Tutorial: Ironing BIG Board

At our house, my sweetie irons. I do. not. iron. clothes. (unless I absolutely have to–say, when he is out of town). But, pressing fabric and seams is a part of quilting and sewing, and I have no problem with pressing. It’s ironing that I loathe. Who’s with me here?!?

Anyway, I’ve never particularly liked pressing fabric on a traditional ironing board; that tapered/pointed end is counter-productive. So I made myself a Big Board:

First, I bought a piece of MDF, and cut it to 17″ x 48″.

Then, I covered it with Bo-Nash Ironslide 2000 (if you don’t have this on your pressing station, do yourself a favor and get it!  You can thank me later).  This comes 19″ wide, hence why my board is cut to 17″.  The IronSlide 2000 was attached to the MDF with it’s self stick backing (you could reinforce it with double stick tape, if desired).

Finally, I wrapped it with a piece of 54″ wide “PURE” canvas, by Sweetwater for Moda.  This is then stapled into the MDF from the backside.  I posted in detail here how I do this “wrap and staple step” to get a nice clean edge and tight corners.

The BIG Board sits atop the traditional ironing board, and greatly increases your surface area for pressing.

Here’s the finished product, modeled by my sweetie pressing a fat quarter, ’cause sometimes he does that for me, too.  😉


20 thoughts on “Tutorial: Ironing BIG Board

  1. Thanks for the tutorial!! I am seeing an upcoming project for my husband to complement the mini pressing board he made for me. Btw…I don’t iron either…my mantra…I don’t sew, I quilt. I don’t iron, I press 😉

  2. Love this! I was thinking of making one, too, after I saw a similar one at the spring retreat. I was wondering if the MDF was cheaper and lighter than plywood. I was going to make mine out of plywood. Where did you buy the MDF?

    • dont use plywood. i made a great big board for myself and it turned out so good! Until a little time passed and the ply wood warped. Now I’m trying to figure out how to make it out of materials that the big boards in quilt shows use.

      • You’re right, plywood will warp after time, but MDF does not, or at least will not with the IronSlide wrapped around it, which will protect it from moisture (steam) but it is also much denser than plywood.

  3. That looks really great for quilt making! And I so agree – there is a HUGE difference between pressing and ironing. And a great guy who does ironing is the best – I know cause I have one too.
    I’m gonna look into that ironslide stuff. I’m needing to make a new cover for my board. I used a drop cloth and I love it but it’s so beat up and worn it’s time to make a new one.

  4. Thanks for the tutorial. What is the Bonash stuff? Can you explain why you like it so much? I want a big board. I hate ironing, too. I throw stuff in the dryer on “Wrinkle Release” whenever possible to avoid ironing! LOL. Try it! It works most of the time!

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  7. I really like the idea of making a big board, however, I am looking for a product that is lighter to carry, with no formaldehyde. I would like a couple of different sizes, cause sometimes there is no need for the big one, also hope my hubby can add teeth features underneath for different heights. Not all ladies are tall, many short ladies have a hard time getting a comfortable way to iron. I know it’s asking a lot, but, there has to be a way. On the hunt!!

    • Good point about shorter ladies needing something else–I never thought about the fact that standard ironing boards aren’t all that adjustable in height. I recently purchased a great little ironing table to sit next to my machine. I should take a pic and send it to you; if your husband is handy I am sure he could find a way to recreate with different sized tops.

  8. I would reaaalllly like to know what pattern you have displayed on your “Design Wall”?
    Thanks in Advance

  9. Have ya’ll seen the portable kitchen islands from K-Mart (no wheels) with two draws and a bottom shelf…? That is my ironing station. The draws hold sissors, iron cleaners, wonder under and freezer paper in the second drawer. The shelf holds extra irons, my light board, rolls of acrylic sheets, spray starch, water etc., a treasure trove of other handy stuff. I covered it w/practice quilting, (sheet from goodwill) then the ironing fabric of your choice. I bought the long ironing mat from Joanns. Been using it for about 20 years. It never wears out, but you do have to have or make room for it. I am blessed with a very large sewing room. My DH does not iron, but he tears out walls so I can sew. I quilt, sew, craft & embroider.
    I am so thankful for his handy work.

  10. I notice there is no padding layer. Some people talk about adding a layer of batting but that would defeat the Bo-Nash properties, wouldn’t it?

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