Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How to Make a Quilter's Ironing Board Table

I've been busy spring cleaning. One of my projects was to replace the fabric on my ironing board table. I made this ironing board table when I first started to quilt. I've recovered it twice so I decided it needed to be torn apart and recovered again.

2' x 4' MDF wood or a size to your requirement
1 1/2 yards insul-bright (heat resistant batting) required for 2' x 4' board
1 1/2 yards batting ( I used a crib size pre-packaged batting)
1 1/2 yards duck fabric
1 1/2 yards decorative fabric (this will be the final layer of your cover)
staple gun
1/4" staples and 1/2" staples
non-flammable temporary spray adhesive
small hammer

Note about MDF wood: I use steam frequently and I haven't had a problem with the wood warping.

First decide how big you want to make your ironing table. I wanted mine to be 2' x 4'. Home Depot has MDF in stock already cut to this size.

 I wanted 12 inches to extend past my table to make my work surface longer. I screwed a small board under my ironing board so that it would hold it steady to the edge of the table.

I cut the insul-bright to extend 2 1/2 inches past the edges of the board. I smoothed it down and attached the insul-bright to the bottom of the ironing table one edge at a time pulling it tight as I stapled.  I used 1/4" staples.

 I then cut the batting the same size and attached it to the table with the staple gun. Pulling it tight as I stapled.

I also wrote a note on the exposed wood on the bottom of the board specifying how much fabric I would need for recovering next time.

Next I cut a piece of duck fabric the same size and stapled it to the table. At this point I needed to switch to 1/2" staples.

This step is optional. I applied a non-flammable spray adhesive to the duck cloth then I positioned my decorative cover fabric on top. I smoothed out all the wrinkles and laid it fabric side down to allow it to set for a few minutes.

I trimmed the fabric and proceeded to staple it to the back of the board as I pulled the fabric along the way.

At the corners I stapled the fabric from both sides and stapled the fabric at the folded miter. As I stapled, I tucked the excess fabric under the folded miter.

Finished and ready to use for ironing. Next project will be a table skirt to hide my storage area underneath!


  1. Where did you purchase the insul-bright?

  2. Joann, Fabric Depot and a zillion on line fabric perveyors all sell it.. Just check locally and you'll find it! : )

  3. Where did you get your shelving unit and what are the measurements of that unit?

  4. The board actually sits on top of a table, see the third picture in my blog. I used a wire shelving unit I bought at Meijer. That sits under the 12 inch over hang to prop it up.

  5. Sorry for the silly question. What is "duck" fabric? I have never heard of that before. Thanks from Australia

    1. duck canvas, is a heavy, plain woven cotton fabric. Duck canvas differs from plain canvas in that the threads in the former are more tightly woven.

  6. Why so many layers? I had saw another demo for a big ironing surface and it was only batting and the duck cloth. I made it and it has worked great. So I was just wondering if there are any advantages to more layers...

    1. Just my personal preference. I also use it as a work surface. I like the extra thickness so I can stick pins or embroidery needles in it.

  7. Does this stay in place well and not shift as you are moving fabric around to iron? I've seen where others place the small wooden bar around all 4 sides. I assumed it was to keep the board from shifting around when Ironing large yardage.

    1. It it is heavy wood so it doesn't shift much. The wood bracket underneath does stay snug against the table. It does slip sometimes when I lean against the long side when ironing but ironing long fabric doesn't make it shift. Could put an extra piece of wood at a right angle on the side you stand to iron to eliminate that shift. Good question.

  8. Wonderful idea! May I ask the dimensions of the table/tables you used to support the ironing board top - height & width? Do you have the table/tables on locking casters to make everything moveable? Are the shelves I see in the pictures a part of the table or separate shelving you keep under the table?
    Thank you so much for your tutorial. You did a great job with pictures & instructions. I am currently remodeling my sewing studio space & would love to have a large quilting ironing board like yours.

  9. I can't really tell which end you added the extra board to underneath..But your photos are great

  10. Shouldn't the batting be under insul brite batting since regular batting can burn?