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Thread: Refurbishing Grandma's Wood Ironing Board

  1. #1
    Super Member DonnaC's Avatar
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    Refurbishing Grandma's Wood Ironing Board

    Hi all! I just unearthed this fabulous wooden ironing board from my basement. It belonged to my Grandma originally, and was passed down to my Mom, and now it's all mine. This is the ONLY ironing board I remember having used growing up! It had a whole bunch of layers of fabric and a really crappy cover on it. Actually, the bottom layer of fabric (right on top of the wood) appeared to be some type of muslin that was nailed all around; it was so deteriorated that I had to use a sandpaper block to get most of it off. I still haven't removed all of the nails around the edge so you'll probably notice them in the picture. Over that layer of what I assume was muslin was a white cloth that looked sort of like an old-fashioned dishtowel fabric. Then a couple of old horrendous-looking ironing board covers that were really worn out.

    Anyway, the reason why I'm posting is to ask opinions on what I should cover this with. I'm thinking - a layer of cotton muslin right next to the wood, then a layer of cotton batting, then a layer of insul-brite, then a cotton muslin cover, and then a decorative cover on the very top. Does that sound right? I have some insul-brite but have never used it. I assume it would be great for this type of use because it will conduct the heat back up to the iron (according to the package, anyway!).

    Thoughts or ideas, anyone?

    Here's the picture.
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  2. #2
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Oh my, how lucky you are. It's beautiful!! Hang on to that baby!!!!! Sounds like you know what you are doing.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  3. #3
    Super Member
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    That's a great ironing board and keepsake from your family. I'm sure you'll do fine fixing it up to use.

  4. #4
    Senior Member cmw0829's Avatar
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    I don't know the answer to your question, but that looks like a great ironing board - nice and long!

    I've seen information on the internet on how to make an ironing table which is pretty much what you have - base of wood with layers of whatever. You might try to Google something like "make your own ironing table or board" and see what others have done.

    Have fun with it.

  5. #5
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I found one just like that at a yard sale about 15 years ago. The lady said it belonged to her ex's grandmother. It has a lot of history but horrible to iron on, I tried. No place in the house to display it so it looks right so I have it on the porch with potted flowers on it and it makes a nice place for packages from the mail and UPS. It's still sturdy after all this time.
    Got fabric?

  6. #6
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    Maybe you can "decorate" with it somehow. I think it would be wonderful to be able to "see" it and enjoy it.
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place...the End Times.

    Heaven and Earth are full of His Glory!

  7. #7
    Super Member chips88's Avatar
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    oh! my what a find that is. yes hang on to that beauty.i would love to find one.. maybe soon one of these days..

  8. #8
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    My Mom has pretty much the same board that we got from my great-aunt (dates from the 40s, I'm sure). I'm getting the board when we finish remodeling (and I get my dedicated quilting room back!). The reason why they used layers of regular fabric in the past is that it enabled you to press clothing properly and get sharp edges. If you are quilting, it's easier for YOU to have a little give. Your plan seems reasonable.

    Ok.. it has muslin against the wood, a layer of fairly thick cotton batting, 2 layers of a thick flannel (almost like a thin blanket) and then a cover. So, I think using that layer of thinsulate will cover that 2 layers of thick flannel which I would guess is protecting the board from the steam to prevent warping.
    Current piecing: Zig Zag quilt & LOTL (HSTs done, assembling units)
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  9. #9
    Super Member joysewer's Avatar
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    I love these old ironing boards and have 2 of them. I don't have covers on either of them because I use them for decorating. One is hanging (closed) on my dining room wall and the other sits (closed) in my sewing room. I used to have it sitting at the window in the sewing room with my serger on it and it was a nice spot for the cats to look out the window. I recently took it down from there and have it leaning up against the computer desk. I plan to use it for a bulletin board for my grandchildren's pictures. I think I will put a cork board on it so I'm not putting holes in the actual ironing board.
    Gloria 

  10. #10
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    I cover ironing boards. I use warm & natural--2 or 3 layers. I am not sure of the insul brite. There is an aluminum type fabric-- Namcy notion or clotildes but I don't care for it. I uses a sturdy 100% cotton--duck or sometimes maybe upholstery fabric. Found most of mine a Wm . I uses the serger & thread a cord (like commercial ones) & serge the cord on. Inst in serger book. Make new ones every 2yrs or so (depends if I leave iron in wrong position & burn it lol) One could sew bias tape around the edge for cording also.. Really like these & have made for friends & family

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