Friday, December 13, 2013

Rainbow Ironing Board Cover Tutorial

I finished up my little Christmas present to myself . . . A new Rainbow Ironing Board Cover!!! Squeal!!!   Ohh, I can't tell you how much I love this.  It makes me want to press all day!!!  And for a little Christmas present for all of my wonderful readers, I snapped some pictures of the process and have a fun new tutorial for you ;)  Yippee :) So if your ironing board cover is in a sorry state, and you happen to love rainbows as much as I do, you just might find this very useful :)  So let's get to it :)

To start you are going to need 8 Rainbow Fat Quarters or Fat Eighths if you have them.  I mentioned on Wednesday that I was playing with my Jenean Morrison True Colors bundle for this and boy did I have a fun time choosing my 8 Fat Quarters :)   Along with the Rainbow Fat Quarters you will need some long scrap batting pieces, a measuring tape, and a pack of thin elastic. (pretty much whatever you have on hand will work :)

Lay your 8 Fat quarters out in the order you want them on your ironing board cover.  Note - The first fat quarter is not going to show up on the top of the ironing board cover, it is just for underneath.  Hence why mine is the grey one ;)

Start by cutting each of your fat quarters into Fat Eighths.  (If you are already using Fat Eighths you can just skip this step.)  You don't have to be perfectly precise, I just cut mine along the fold line so that I wouldn't need to bother pressing yet, we will get to that later :)

Take your first two Fat Eighths and place them right sides together with raw edges aligned (I didn't pin but you can if you like.)   Turn the stitch length dial down to a small stitch, like 1, so that when the cover is pulled tight over your ironing board frame you will have strong seams ;)  Stitch a 1/2" seam along the long aligned edge, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam.

Continue adding Fat Eighth's to the strip in the same fashion, remembering to stitch a 1/2" seam and backstitching at the beginning and end.

Keep this up until you have stitched all 10 Fat Eighth's into a row.

Now, take your row over to your sad shabby ironing board and press each of the seams open (you don't want any bulk on your pressing surface) and press the Fat Eighths flat ;)

Once your pressing is complete, you can take the cover off of your ironing board.  This was quite easy for me as mine was already falling off.  Can you see how badly this is needed ;)

Place your ironing board frame onto your rainbow row centering it from side to side and having the back end 3" away from the edge of the final Fat Eighth in the row.  (Sorry, I somehow forgot this picture :)
Now using your measuring tape, measure 3" out from the frame and mark your fabric.  Do this all around the way around the frame, taking care to really mark around the curves.

Now freehanding the curves and using a ruler on the straightaways, connect the dots to draw a full ironing board frame line 3" away from your ironing board.

Now cut along the line.  Yes, you will be cutting off most of that first Fat Eighth :)  Set your beautiful rainbow aside for a minute.

Now grab your long scrap batting, you know, the pieces you cut off the end or side of a quilt ;)  I like to have double layers of batting so go ahead and spray baste or pin baste (but straight pins not safety pins) your two layers together.   Just a light spray will do, this only has to be a very temporary hold ;)

Place your ironing board frame on to your basted pieces of batting.  We are going to repeat the same process only smaller ;)  Measure the side of the ironing board frame from the top to the little lip on it.  Mine is 1".  That is your measuring guide ;)

Now, just he same as before, use your measuring tape to mark the 1" all the way around the ironing board frame.  Connect the dots and then cut along the traced lines :)

Your batting should now be just a bit larger than the size of your ironing board.

Now, grab your rainbow row again and your basted batting and head to a machine.  If you have a serger, great, if not, you can use your machine :)  Serge or zig-zag stitch all the way around your rainbow top and all the way around your basted batting.  This creates a finished edge on both and holds the batting together ;)  Set your batting aside :)

Now, to create a casing on your rainbow top.  Starting at the bottom center of your cover, fold your edge over 3/4" to 1".  Start stitching along the edge of the serger line backstitching a few stitches at the beginning.

As you come to the first edge, ease in the curve.  You can pin this in place or just ease as you go.  Remember, this is going to be under your ironing board so it doesn't have to be perfect by any means.  Just be sure to keep that 3/4" to 1" opening, otherwise threading the elastic can be a pain, doable, but a pain :)

The straight away sections are a breeze and you can tell that you are right on with the "easing" process if your seams match up when folded over :)

Continue to create the casing all the way around the cover.  When you get back to the bottom, leave a 1 1/2" gap open (to feed the elastic) and backstitch at the end.

Now, grab your elastic.  Put a safety pin (the larger the better) though the 1 1/2" gap you left in the bottom of the cover.  Feed the elastic through the casing.

