How To Make A Tabletop Ironing Board in 8 Steps

How to Make A Tabletop Ironing Board
Image by Annalise Batista from Pixabay

Tabletop ironing boards are versatile, portable, very easy to carry, set up, and use when compared to standard-sized, free-standing ironing boards. This makes them a good fit for most home spaces and those who move around a lot.

A tabletop ironing board is also very easy for almost anyone to make from scratch compared to other types of ironing boards. So, if you’re looking to cut costs with your ironing, then it is a good idea to learn how to make a tabletop ironing board.

Also, if you’re a DIY and/recycling enthusiast who likes getting handy with stuff around the house, this is a good project to embark on as a challenge to yourself. It also makes sense to do this if you want to make a custom-sized ironing board that is the perfect fit for your needs and home space.

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Moreso, if you are into sewing, quilting, and other forms of arts and crafts, you will need to iron frequently. It is quite cumbersome and distracting to move to and fro your ironing area. This is especially if your regular ironing board is too large for your immediate workspace.

This could be extra frustrating if you have multiple work areas. By making a DIY ironing board for yourself, you will have an extra one that you can move around easily for easy and quick ironing anytime.

You can even go the extra mile and make one for each work area, instead of having to carry one from place to place each time. This will eliminate frequent breaks from your workflow and save floor space that an ironing board would have occupied. How cool is that?

Now that you have decided to get hands-on with creating a tabletop ironing board, note that as daunting as this project might seem, it is quite easy.

This post provides step by step details that are easy to follow and will guide you on how to create one.

Image by DarkWorkX from Pixabay

Materials Needed For A DIY Tabletop Ironing Board

What are the materials needed to make a tabletop ironing board?

The materials needed to make a tabletop ironing board are:

1. A piece of wood.

2. An old towel or foam.

3. A staple or a glue gun.

4. A cotton or Teflon fabric.

5. Parchment paper.

6. Measuring tape and marker.

7. Scissors or razor.

1. A base: You can choose a base made of placemats, wood, chipboard, or even cardboard to provide firm support for ironing.

2. Adequate Padding: Felt material is most recommended, but you can actually use old towels, foam, polyester batting, and/or cotton batting to adding some cushioning to your ironing board.

3. Staple or Glue Gun: These are needed to secure your materials in place very well. A glue gun makes the process very fast, but make sure all the gum goes on the underside of the board you are making and not on the ironing surface itself. This is because, while in use, the iron can heat up the gum under the fabric and cause the materials to detach.

If using a staple gun, you will need to have heavy-duty staples and if using a glue gun, you need glue sticks.

 4. Cover Fabric: This must be a scorch resistant fabric such as cotton (100% organic), Teflon, and canvas.

 5. Contractor’s Paper/Brown Paper (optional): This is to cover the underside and make it look neat.

6. Measuring tape and marker: To measure your board and other materials if/when needed.

7. Scissors and/or Razor: To cut and trim materials with precision.

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Making A Tabletop Ironing Board — A Step By Step Guide

What are the steps to take when making a tabletop ironing board?

The following are steps to take when making a tabletop ironing board:

  1. Place your base on your work area.
  2. Measure the desired base size.
  3. Cut if necessary.
  4. Lay your padding material and apply glue.
  5. Lay your fabric.
  6. Trim the excess.
  7. Cover board underside with paper and glue them together.
  8. Leave to dry.

Step 1. Place your base on your work area

Select your base of choice and place it in your designated work area. You can use old or spare place mats around the house, chipboard, or even glue pieces of cardboard together.

You can also get 3/4″ plywood from the store or repurpose an old wooden shelf or plank lying around. The most important thing is that your base is lightweight enough to move around. It should also be strong, firm, and durable enough to bear the weight and pressure of ironing. You do not want to go through the process of creating one, only to have it bail out on you after a few uses.

Step 2. Measure the desired size

Work with a size that works best for your needs. It should be large enough or slightly larger than the pieces you want to iron. Your ironing board can also be as small as you want it.

Step 3. Cut if necessary

Trim your base round if needed. You can do this yourself or if you’re using wood, it should be measured and cut for you at the point of purchase.

Step 4. Lay your padding material

Lay your padding of choice on the base and use glue or staple gun to secure in place, starting with the sides first and the corners last. If using a glue gun, you need to wrap your padding around the base firmly then glue it down on the underside. You might need extra hands to hold it in place while you do this.

Use a double layer of padding if just one layer feels too flimsy and thin. You can also combine them. For instance, lay polyester batting first then add cotton batting on top of that.

Always set your padding in place properly to avoid bumps and bulges.

Step 5. Lay your fabric

Once satisfied with the padding, it’s time to cover with your fabric. As with the padding, staple or glue into place, going in with the sides first then the corners. Tuck securely under the board, not too close to the edge and smoothen out.

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Step 6. Trim the excess

If excess padding and fabric are hanging out on the underside, use a pair of scissors or sharp razor to trim them away.

Be careful not to cut the glued or stapled part. Leave some inches of material on the board underside so it doesn’t pull off with use.

Step 7. Cover board underside with paper

You may not consider this necessary but we recommend it. This will give your ironing board a nice, clean, and standard finished look. It will definitely look better than having fabric ends hanging out.

