How to Make a Portable Ironing Board — A Guide

Ironing boards are laundry essentials in almost every home. And while there are several types of ironing boards, a good number of people prefer the portable models because of the ease and convenience that they offer.

If you have a portable board, you can iron your clothes wherever you are by simply lifting the board and taking it to the desired location.

Moreover, the cost of making this ironing surface on your own is much lower than purchasing and installing one in the laundry room.

What are the Steps In Making a Portable Ironing Board?

To make a portable ironing board, follow these steps:

Step 1. Measure and cut the parts of the ironing board according to the desired sizes.

Step 2. Fix the ironing board parts together.

Step 3. Secure the parts with a staple, glue, or nails.

Step 1: Measure and Cut the Parts

What are the procedures in measuring and cutting portable ironing board parts?

The procedures in measuring and cutting portable ironing boards parts are:

1. Take the wood measurements and cut out the desired length and width.

2. Cut out the length and width of the padding that can cover the board.

3. Measure the cover fabric and cut them according to the board size.

Take the Wood Measurements

When cutting out the wood, try not to make it become too large or heavy. So, cut out a board between 36 × 24 inches or 48 × 36 inches if you want a larger board.

In addition, you will need to consider the thickness of the board. So, get plywood that is about 1.3 – 1.9 centimeters thick.

You can also use a piece of old wooden furniture in your home to save some money.

Take the Pad Measurement

The pad (also known as cushioning) sits on top of the board. You can use old towels as cushioning.

Ideally, batting is done using a cotton/polyester blend. But ensure that the lining (batting) is wide enough to cover all the sides of your board.

Measure the Cover Fabric

To cover the board and pad, you will need to use a good fabric. Ensure that the fabric is scorch-resistant. That is, it is able to withstand the heat from the pressing iron.

Typically 100% cotton fabric is recommended, twice as long as that of the board. Next, cut the fabric to the width of the board with an extra 4 inches to fix the cover to the board firmly.

Step 2: Fix the Parts Together

How do you fix the parts of a portable ironing board together?

To fix the parts of a portable ironing board together, do the following:

1. Place the cushion over the board.

2. Secure the batting in place.

3. Place the fabric covering over the board and hold them together.

Place the Cushion Over the Board

Start assembling the parts after ensuring that you took the right measurements.

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Firstly, place the towels or pad over the board. Make sure it is well-centered so that you have an equal amount of fabric allowance on opposite sides of the board.

After that, wrap the linen (batting) around it. Apply some caution here as well so that the pad doesn’t shift from its position.

Secure the Batting in Place

Leaving the linen fabric wrapped snugly around the board without holding it in place is not a good idea.

If you do not secure it in place, it will come off when you are ironing. So, get a staple gun. Then, flatten out the linen until you notice the shape of your cushioning.

Use the gun to secure the cushioning to the middle of the board. Then, pull the batting gently on each side to flatten the cushioning and secure it in place.

Place the Fabric Covering

Now, place your fabric on top of the board. Ensure that the measurement remains the same before flipping the board over.

After doing this, confirm that you have the correct measurement around the board again.

Step 3: Secure the Parts

How can you secure the parts of a portable ironing board?

To secure the parts of a portable ironing board, do the following:

1. Flip the longest side of the fabric over the back of the board first before covering the remaining exposed sides with the other parts of the fabric.

2. Hold the long piece of the fabric down, so it does not shift. You can staple it three times to make sure it is secure.

3. Cover the remaining uncovered area of the board with the unstapled fabric ends. Using the staple gun, secure the fabric to the board.

Ensure that the staples are evenly spaced. Make sure that the fabric is pulled properly while you staple three times.

And that’s it! Your DIY portable ironing board.

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Other Types of Ironing Boards

Apart from the portable board, there are two other types — the wall-mounted and the table-top ironing boards.

Wall-Mounted Ironing Boards

In houses with limited space, wall-mounted ironing boards are becoming popular.

These boards fold out from the wall or closet so you can return them to the wall after use.

People living in spacious houses also love the wall-mounted ironing boards because they are compact and convenient.

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Looking for where to buy wall-mounted ironing boards? Find out more in our detailed post here.

Table-Top Ironing Boards

What are table-top ironing boards?

Table-top ironing boards are ironing boards built to stand on top of tables or counters. This is possible because these boards have short legs. They are very easy to carry around and can be stored in very small spaces.

Although the size of this board type is a major advantage, it becomes an issue when you need it to iron large clothes.

The steps involved in making the tabletop and wall-mounted boards are also very similar to the steps involved in making a portable one.

