Are you are pressed for space (bad pun intentional)? If getting out the bulky ironing board keeps you from properly finishing your projects then this post is for you! See how I transformed a little corner in my sewing space into a dedicated pressing station. Make your own DIY pressing board in no time at all!
Pressing is so important when it comes to sewing! Many beginners skip this step while constructing their garments and, unfortunately, it can show. You may get away with a little finger press between sewing steps from time to time, but nothing beats the iron. With a handy DIY Pressing Board, you won’t be tempted to skip it.
Pressing sets your seam (helps the stitches settle down into the fabric), flattens waviness and helps you to cut, match and sew accurately. Before I made my little pressing corner I had a stockpile of UFOs (unfinished projects) that just needed a seam or two pressed before I could move on. With the two littles playing underfoot there’s rarely a time when I can safely iron around them.
Now with my DIY pressing board squeezed in the corner of my baby-safe sewing area I finally have a safe way to leave the iron out while I sew!
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Decide how large you want your board based on your sewing space and where you’ll be using it. You can have them cut down the wood at the store.
I used heat resistant batting (insul-brite) for the outer layer of batting and another layer of batting for the inside. It’s up to you how many layers of batting you choose to do, many people prefer only one layer, but I wanted just a little more loft.
If you don’t have heat resistant batting I read on a group chat that it helps to cover the board with aluminum foil first, then put batting over it. The foil supposedly reflects some heat back up and keeps moisture from getting in the wood. I chose not to do this as I was using the insul-brite.
I used a 100% cotton canvas for the fabric. If you wanted to use something like a decorative quilting cotton that would be fine too.
How To Make It:
First, sand the corners of the board just a little bit so that the sharp edges don’t wear holes in the fabric.
Next, cut your batting and fabric. I cut the first layer of heat resistant batting about the size of the board. I cut the regular batting and fabric several inches bigger so I would have enough to wrap around the board edges.
Lay the fabric face down, then the regular batting face down, the heat resistant batting and the board on top. My layers are trimmed so that I only have to staple the fabric to the board, no batting.
Pull the fabric taut on the side and staple it down. Repeat this for each side of the board, leaving the corners un-stapled.
Fold the batting over and cut into mitered edges. It isn’t important to do it perfectly, it will be covered by fabric and felt, but doing this id helpful because it reduces bulk.
For the corners, pull the fabric taut over the corner point first and staple it down.
Trim fabric if needed, then fold the fabric sides as shown and staple down.
Add extra staples around to secure the fabric if you need to.
Cut out a piece of felt to cover the bottom of the board and hide the raw edges. Trim any extra fabric and hot glue the felt on.
And, Voila! Your DIY pressing board is done! As easy as that!
Now, you can choose to have it tucked away and pull it out as needed, or you can keep it out and have a permanent pressing station on a table.
I chose to do a mix of these. I usually keep it out on top of an old repurposed nightstand that I tucked in the corner behind my sewing table. It’s the perfect low height for me to press on while seated at my sewing table. I love that I can just swivel around and press!
Since my little corner space is behind a baby gate I can safely sew and press as needed when I have to around the babies, and having it already set up saves so much time too!
This is definitely a project that I recommend for all sewists!
What are you waiting for? Go out and make your own DIY Pressing Board!