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Thread: Something other than an ironing board

  1. #1
    Bottle Blonde's Avatar
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    I came to the conclusion that I need something larger than the surface of my ironing board. It is pretty frustrating to press large pieces of fabric on something intended for clothes. I spend a lot of time folding, unfolding, pinning, arranging and re-arranging ...whine, whine, whine.

    This is what I was thinking about doing - what do you think and do you use a pressing area other than your ironing board? I thought to buy an 8 foot hollow core door (you can get them without the doorknob hole drilled out) put it across supports...maybe even 2 kitchen cabinets (with drawers) cover it with batting and canvas? or muslin? maybe there is a heat resistant paint I could use? I am worried about the wood warping from the heat of the iron. I could cut the door down if it was too big - I have a huge sewing room so the size isn't too important. I would love to be able to walk around and press from both sides. I think I can get a door for under $50, cabinets could be pricey...may need to go with 2x4 supports.

    Anyway - just throwing this out there - I would love to hear how you have solved this frustrating issue - and please tell me what you think about using the door and cabinet idea.

  2. #2
    Super Member DA Mayer's Avatar
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    Do you have a college or university nearby. Many have surplus stores, esp if univer with hospital, I bought a lot of things at the university of Iowa surplus store and I know they had metal desks which would work great. What if you used the insulate batting, the type used in potholders, under the fabric on your board to protect the board. File cabinets work great for supports under the board.

  3. #3
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    "stored away when not in use'? Love it - mine is always 'in use" ! Could use one larger than the regular clothing ironing board too. In time.

  4. #4

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    If you are thinking of using a door, you may want to check out the local Habitat for Humanity store. There are lots of doors at my local store.

    A friend at work just made a large board to go over her ironing board. I think it cost about $50.00 for lumber and materials on top. I'm still deciding what type of board I want. :D

  5. #5
    Senior Member cizzors's Avatar
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    I made my sewing/cutting tables from two hollow core doors I got from my sister. Made them 'L' shaped, attached with brackets, bought two sets of folding table legs and now I have a huge play area in my average size bedroom with lots of space left.

    Don't know why you can't go to HD or Lowes and get one for an ironing board. You can get the silver material (what's it called?) at joanns also.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    if you have plenty of room I'd go with a full sheet of 3/4 plywood, by the time you get your padding on there I don't think you could warp it with heat, you'd burn your fabric first. just make sure it's well supported or it will warp on it's own. you can get the cabinet units one at a time as you can afford it to go under. that's what I have in my room for cutting (1/2 sheet) and it's the perfect hight, wish I had one for iorning too

  7. #7
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    At my LQS they sew ironing board covers. It's wood that goes over the ironing board to make it into a rectangle. It's pretty decently sized.

  8. #8
    Super Member ginnie6's Avatar
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    here's what dh did for me. He bought a sheet of plywood and cut it to about 2ft wide and the length of my ironing board. Then he put it on the ironing board and added little strips of wood on each side to hold it in place. It comes off if you need to iron clothes. I covered it with and old old old blanket I had and a sheet. It works great and I can recover it easily whenever I need.

  9. #9
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    My DH made the big board for me, we found this webshots site with pictures, might help you out.
    http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/...80862212jmSjuv

  10. #10
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    Don't make your ironing surface too soft or it will distort your blocks . I was told that you should use thin cotton batting and whatever you use for the cover and that it should not give too much when you push on it.

  11. #11
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I reversed my regular ironing board. I use the wide end for the front. The wide end gives me a bigger square surface to press large pieces of fabrics. I bought one of the extras wide ironing boards on sale a decade ago, the top is very small thick gridded mesh so one layer of cotton batting with a muslin is all I use as a cover.

  12. #12
    Super Member crkathleen's Avatar
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    When hubby and I got a larger tv we took the top half of the old entertainment center apart and used one of the book shelves as my ironing board. It's roughly 35"x19". I usually drap a thin towel over it and place it on an end table next to my sewing area. :wink:
    I can snap a few pictures if you would like to see.

