Ironing board covers do wear out regularly, and need replacing. If you have a standard board that most people have, just buying a new cover is easy. But, my board is a specialty shape that is no longer made. It is larger than the standard board, with an elongated end for ironing in the round, like sleeves or yokes. This is the second time I have had to re-cover it. The last time was about 10 years ago. A dear quilter friend of mine has a large rectangle made of wood that is covered in this manner and fits over the standard board with some pieces underneath to keep it from sliding. Both boards are covered in the same way and it is easy to do. If you want a larger ironing surface, now is the time to make it bigger and more useful. You can add a wood piece to your board, just nail it in place, or use screws if you have one of the older metal mesh boards. After years of ironing quilt blocks and pieced elements, mostly in the same spot, the fabric on my board finally got brittle and began to scorch. Then it began tearing. Naturally, every time I tried to iron in that spot, the iron would catch on the edge and make the tear worse.
Underneath, the muslin liner was scorching too. It was also very brittle and threatened to come apart any minute.
I purchased the silver ironing fabric at the fabric store in a long enough length to cover the board in one piece with plenty left over. For my board, this was two yards. For yours, buy the length of your board plus about 12 inches. The fabric is 42 inches wide, so that was more than enough. You’ll also need muslin for a liner, two or three layers of cotton batting, and a staple gun, provided your board is particle board or wood. This method will not work on a metal board.
I started by flipping the board upside down on the floor, and pulling off the old cover.
Pulling off the old silver layer, you can see how the muslin liner is deteriorating. Remove the old muslin liner and old batting.
Remove any old staples or other fasteners that would get in the way of the new cover.
I layered the new cover elements on the floor wrong side up, with the board in the middle, starting with the silver cloth, silver side down. I used the silver ironing cloth, a layer of muslin to hold the batting, and two layers of cotton batting. I did reuse the thin foam layer as it was still in good shape. What you use can be tailored to your needs, one more layer of batting if you don’t have foam, or just two layers of batting alone. I like a bit of padding when I am ironing, but not so much that it is difficult to get a good crease when I need one.
Fold the larger end (if you have a difference in the size of the ends, if not just start with one end) over the board and place a few staples in to hold all the layers in place.
Now fold the opposite end over to the backside, and pull it tight. Staple in place.
If the layering is too thick, cut away the excess batting under the silver cloth and muslin.
Now do the center of the long sides. Start with one side, then pull opposite side tight and staple.
When both ends and both sides are done, move to the corners or curves. Make pleats in the fabric to take up the extra, and staple them down, pulling the fabric tight. Distribute the fullness equally around the edge to smooth out the edge.
Keep working around the board until all the corners and curves are done. This is easier to do on a curve that goes outward from the center. It takes a bit more care for a curve that go inward like I have in the middle of this board. Just keep working the fabric, stapling it down as you go.
When it is all stapled, cut away the excess fabric near, but not next to, the staples. Leave about an inch of fabric away from the staples to maintain the integrity of the fabric.
All done, now there is a nice new surface ready for any pressing duty, and will last a long time.
Keep the leftover silver fabric, it is perfect for potholders. More quilting and sewing coming up!
Update – next time I do this, I’ll use Insul-Bright batting instead of regular and leave the muslin out.
Have you ever re-covered your ironing board?