Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tutorial: easy ironing board cover

As you can see, it has been a while between posts here on this little blog. So I thought I'd make this post a goodie.

Remember a while back I posted pics of our old laundry? Well it is now finished and looks brilliant (will post pics soon). I've been loving the new laundry and admire its beauty (and cupboards and bench space and concealed dirty clothes hamper) on a daily basis.

About a fortnight ago I was trying to decide where to store my ironing board - oh the decisions that one has to make!! I decided not to store in the laundry and then I realised that was a really dumb idea. The reason I didn't want to store it in the laundry was because it was ugly-ing up my lovely laundry.

So I decided to make a new cover for the ironing board. It will now look lovely in the new space.

Here is where the craftopia starts:

This is a REALLY REALLY easy project. I would say it is totally suitable for a beginner sewer. As long as you know how to use the straight stitch on your machine you'll be ironing on a new cover in no time.

You'll need:

- a sewing machine
- coordinating color thread (actually, you won't even see the stitches so if you want to be all uncoordinated in your thread choice - go right ahead)
- 1.5 m of 100% cotton fabric (or if you use 150cm wide fabric, you'll need about 70cm)
- some thin ropey stringy stuff (I used some cord I had leftover from the blinds)
- scissors
- pins
- your ironing board

Now this is hack craft at its finest, so if you are a person who isn't comfortable with winging it, you might be best to ditch my instructions and find a more detailed tute online. For those of you who are happy to give it a on.

1. Firstly get your ironing board out and lay your new fabric over the top. Position your new fabric the way you want it.

Oh, sorry I didn't take 'in progress' pics... but the instructions are so easy you won't need them.

2. Now, cut your new fabric in the rough shape of your ironing board leaving a very generous seam allowance (I left about 10cm all around).

3. You can do this next step one of three ways. The first option is the neatest, the other two are quicker and the end result doesn't really matter because you won't see the stitches:
a) Turn over the edge about 5mm and sew a little 'hem' all the way round OR
b) Zig Zag stitch around the edges of the fabric OR
c) overlock the edges of the fabric

I went with option a. And honestly, do not worry if it doesn't look neat and tidy.

4. Now make a hem by turning about 2cm your fabric over. Pin the hem in place. Make sure you don't make a hem narrower than, say, 1.5cm. You are making a casing for the cord so you need the hem to be wide enough to pass the cord through.

5. Sew the hem in place. Remember to leave a 2cm gap somewhere. I put my gap on the widest end of the board. This is where you'll stick your safety pin in to thread the cord through.

6. Get your trusty cord

And singe the end of the cord. I read on another site that this means that the cord won't fray while you are poking it through the casing. To determine how much cord you'll need, measure all the way round your old ironing board. I added on about 30cm (I always over estimate when I'm making things up as I go along.).

7. Get your safety pin and poke it into the end of the cord. Now thread your cord through the casing that you made.

8. When you've threaded the cord all the way to the end, put your new cover on top of your old cover. Pull the string tight and WOW - you've got a new ironing board cover!!

I should have mentioned at the start that my old ironing board cover still has lots of good padding so my new cover will sit on top of the old cover. If your ironing board needs new padding, it might be a good idea to try quilting wadding.

Give this project a go, it honestly took me about 40 minutes to do - and I was multitasking - watching West Wing at the same time :-)

I love the new cover. Cost next to nothing to make and looks splendid. Do try it.