less distracting!


  8. I wish I had left my old cover on my ironing board … I need more padding! Your giveaway is one of your books I do not have … I would love it!


  9. I was just working on recovering my ironing board tonight! I noticed that after I ironed my cover fabric (on top of my heat-proof fabric), the steam from the iron left the metal top of the board wet. Do you know how to fix that problem?


    • The metal mesh does get wet — I noticed that myself. But the ironing board isn’t rusting and the underside of my old cover wasn’t moldy or smelly so it must dry out in not too much time. I suspect that leaving the underside of the board open helps.



      • Those are good points. I noticed only a tiny bit of rust on mine. It’s such an old board that the fabric was completely disintegrated in places, but that could have been from time and heat, not moisture. Thanks!


      • Good point. My board isn’t open on the bottom, but it’s only a tiny bit rusted, so I guess mine dried out after being steamed, too. The things we (I) never think about!


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