But, for the wall-mounted board, you will need to take some detailed measurements and make markings on your wall to install it on your wall or closet.

If you are pretty handy with hammer and nails, you can fix the short legs of your table-top ironing board on your own.

Video: Upcycle An Old Ironing Board To A Wall Mount

Alternatively, you can learn how to upcycle your old ironing board into a wall-mounted model. Check out the video below to learn how to.

For more ironing board DIY tips, check these articles out:


Making a portable ironing board is a pretty straightforward process. If you are looking for ways to save more money, you can decide to use old materials at home to make your board instead of buying new ones.

When securing the parts of your board together, ensure that they are pulled tightly before they are stapled. Else, you might end up with a not-so-smooth board.

Meanwhile, you may decide to have special feet for your board. But, this feature is not a deal-breaker. Since it has a flat bottom, you can place your ironing board on any flat surface to press your clothes.

How to Make a Portable Ironing Board — Related FAQs

How Do You Make an Ironing Board from a TV Tray?

To make an ironing board from a TV tray, you will need the following:

1.     TV table.

2.    Aluminum foil.

3.    Batting material.

4.    Cotton fabric.

5.    Staple gun.

6. Scotch tape.

The procedures of making an ironing board from a TV tray include:

1.    Wrap your TV table with aluminum foil and seal the edges with scotch tape. This is to prevent steam and starch from damaging your table. It also helps to reflect heat back to the ironed cloth and reduce ironing time.

2.    Place the batting material over the aluminum board. The materials you can use in batting are thick old towels, woolen fabrics, and folds of thick cotton materials. This provides cushioning and a soft ironing surface.

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3.    Place your top layer cotton over the batting and hold in place with staples.

Can You Make Your Own Wool Pressing Mat?

You can make your own wool pressing mat. But before making a wool pressing mat at home, take note of the following:

1.    After washing woolen mats with hot water, it shrinks. So, when measuring your mat, add extra inches to its length and width.

2.    If you intend to travel with your woolen mat or to use it on a narrow surface, you can place hinges on your mat using a fabric. The mat can be folded on those hinges.

To make your own wool pressing mat, do the following:

1.    Buy woolen yarns and crochet a mat of your desired size.

2.    Place your crochet mat in a washing machine and wash it with hot water till it fluffs properly.

3.    Get rid of all the loose threads from the woolen mat. Shave the mat properly and trim it down to the original size. Your mat is ready.

What Is A Steady Betty Ironing Board?

A Steady Betty ironing board is a board uniquely designed to hold fabric down while it is being pressed. This anti-slip property of the Steady Betty ironing board helps to speed up the ironing process.

To create this non-slip surface, a special material is used in making the ironing board cover. This cover was initially designed for the quilting ironing boards but is used on regular ironing boards nowadays.

While pressing fabrics – which is different from ironing, a slip could affect the precision of the finished work.

How Do You Make a Quilting Pressing Pad?

To make a quilting ironing pad, you need the following:

1.    A piece of plywood, 1/2” thick, measuring 12 x 12 inches.

2.    Sport-weight cotton fabric.

3.    Batting.

4.    Glue gun.

5.  Two-sided tape.

To make a quilting ironing board, do the following:

1.    Place a fabric above and below your batting. Press it with the highest iron setting and steam.  Doing this will help you to use the desired quantity of batting since it will not flatten further when the ironing board is in use.                                                  

2.    Cover the plywood with aluminum foil, the shiny side facing up. Place a 2-sided tape at the edges of the board and place the batting over it.

3.    Place the cotton fabric over it and hold it in place with glue.

Can You Iron on a Cutting Mat?

You can iron on a cutting mat. In fact, cutting mats that double as ironing mats are popular these days. Quilters that do a lot of cutting and ironing do not need to worry about moving things around in their workspace. They can cut the materials and iron or press them on the same surface.

Cutting mats are similar to portable ironing boards and are made almost the same way. The difference between a cutting mat and an ironing board is that the cutting mat is padded on both sides while the ironing board is not.

Can You Iron Wet Clothes?

You can iron wet clothes, but they should not be dripping. It is best to iron your clothes before they are completely dry and the wrinkles on them are set.

Ironing wet clothes make it easier to get rid of the creases. If your clothes are already dry before you are ready to iron them, sprinkle them with water or spray them with starch first.

Ironing clothes when they are dripping wet will soak up the ironing board and this will stain the cloth. Ironing clothes that are dripping until they are dry will take a longer time and consume more energy.

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