How to Re-Cover Your Ironing Board

Let’s say you’re quite happy with the stability and ease of use of your ironing board, but you’ve had it for few years now and its cover and padding need a fresh look. However if you’re looking for a new board, here’s a place that lines up some of the top ironing boards on the market (

You may have some difficulties as your iron drags on the ironing board or you hit the metal through the padding. None of this situations are great and you really need to change the cover on your ironing board.

Let’s go over the steps you need to do for that:

Step 1- What you need

Here are the things you’re going to need for replacing the old cover:

  • Sewing machine
  • Padding
  • 2 yards of fabric (cotton is a good idea)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Iron
  • Safety pin
  • Cord/embroidery floss

As the padding needs to be changed as well, here’s what you may use for padding:

Some like to go with the quilt batting as it’s easy to get and it’s not difficult to use several layers, getting enough padding for the ironing board.

No matter which is your final choice for the fabric or the padding, it’s always better to use just one piece. If you’re going to use several pieces of fabric/padding, it’s only a matter of time until the seam lines are going to give some unpleasant bumps in the cover. Therefore, you ironing with no wrinkles is going to be quite difficult to get!

Step 2: take care of the new padding

You should start by removing the old cover and putting it aside for now. Place the padding on the floor, flipping your ironing board face down onto it. You may double over the batting so you can cut and mark two layers at the same time.

Use a marker and go all the way around the edge of your ironing board. You only need to cut along the line if you’re only using one layer of padding. You need to pin the layers together if you’re using more than one and cut outside the lines.

It’s better to sew the several pieces of padding so there’s minimal chance for shifting later on. Sew on the line and take out the pins when you’re done.

Put the new padding on the board frame, using it as a makeshift ironing board from now on.

Step 3: prepare the old cover

Remove the string or elastic (you may have to cut it away) from the old cover and iron the old cover as flat as you can.

You may lay the cover on the floor, placing the ironing board on top so that you see how much overlap the cover had. The new cover should overlap the edges of the board by 3 inches or so.

Step 4: Mark the new cover pattern

Lay the fabric for the new cover down on the floor and put the old cover/the ironing board on top of it. You may pin the old cover to the fabric, cutting around it or draw the right seam allowance around the ironing board on top. Keep in mind to add some seam allowance – 3 in. of fabric all around the edges will do.

Continue by forming a casing to pass a string through. Set up the ironing board and lay the new cover on top. Don’t forget to place the padding on top.

Fold over the edges (1/4inch is enough) and use the iron for pressing. Continue by folding over the edges once again (3/4inch this time).

If this is the first time when you’re doing it, you’re going to have to be careful when doing it around the corners. You want to go around the corners from various directions. Don’t pleat too much and it’s fine if you can’t do it right the first time.

Step 5: Mark the casing opening

Get two pings and set them a couple of inches apart in the middle of the back of the cover. This is the part where you’re not going to sew. You want to leave it open so that you may insert the string later on.

Use a 1/8 seam allowance around the casing, starting at one edge of the marked opening. You should pay attention around the pleats as your sewing machine may catch on them. If so, you should raise the presser foot and stop the machine with the needle down. Go on with your sewing after you pushed the pleated casing back.

Do the same for the other marked edge of casing, backstitching at the beginning and end of your stitching.

As for the cord, you want it to be around 12+ inches longer than the length of the outside edge of the board. You should secure the string/cord use a small safety pin. Thread it through once you’ve put the safety ping into the opening and hold the pin by its back, pushing the casing onto it. Continue by pinching the front of the pin and pushing the bunched casing off the back. Go on until you get to the other end.

It’s a good idea to pin the cord to the opening when it’s through- only until the cover is all flattened out.

Step 6: You’re done!

As you’re holding the ends of the cord, try to straighten out the cover until it’s entirely flat. Don’t forget about the padding. You may stitch the padding down to the metal base with a needle and some thread so that it doesn’t shift.

Place the new cover on and tighten it with the strings.

It’s not a bad idea to also get some ironing board straps so your cover is always nice in place.