  13. #13
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bottle Blonde
    This is what I was thinking about doing - what do you think and do you use a pressing area other than your ironing board? I thought to buy an 8 foot hollow core door (you can get them without the doorknob hole drilled out) put it across supports...maybe even 2 kitchen cabinets (with drawers) cover it with batting and canvas? or muslin? maybe there is a heat resistant paint I could use? I am worried about the wood warping from the heat of the iron. I could cut the door down if it was too big - I have a huge sewing room so the size isn't too important. I would love to be able to walk around and press from both sides. I think I can get a door for under $50, cabinets could be pricey...may need to go with 2x4 supports.
    You have to be careful when cutting hollow core doors...they do have "hollow" portions...so you cannot just rip them down the middle or cut a foot off of the end without having to replace wood atleast around the cut edges :wink:

  14. #14
    Junior Member fabuchicki's Avatar
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    I took a piece of plywood and put over it a piece of batting, some fusible interfacing and some artist's canvas. I keep it on a sturdy folding table and it works like a charm.

  15. #15
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    Emmy is my QCE, she weighs 12 lbs.Her favorite thing is to be on my lap. Her brother Reggie guards the quilts. He weighs 17 lbs. They are 4 1/2. Reggie is our foot warmer at night.

    This is the ironing surface

    This is my cutting area
    Name:  Attachment-57025.jpe
Views: 23
Size:  25.8 KB
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16
    Senior Member AtHomeSewing's Avatar
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    Wood will will handle the amount of heat in pressing just fine. Heat is not a problem, unless you plan to leave your iron face laying on it! :D

    I have a fairly large "multipurpose" table for which serves as a large pressing board. I made the pressing top out of an inexpensive, 1/4" melamine sheet (board). I covered it with one layer of Cotton batting (Warm & White) and Cotton canvas. I did NOT wash the canvas first. I pulled it tight as possible, stapled to the back with hubby's staple gun, and then misted it well with water bottle. As it dried, it shrunk slightly making a very tight, very hard press board. This is the same method that Sharon Schamber suggests for press boards except that I like the melamine-coated material for this purpose, it is hard and the melamine doesn't soak up any excess water.

    The silver material is not necessary and too much batting makes it easy to distort blocks when pressing. Cotton canvas and a Hard Surface is the way best to go IMO.

    Pictures of my press board top:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/athomesewing/3969491448/

  17. #17
    Super Member LindaM's Avatar
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    Completely awesome pressing board, 'athomesewing'!

    What did you finish the edges with? If you pulled black canvas around to the back, stapled etc ... and how did you get the nice frame around the whole thing?

    Thanks!

  18. #18
    Senior Member AtHomeSewing's Avatar
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    Hi Linda,

    My table actually has two tops, the other one is a cutting board. We made it so that that one could store underneath the other one. When I want to press large items, the press board is up. Most of the time the cutting mat is on top. The trim is made out of natural birch 1x2s to match the birch cabinet. Trim boards were attached at just the right height so that they are flush at the top when both pieces are there, doesn't matter which is on top. The pressing board has a very small 45 angle cut out of one corner (finger size) so that I can pull up on it to move it. The trim board ends were cut at a 45 angle to eliminate sharp corners.

    Cutting Mat Top:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/athomesewing/3972406256/

  19. #19
    Super Member LindaM's Avatar
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    Genius! That is very clever. Just looked at the other photos you have there, wow - a dream studio! The drawer fronts are fabulous. Must be an inspiring place to create ... and looks like you had tons of fun putting it together.

  20. #20
    Senior Member AtHomeSewing's Avatar
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    Thanks Linda! Yes, it was totally fun putting it together, I love being in there, it is my happy place!

  21. #21
    Junior Member muffins's Avatar
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    Thanks thinblebug6000, for sharing the pattern of the big ironing board. What a neat job he done, it won't move and stores so nicely.

  22. #22
    Bottle Blonde's Avatar
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    Thank you, everyone, for your ideas and input. I will be making a trip to the hardware store soon! :D I have also found the legs that are used on folding tables, but they are not tall enough. Of course, I could boost them up easily enough. It all depends on cost - if I go with a door or sheet of plywood and if I use legs or cabinets. I would really like to use cabinets - I'll be checking sources for used ones. Thanks for the advice on batting and covering material, it is so wonderful to have this source to rely on for excellent ideas and advice.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Sandy1951's Avatar
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    Here's one more idea for you as you plan your ironing station.

    http://www.judymartin.com/Sewing-Room-Judy.cfm

    Judy's ironing table is about a third of the way down the page. There's also a link to directions on how it was made, as well as what she tried first that didn't work as well.





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