Tutorial: Sew a Custom Ironing Board Cover!

ironing board cover

When you spend a lot of time sewing, it’s important to have a space where you enjoy spending your time. And just like in the creation of a beautiful heirloom garment, the magic is all in the details. September is National Sewing Month, so now’s the perfect time to show your sewing space some love with a fun little project like a new pincushion, a sewing machine cover or even a custom-made ironing board cover that matches your decor. The ironing board cover shown here was created by Jean Etheridge for a feature called Style Your Space in Sew Beautiful several years back. Follow Jean’s easy-to-follow directions below (or download the handy PDF from our website) to create your own!

• Cotton in a print you love – measure the length of your board to determine yardage
• Ironing board batting – measure the length of the board to determine the size to purchase (ours was from Golden Hands Industries) (Several layers of quilt batting may be used instead.)
• 2 packages of double fold bias tape
• Sturdy cotton craft string
• Thread (cotton or cotton/polyester Mettler)
• Heavy duty Reynolds wrap aluminum foil (optional for lining ironing board)
• Elastic sheet straps

1. Use freezer paper or shelf liner paper that is at least as wide as the widest part of your ironing board.

2. Make a pattern for the cover. Lay the paper on the floor, and place the ironing board upside down on the paper. Use a marker or pencil and trace around the board to get the correct shape.

3. Pin the paper on top of the fabric for the cover. Add approximately 2″ all the way around the pattern, and cut out the fabric (fig. 1).

ironing board cover

4. Depending on the size of your board, you will most likely need to piece the end of the first package of bias tape to the second package. When you have enough bias to go around shape, cover edges to make a casing for the drawstring: Beginning at the wide end of the shape place the raw edge of the fabric to the inner fold of the bias. Fold under each end 1/4″ to create a neat finished opening for the drawstring (fig. 2).

5. Using a bodkin (or a large safety pin, or a bobby pin), attach the loose end of the string and feed it through the bias tape casing. Work the string through so that the top is only slightly gathered all of the way around.

6. Next, prepare the surface of the ironing board. Apply a layer of aluminum foil, shiny side up to the top surface of the board. Trim the edges with utility scissors so that the foil can be wrapped around the edge of the ironing board neatly. The foil will reflect the heat of the iron.

ironing board cover

7. Using the paper pattern, cut the ironing board batting to the correct size. You will want the batting to wrap over the edge of the board all of the way around, so cut it 1 to 1-1/2″ bigger than the paper pattern. Place the batting on top of the aluminum foil.

8. Finally, place the new cotton cover on top of the padding. Take time to smooth the cotton evenly over the board and adjust the fullness evenly along the edges. Pull the strings snugly at the end of the board and tie them. A bow is sufficient and can be untied when it is time to launder the cotton cover. Tuck the string under the edge of the cover.

9. Elastic sheet straps, available at discount stores in the bedding area, can be used under the board to pull the fabric tight and keep it in place as you sew. Stretch the straps diagonally and attach to the edge of the cotton cover. They will not be visible from the top, but they will keep the ironing surface smooth and taut.

We’re having a big sale all month long in celebration of National Sewing Month. Use promo code SEWMONTH25 to save 25% storewide through Sept. 30. Now’s a great time to stock up on any fabric, lace and trim or other items you need for upcoming projects!

Want to join us for a Martha Pullen event? Registration is open for our online class, Women’s Shirts: The Best of Everything with Cynthia Guffey. Plus, you can join us live and in-person this fall at our School of Art Fashion Boutique events in Fredericksburg, VA and Minneapolis, MN.

We pray for the men and women serving our nation in harm’s way, and for all of you.

Much Love to You All & May God Bless,
Kathy McMakin

national sewing month

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