When I began dreaming about setting up my new 'garage' studio, a purpose made pressing (ironing) board was definitely on my wish list. Now that my studio is done and all set up, I have made my pressing board and I have to say, I am absolutely thrilled with it. One of the issues I have always had with a 'normal' ironing board is their tapered end....as we all know, most patchwork does not taper!
Ok, here is how I did it...(click on any photo's to see clearer details).
Firstly I did some online research and came across a fabulous youtube tutorial by the talented Sharon Schamber. If you are interested in making your own pressing board, check out Sharon's Perfect Pressing Board video first. After watching her video I went out and bought myself an mdf board, fortunately for me it was already the perfect size to sit on my green sideboard (47 inches x 18 inches).
Next I asked my hubby to cut off the four corners (I have no experience with power tools and wanted to save my fingers!!). This is done to take pressure off the fabric that will be stretched over each corner.
Next I cut two layers of cotton wadding (the same as the wadding I use for my quilts) and made sure they fit my mdf board with about an inch overlap.
Then it was time to cut out the fabric. I had chosen a lovely decorator weight Kaffe Fassett fabric in one of my favourite of his designs. I lay the board onto the back of the fabric then measured roughly 5 inches around the board.
Then cut along the drawn lines. I did also cut across the corners, just forgot to take a photo of that, you will have to imagine these corners chopped off!
Once that was done, I placed the two layers of wadding onto my fabric, and laid the mdf board on top of all three layers. Then came the fun bit! Using a heavy duty stapler, I carefully began to staple my fabric onto the back of my pressing board.
Check Sharon's dvd for how to do this step by step, you need to firmly pull the fabric over to the back, beginning in the centre of the board and moving towards the edges. Each edge is then folded neatly and stapled down.
Once the whole board has been stapled (I did my staples roughly 3-4 inches apart, closer at the corners), it's time to cut another piece of cotton wadding (or flannel or felt or whatever you prefer) to fit over the stapled fabric. I positioned my cut wadding onto the back of my pressing board, then lifted one side of it and prepped it with craft glue. Pat that side down over the glue, then repeat with the other side.
Doesn't the back look great now with all those raw fabric edges and staples covered up? I let this dry overnight before I put it onto my table.
And that's it! As far as the question 'does it work well' goes, my answer is a resounding YES! It is so flat and smooth in comparison to my ironing board which always seems to have bumps in it! It has pressed my improv blocks perfectly, and if the pressing board fabric becomes dirty or stained (or burnt!), I will simply staple a new fabric over the top of this one. Hopefully I won't need to do that for a long time to come. (I may even make a pillow slip type cover for it eventually, though knowing me I probably won't!!) Ok, I'm off to sew something just so I can use my new pressing board! xo