Saturday, October 3, 2015

Supersize It! Ironing and Pressing Boards


Last spring I started using large sheets of 1" green insulation board from my local home improvement store as an easy solution for a design wall. I hot glued batting to the sheet, and then hot glued the whole thing to my concrete wall! No holes to patch if I changed my mind, and a happy husband. Hot glue comes off of concrete block with little residue.

I put up two, but I need another. I didn't plan very well, and showed up at the store with my little car. The white insulation was packaged in smaller pieces, and less than half the price. Great deal, huh? Not at all! I found out that my hot glue gun melted it, and it wasn't firm enough to hold pins. I gave it a real try, but in the end it took an hour with a paint scrapper to get it down. The styrofoam disintegrated, and it was a messy clean up. I went back with a truck for my green insulation board, and extended my wall.

All of this got me thinking about its heat resistance. Why couldn't I make it into an ironing board? This has been a project nagging me for months while using my tiny portable ironing board. Why not a giant ironing board that I could iron quilt tops and backing on? The board weighs next to nothing, and I could take it off my ping pong table if I wanted to use it. I liked that flexibility. 

It's simply a 4'x8' sheet of standard green polystyrene insulation board wrapped in one layer of Warm & White batting, and covered in a favorite IKEA print. I suggest smoothing and pinning to the edges on the top, and then flip it over. Everything is simply hot glued on the back. Nothing too fancy to the process, but I used hospital corners.

It worked so well that I made myself a smaller, portable one from left over chunks of my original project. 

I butted two chunks together, and hot glued the seam.

I used a recycled piece of cardboard for backing, and to stablilize the two pieces.

A leftover square of cotton batting large enough to wrap to the back was next.

Then I wrapped it all in a cute Kinkame fabric. There is a little give to the board, and I smoothed the seam from the top. I was curious whether I would have a problem pressing right on top of that seam, but have had no issues.

Just so you know, Lowe's sells 2' x 2' sheets also. These would be perfect for little portable boards. I would suggest cutting them to make 12" x 24" or even 12" x 12". Score one side with a knife, and then snap the board over the edge of your table. It will break off cleanly. This is an easy project, and would also make an inexpensive gift for the holidays.


  1. Pretty cool idea. I wasn't too sure about your idea till I looked up the melting temp of polystyrene. It's up there.

  2. Thanks for the ideas. When (ha,ha) I have a large sewing space all to myself I might follow your lead. As it is I have difficulty walking past my portable ironing board when it's in use, squashed between a bed and a wardrobe, but I have made a small portable one from a sheet of 0.25 inch thick card covered in insulating wadding with the silver side up. The whole thing is about 8 by 12 inches, packs easily in a suitcase and works a treat.

  3. What a great idea. I have an oversized ironing board, but I really want more space.

  4. Ping pong table! I had to laugh. I use a pool table top to lay out my quilts and blocks. Hubby hasn't seen the top of it in quite a while. I should have kept the ping pong table we had as there is no moving that pool table...I've been informed. I've been wanting to make a design wall for awhile but haven't done so yet as I didn't know what kind of insulation board to get. Now I know. Thanks!!

  5. Can I ask how much the large sheet costs? And what size are they? How much are the little ones? My husband priced these out here and we nearly croaked at the cost! I had them in Alberta, the 4X8 and they were definitely not this expensive... Might be a roadtrip to Detroit in my near future, oh darn...

  6. Thank you Julie for your link and your inspiration you give us today at Show and Tell Monday !! Bambi Hug

  7. I love your BIG board Julie! I may have to give it a go! Thanks for all the info.

  8. Thanks for this great post. I've been thinking about making one.


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