Moreso, it will help your board slide across your tabletop more easily, instead of the loose ends and pins snagging across surfaces.

To do this, cut the paper to size and fold in 1 inch at each edge. Then apply some glue onto the underside of the board and on the paper too. Spray gun will come in handy here but your glue gun works as well.

We are using glue instead of stapler for this part as the metal might be bumpy and can snag surfaces. But if you can flatten the staples properly, then go ahead and use it.

Place the paper on the board and smoothen it out, making sure that there are no folds, bumps, or air bubbles in-between.

Note that apart from using a contractor’s paper, a placemat can also be used to cover the underside.

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Step 8. Leave to dry

Your newly completed ironing board needs adequate time to allow the gum dry thoroughly.

Once dried, you are all set to use your DIY tabletop ironing board.

Video: How To Make Your Own Ironing Board

You can also check out this video to learn how to make an ironing board:

For more ironing tips, check these articles:

Quick Recap

A tabletop ironing board is a good fit if you need a versatile and portable ironing surface that is easy to move around. Making a DIY ironing board is quite easy and you can use materials around the house or from a store near you.

Select a base that is strong enough but lightweight for easy mobility, cover with adequate paddings, such as foam, felt, polyester or cotton batting, and secure in place with glue or staple gun. Also cover with a nice, scorch resistant fabric and secure in place too. Make sure to lay everything nice and smooth.

Trim excess stuff away and cover the underside with the contractor’s paper to give it a neat finishing. Allow to dry and you’re good to go.

If you’ll like more DIY challenges, then you may like our posts on how to make a portable ironing board or how to make a good ironing board cover.

Now, if you would rather buy a new ironing board instead of making a DIY tabletop ironing board for yourself, you should read this guide on where to buy a good quality ironing board.

How To Make A Tabletop Ironing Board in 8 Steps — Related FAQs 

How do you make a tabletop ironing board cover?

To make a tabletop ironing board, you will need 2 large mats for the board cover base; some clean tea towels or a big bath towel; a glue gun; cotton fabric for the cover; and a pair of scissors.

Spread the bath towel or the kitchen towels on the table. Spray a lot of glue to one of the base mats and place it on top of the towel. Apply pressure to make sure it sticks, especially at the edges.

If you want a thicker ironing board cover, you can glue on some foam padding or more towels. You can recycle old towels and use them to pad your ironing board cover.

Cover it with nice cotton fabric. This fabric should be large enough to cover the front and reverse side of the tabletop ironing board cover.

What kind of batting do you use for an ironing board?

The best kinds of batting to use for an ironing board are cotton, linen, and quilt batting. They are the batting that can withstand the heat and pressure of ironing and stand the test of time. You can use polyester batting if you intend to pad the ironing board cover. 

It is a good idea to use a fabric that is wide enough to cover the ironing board. Sewing pieces of your batting fabric together will cause bumps on the ironing board that will be torn by the ironing process with time.

How do you make a mini ironing board?

To make a mini ironing board you will need some pieces of wood; some pieces of thick cotton or linen fabric; an old towel or quilt batting; a staple gun; a pair of scissors; and a glue gun.

Cut out the dimension of the iron board, measure and cut out the batting and padding using this dimension. Cut out the fabric to serve as the ironing board cover. It should be twice the size of the board so that you do not have to stitch some pieces together before covering the board completely.

Place the padding material over the wooden board and fold it on the reverse side. Hold it in place using staples or glue.

Spread the cotton fabric (to be used in covering the ironing board) on a flat surface.  Place the cushioned wood on the center of the cotton fabric. Wrap the cotton fabric around the board and hold the edges with the staples or glue.

How do you make a portable ironing pad?

To make a portable ironing pad, you will need a mat or a cotton fabric (to be used as backing); Insul-Bright or old towels to be used as the batting; a nice cotton fabric to be used as the top layer; sewing machine; and a pair of scissors.

Start by drawing quilting lines on your top layer fabric. This will serve as a sewing guide when you want to design and sew all the parts together.

After that, place the backing, batting, and the top layer on a flat surface in this order. Stitch them together and trim off the excesses. Bind the edges with a fabric of your choice and stitch it neatly.

What is an ironing blanket?

Ironing blanket is a material that is used to cover a surface for ironing and it is heat-sensitive. It should be able to absorb heat, be smooth, thick, and washable.

An ironing blanket should be able to protect the surface used in ironing from the heat of the iron. It should also be foldable, not leave stains on the fabric being ironed, and not slip when being used.

You can use an ironing blanket alone or on an ironing board. It can be neatly folded, wrapped with tape, and taken for trips and vacations.

What can I use if I don’t have an ironing board?

To iron without an ironing board, you need a flat surface and an ironing blanket. The flat surface can be a smooth floor, a table, your kitchen counter, a firm bed, or your cloth dryer.

The surface should be able to withstand heat and steam from the iron. To make sure that the heat of the iron does not damage the ironing surface, place an ironing blanket first before you iron your cloth.

If you do not want to buy an ironing blanket, you can use a neat large-sized towel or a thick layer of white cotton fabric.


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