If you haven't done this before, you just bunch some fabric up along the safety pin, then hold the top of the safety pin and pull the fabric back over the elastic.  Keep doing this, bit by bit.  Every once and a while you will need to hold on to the safety pin and push all of the fabric back over the elastic, it tends to bunch up ;)

Oh, and when you get to the seams, you need to be sure to go right through the center, otherwise your pin will get stuck behind your open seams.  I like to push down slightly on the seam to "open" it in the middle, this seemed to aid in getting the pin right through the center ;)

 Once you feed the elastic all the way through the cover and out the opposite end you will need to stretch out your cover.  See how it gets all bunched up.  I find the easiest way to do this is to pin the safety pin to myself, that way you don't have to worry about it sucking back into the casing.  Then just smooth the fabric over the elastic until all the bunching is out ;)

Now, pin the two ends of the elastic together and cut the extra elastic about an inch away from the pin.

And now it is time to put it all together!!!  Lay your finished batting on the ironing board.  Make sure it is centered by finger pressing the ends over the edge and ensuring that they reach the lip on the side of your frame.

Now, without shifting the batting, place the rainbow cover over the top of the batting and allowing the elastic casing to curl under the edge of the ironing board.  I found that it is much easier to start on the pointed end of the iron, it doesn't shift near as much as the other end, and if you have a second body to hold the batting and cover on that end while you move your cover over the bottom, way easier ;)

 Now all that is left is to grab that elastic under your ironing board and pull, pull, pull.  Pull on the elastic until the cover is pulled taught under your frame.  Pin the two pieces of elastic together and then allow it to ease into that gap in the casing. (sorry this picture is blurry) I just left my extra elastic hanging (just in case my pin ever pops and I need to re-thread it :)

And now your beautiful Rainbow Ironing Board Cover is finished and you are ready to get pressing!!!

I pressed for two hours last night and loved every minute of it.  You just can't help smile when looking at such a pretty rainbow ;)     I hope you enjoy this tutorial and if you make your own Rainbow Ironing Board Cover I would love to see it.  You can add it to my Flickr Group here ;)

Well, I am off to do some more pressing.  Eeekkk, I just squeal every time I walk through the sewing room now.   I love, love, love it!!!

Have a Happy Quilting  (and Happy Pressing!!!) Weekend :)

Linking up to Sarah's and Amanda's
Pin It!


  1. this is so cute! do you have any problems with bulky seams when you iron? I know I wouldn't really care.... I don't have an ironing board, instead a bit piece of plywood that's covered in batting and fabric, it fits snuggly on top of a wire shelf and it's deep! so fits FQs easily.... the fabric on it is nice, but I MIGHT change it out eventually....

  2. Thanks for the tut.. Love your rainbow ironing board cover

  3. Thank you! I need a new one and it will be like yours!

  4. What a darling ironing board cover!!! Thank you for the awesome tutorial!!! :)

  5. Very pretty, Melissa! Those ironing board covers get trashed at my house also.

  6. Fabulous! I love this idea - perfect for prettying up the kitchen!

  7. Hmmmm, definitely got myself a case of ironing board-envy going on now :)

  8. Love your cover and thanks for sharing how you made it!!

  9. wow this is gorgeous I love the colors thanks for the tutorial my ironing board needs a new cover, guess what I am making soon? lol

  10. Thank you for reminding me I need a new one of these!!

  11. Sooo cute! How'd you know I needed a new ironing board cover. Thanks for the tutorial...:)

  12. I'd caution that all fabrics need to be colorfast, otherwise color may transfer to one of your projects when you are using a steam iron.

  13. I really need to make a new ironing board cover! thanks for the tut.

  14. Thank you so much for the easy tutorial. Your ironing board cover is awesome!!

  15. How cool is that! Another fab tutorial. Thanks, Melissa!

  16. Very nice cover! I'm guessing it brightens up the room!

  17. What a beautiful ironing board cover ~ thanks so much for the tutorial. I've got lots of fat quarters and think that after the holidays are over I'll be making this!

  18. Fun pressie! I recovered mine this time last year, but it's filthy already, I'm plotting on a grey coloured one next time o.O

  19. Cant wait to try, you brilliant one! Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas to you tooooo!

  20. This is exactly what I needed! I've been using a little travel ironing pad on my kitchen table for at least a year because my ironing board has no cover.

  21. That is sooooo awesome! I'm not sure if I could do rainbow but certainly a really cool print. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  22. OMG that is awesome! I am going to copy cat for my BIG BOARD!

  23. This is great Melissa!! Thanks for sharing.

  24. This is a fabulous tutorial! You may have mentioned this in previous posts but what kind of batting do you use?

  25. I love this thank you much for the tutorial

  26. Love this ironing board cover and will have to make one for my ironing board. Am I missing something, which is quite possible,or are there 8 fat quarters and not 10 like was mentioned? I counted and recounted and just want to make sure. Thanks so much.

    1. Thank You Barbara. Yes, there are 8, apparently I was rather tired when I typed this.

  27. Melissa, did you prewash? And if you didn't, do you recommend to prewash after having used your cover for a while now? I'm getting ready to make one for someone else in a swap and the material is too expensive to screw up! Thank you so much!


Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I just love hearing from you!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day :)