How to Sew An Ironing Board Slip Cover...Easily

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I finally broke down and bought a full size ironing board the other day. How it is that I sew daily yet resisted buying one of these things you ask? The answer is simple, because I live in a fairly small house where my living/dining area (approximately 400 sf of space) also serves as my sewing room, my office, the playroom, and the family room. So the thought of bringing a 6 foot eye soar into an already maxed out space, that I am constantly battling to keep looking like it is simply used as a living and dining area, was not on my list of wants or needs. Plus my mini ironing board and dining table was working out ok. But when I saw a new looking ironing board at a yard sale for 2 bucks, I couldn't pass it up. However once I got it home, I was a bit deflated with my awesome bargain when it was painfully clear that we were going to have some issues. I knew we were not going to be very compatible, not with the horrible 1990's floral airbrush design covering it that's for sure.

Before - No thanks.

But I tested it out and decided I needed to make this work and, like everything in my house, I had to make it work for me aesthetically. I had some leftover material I had used to make pillows for my couch and thought, well, I may as well make it match my house and went about thinking on how I could make a cover for it. The cover it came with had little velcro straps and padding which I wanted to keep but really didn't want my garage sale find to end up being a two day project where I would have to figure out how to sew all that padding and those do-dads. Which I knew would find me very grumpy at 3 o'clock in the morning and an even grumpier mom at 7 in the morning the next day when my children awoke. So instead I decided to just make a cover, because that's really all I needed, something more pleasing to the eye. I looked online at several tutorials but, again, they were all way more involved than I wanted to get into with my two dollar yard sale purchase.

So....I figured out my own way to do it that was so simple! It's not perfection but it is an incredibly simple and easy solution. Now I am going to share the 3-step process with you, that's right 3 steps!

First you lay your fabric out and place the padding that is on your ironing board ontop of it. Trace it about 3 inches out. Then cut. This does not have to be precise.

Second you sew a hem. Fold the edges over twice and iron them, you can pin them if you want. I didn't because I used a canvas cotton and they stayed folded on their own. But if you are using a light-weight cotton you will probably need to pin every couple inches. Hem with a straight stitch.

Third I used a thin elastic (about 1/4 inch) to go all the way around the piece. Tip: Remember when using elastic to first tack it down: sew a half inch and then back stitch. Then you will pull on the elastic as you sew to stretch it out (with a straight stitch again) so that it will gather. No pulling equals no elasticity. Then on the front in and the back end where you are going to need extra elastic pull to gather your fabric around the ironing board base I used a half inch elastic from one end of the rounded front to the other and the same on the back.

The Half Inch Elastic

That was it. That was enough to get a slip cover for my 2 dollar ironing board!

 After - It Matches! (and sorry for the terrible phone pictures!)


  1. That is so cool!!
    Thank you for the tutorial:)

  2. Nicely done. I too made a cover as the choices in stores were hidious. You did a lovely job. Hugs. Tammy


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