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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.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  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."
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  3. #3
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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. We are nearing closer to the End Times.

  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.

  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

  11. #11
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    On utube Sharon Schambers has a Tute about making a small ironing board you might check it out as how she layered hers.
    Come to Me and I will give you rest--Jesus.

  12. #12
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    I still use my wooden ironing board. I was given to me by my Mom when she stopped ironing clothing. It was a wedding gift to my Mom and Dad almost 70 years ago. An ironing board wouldn't do for a wedding gift now.
    Sue

  13. #13
    Super Member joysewer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by susie-susie-susie View Post
    I still use my wooden ironing board. I was given to me by my Mom when she stopped ironing clothing. It was a wedding gift to my Mom and Dad almost 70 years ago. An ironing board wouldn't do for a wedding gift now.
    Sue
    You are soooo right Sue. I don't think either of my daughter in laws knows how to iron!!!
    Gloria 

  14. #14
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    My favorite ironing board cover is Therma-Flec, which helps to bounce the heat back to the fabric. You can find it at Fabrics.com. http://www.fabric.com/SearchResults2...3-26a376046a5e
    Neesie


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  15. #15
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    My Mom's ironing board had layers and layers too ... when it got too scorched and dirty, then the next layer went on over top. And it was pretty much whatever she had available ... never anything "pretty" like =many of us choose now, just functional and white.

    I don;t have hers though I did purchased one last year at a sale and use it for display purposes ... stripped down to it's bare woord (sanded and varathaned), it usually has a quilt or two draped over it.
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    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    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.
    AWSOME idea!!!
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheQuiltedPig

  17. #17
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I have an old cheapy metal ironing board that has the top with all the holes in it. I decided the last time the cover needed to be replaced, I would do it myself. I did 2 layers of warm and natural and put a store bought cover on it. It just didn't last long. I decided I was going to make a cover for it. I was purchasing some fabric at Hobby Lobby and when the clerk asked what I was going to make, I told her I was making an ironing board cover. She recommended a pre made cover that they sold that was popular. She said that one of her male managers couldn't stop raving about it and she figured if a guy thought an ironing board cover was great, then it must be true. I don't remember the name brand. It was a little pricey, around $25 - $30 though. It is made with that silver reflective material. It has just the right amount of cushion to it but still gives me stability to press quilt blocks and iron shirts effortlessly. It is secured with velcro straps under the board. I took the fabric that I purchased at Hobby Lobby and made a cover for the cover. It has really served its purpose well!
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
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  18. #18
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    I have one also, after taking all the fabric off, I did'nt put anymore on. I use it as a sofa table, behind my couch. I just love it, and its a great conversation piece.

  19. #19
    Senior Member germanquilter's Avatar
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    I have one as well; bought it at a yard sale. My husband sanded it and waxed it and I also use it as a 'table' behind my couch. Right now I have some Longaberger baskets displayed on it but want to eventually drape a smaller quilt over it. My house is full of antiques so it fits right in

  20. #20
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    My Grandmother has a wooden ironing board. My dh's grandmother had an incredibly heavy iron ironing board with vented top I have the iron one.

    On both are layers of old woollen blankets. The iron one has 3 layers of blankets and a duck canvas cover. I bought the cover and it is about 10 inches too short.

    If I ever get the wooden one I will strip it to the bare wood, refinish it and use it as a display.

    The iron one is very functional, and will never tip due to it's weight, but not nice to look at.

  21. #21
    Super Member SouthPStitches's Avatar
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    I would think this kind of ironing board would prove invaluable in a sewing room because it appears wider than the modern ones. Would be perfect for pressing quilt tops. More pressing accomplished and less wrinkling.

  22. #22
    Super Member Nanaquilts44's Avatar
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    I love the look of these old wooden ironing boards. Using them behind a sofa is a great idea!

  23. #23
    Senior Member jeank's Avatar
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    I have an old board that looks simular to your photo. I use it when my guild has a booth at the local historical society festival to display our items for sale. Everything is supposed to have an old fashioned theme.
    Jean in MI

  24. #24
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    I want one!!!

  25. #25
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    When I was growing up we had a similar wooden ironing board, except it folded up into a little cabinet in the kitchen. It was covered first by a layer of heavy canvas (duck cloth) that stayed on it all the time. On top of that was a number of layers of old sheets (ones that the edges were good, but the middle was split). As we scorched the top layer it was just pulled off to reveal the next layer until we got down to the canvas. Then it was time to recover with more old sheets which had been saved for that purpose.
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