Sewing Blog

Pressed to Perfection: How to Sew an Ironing Board Cover

If you sew regularly, you are most likely in front of your ironing board just as much, if not more, than your sewing machine. Ironing board covers easily become scorched, stained and accidentally snipped with unwieldy shears, which makes them a real eyesore in your sewing space.

Instead of ignoring the problem or purchasing a boring new cover each season from a big box store, learn how to sew your own. It's a quick project and the choices of fun fabrics are endless! Use busy prints to help disguise future scorches and marks, or use the opportunity to spruce up your decor with classic colors and patterns.

Follow along for a tutorial on how to sew an ironing board cover.

how to sew an ironing board cover

Materials needed:

  • Existing ironing board cover. You will use it as your pattern.
  • 1.5 yards of cotton fabric. You can use quilting weight cotton or heavier canvas or upholstery weight fabric. Cotton fabrics breathe better than synthetics and won't trap the moisture of the steam from your iron.
  • 2 packages (6 yards) of extra wide double fold bias tape, or enough bias tape to fit around the perimeter of your ironing board. If you make your own bias tape, make sure the finished width is at least 1/2", so the strips need to be cut 2 inches wide to start. The tape won't be seen, so color isn't that important — you can even mix and match different colors of bias tape to get the length needed.
  • 3 - 4 yards of drawstring cord with a plastic stopper. You can reuse it from your old ironing board cover if it has one.
  • Sewing machine, thread, and an iron

Step 1:

Before removing your old ironing board cover, iron the wrinkles out of your new fabric. Lay your fabric in a single layer on your cutting surface. Remove the old cover and place on top of your fabric. Hold in place with pins or weights if needed.

Step 2:

Trace around the perimeter of the cover, adding 2 inches of allowance to the outer border. This excess will later be folded under the ironing board and pulled taut with drawstring to keep it in place. Cut along your traced line.

traced ironing cover

Step 3:

To create a casing for the cord, attach the binding to the new cover all the way around, sandwiching the raw edge completely. Sew in place along the folded edge of the binding, making sure to catch both sides of the binding.

sewing on binding around cover edge

At the narrowest end of your ironing board cover, abut the two ends to create an opening so the drawstring has room to weave out. Fold in the ends and sew across the bottom. Again, this won't be seen by anyone so don't worry about perfection.

ends of binding casing sewn

Step 4:

With a small safety pin or bodkin attached to one end of the drawstring, weave the whole length of the string through the casing created by the binding.

drawstring pulled through casing

Step 5:

Place the cover on the ironing board and pull on the drawstring ends to cinch the edges until it's a snug fit. Use the clip to secure the drawstring.

drawstrings pulled and secured with clip
finished ironing board cover underneath

Throw out that gross old ironing board cover and get pressing!

finished ironing board cover

18 Comments

Leslie Behringer

What about padding under the cover – what do you use?

Reply
DZ

I’ve made ironing board covers in the past, and I use double sided quilted fabric, which means you already have some “padding” in the middle — and you have two finished sides to work with as well.

Reply
Susan Melgaard

An old mattress pad makes a good pad also. Just be sure it is not nylon and that it is clean. It also works for pot holders etc… but you need to add the fabric that keeps heat from going through. How about toaster etc… covers? This can be good there also.

Reply
Leslie Behringer

What about padding under the cover – what do you use?

Reply
Glenore

I used a piece of 3/4 inch foam left over from another project but an old beach towel folded up works just as well.

Reply
Leslie Behringer

What about padding under the cover – what do you use?

Reply
Janet

I love your persistence! How about an old cotton towel or doubled up flannel sheets or old wool blanket cut to fit. It’s been about a year since your post but I couldn’t resist answering.

Reply
kim

Yes. Please answer!! What about the padding??!

Reply
Hazel

I would use the old cover for padding or simply buy some wadding from the fabric store. You can buy ironing board pads quite cheaply at many stores as well.

Reply
Barb

I would personally use cotton batting.

Reply
louise.marie@gmail.com

Just used this tutorial to make a new ironing board cover and I feel so successful! A quick and easy project – and I can use my ironing board again! Thanks!

Reply
Joanne

Used your tutorial to make a new ironing board cover. Used a piece of fabric from my stash that was given to me long ago and the foam pad on the ironing board. Looks brand new!

Thanks!

Reply
Carol

If you don’t still have the original cover, how much allowance do you think you would need to add to a tracing of the top of the board?

Reply
Judy

At last I have an ironing board cover that actually fits my board! Don’t know why but the last several I bought were just enough too small and kept popping off, or I couldn’t quite get them on at all. My board is old so maybe a tad larger than newer boards. Anyway, can’t sew without an ironing board so was delighted with this fast, easy, successful project. Do have one question, though. Any reason threading narrow elastic through and clipping wouldn’t work? Seems like it might make the fit a little easier and tighter. Regardless, thanks again for posting the pattern/tutorial!

Reply
Barb

I’m about to make one of these and from past experience with my old cheap cover, the elastic wears out and then it slips around or comes up when I pull fabric off of it. Using the cord will keep it tight for years and years and years until the cord wears out. And I think the old towel idea is a great idea because the firmer the padding the easier to get a good press. Good luck to us all!

Reply
Judy

I don’t use the wide end of my ironing board. It is a storage spot, so it looks like new. I cut out the good section, finished the edges and now use it on my ironing board when pressing seams in my small blocks. This sure saves on the wear in the spot I use most often.

Reply
Tweela

Judy: I love this idea. Thanks for the tip!

Reply
BB

Thank you! Finally – – a thoughtful approach to making a superb ironing board cover. I am an ironing enthusiast – have a heated vacuum ironing board (and two rotary Mieles) and a variety of steam iron stations . Unfortunately, I do not have a decent ironing board cover. I have all the components (Cotton Batting, Thermal-Flec Fabric, Thick Flannel, Heavy Cotton, etc) but until finding your blog had not figured out a methodology that made sense. Love your casing, drawstring and drawstring lock approach. Getting geared up to make my cover. BB

Reply

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