How to Recover an Ironing Board

I bought this awesome ironing board from Aldi a couple of years ago.  It's really tall, which is great for me, and it has a very wide board, much wider than the standard board sold in US stores.

The only problem- the cover that they used wasn't made to withstand high heat.  The first time I used it, I left scorch marks on it.  That's probably why it ended up at Aldi, instead of a higher end home store.  (For those of you that don't have Aldi- it's a super low priced food store with an ever changing assortment of home goods as well).

It's such an odd size, that I wasn't sure where to buy a replacement cover.  So, I knew that I wanted to recover it on my own at some point.  Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was at Hancock fabrics and spotted this cotton canvas with a dress form print on their clearance table.  It was destined to be my new ironing board cover.

Never having made a cover before, I started by removing the old one and snipping the elastic that gathered it up around the lip of the board.  That way I could flatten it out and use the old cover as my pattern.   The cover was approximately 50" long by 18" wide, so I was able to fit it onto 1-1/2 yards of the canvas print.

This design had an under board piece that I traced onto some painter's plastic.  I added a seam allowance on this, and then sewed the underboard piece to the top piece with the right sides together.

I used 1/2" double fold bias tape around the edges, leaving an opening on one end that I could thread a narrow twill tape through.  I used twill tape because that was what I had on hand, but the original had used a rounded elastic cording.   I just pulled the twill tape through the bias tape edge, tightened it up around the base of the board, and tied it like a shoestring.  It will be easy to remove for washing this way. 

It took just over 3 yards of bias tape, and 3-1/2 yards of twill tape.  The original pad had a fleece like pad underneath the cover, so I just covered up the original set with the new cover, so I could keep that fleece padding.

I inherited an equally awesome sleeve board from my Mom, that I'm guessing dates back to the 40's with the original cover.  It even has imprinted on the bottom "World's Best Sleeve Board".

It's covering was getting pretty thread bare, and I still had a good chunk of the canvas print left, so I decided to replace the cover on it as well, using the same technique, using the old cover as my pattern, binding the edges with bias tape

and threading 1/4" twill tape through the opening in the bias tape.

Voila!  New life to a 75 year old sleeve board!

And here's a little trick of the trade that you may or not already know. You know how it is impossible to get a pattern back into its' envelope?  It starts something like this:

Well, just set your iron on low, and press it.  Your first run will take out a lot of the air, and it will look something like this:

Then just keep folding and pressing, until you get it the size that you want.

I store my patterns in gallon ziploc bags, and then keep the pattern envelopes in sheet protectors in binders so I can flip through them with less bulk.

So, here is my new ironing set-up.  My cost on this was about $6 for the fabric, $6 for the notions, and about 3 hours of time.  Not too bad!  And it really does look 100 times better than the old scorched muslin cover.

As they say, well-pressed is half sewn.  I think I'll like pressing a whole lot more with the pretty new covers! 

Happy Sewing!


  1. Nicely done. Thanks for the tutorial.

  2. I have an awesome Fitz Like a Glove! cover on mine but the other ironing board that the family uses is horrid! Haha! I think I will make a snazzy new cover for it now! Thanks for the tutorial! :)

    1. You are welcome, Nakisha! I know it's not the most exciting thing to sew, but it is something you'll enjoy for a long time.

  3. I am envious of your lovely ironing board and sleeve board covers. What luck finding the perfect fabric on sale. My board cover looks a lot like the one in your 1st picture. It is an extra wide board purchased at Target years ago, and it is impossible to find covers in the larger size.

    1. Thank you, Audrey. You should definitely try making one then! I don't know what took me so long.

  4. Gorgeous! Almost makes you want to do ironing :)

    1. Thanks, Vicki! I think you're right- two of my daughters came over and started ironing their laundry as soon as I recovered it.

  5. Huge details about the arrangement tips and the cleaning tasks of the ironing board within your post sharing. Thank you very much.

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