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Our new house has an ironing board that folds out of the wall. While I love the convenience of this, the ironing board cover is rather old and gross, as well as having some tears.

Being crafty, I'd like to make my own ironing board cover. What fabrics can I consider that would not be a fire hazard? (Assuming I will never leave the iron just sitting face down on the ironing board, of course.)

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Cotton! My mother made her own iron board covers out of cotton. Since it is natural you don't have to worry about it trapping steam, or melting from the heat of the iron. The heavier the fabric, the better.

  • So a cotton canvas, maybe? Cotton batting underneath for a bit of cushion? – Erica Jul 15 '16 at 18:56
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    Yes, that should work - I will double check what mine is when I get home in a few hours, since my mother made that one too. – jackwise Jul 15 '16 at 19:01
  • @Erica Double checked my iron board and it turns out I have a very thin layer of foam padding beneath the cotton cover, but cotton batting would probably work just as well. – jackwise Jul 16 '16 at 3:51
  • My mother uses a cotton towel for padding on her ironing board (in fact, if you don't have an ironing board available, a sufficiently folded towel on a table will work in a pinch). – user812786 Aug 2 '16 at 15:52
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You can buy "heat-resistant fabric" by the yard at large fabric stores in the utility fabrics section (literally called "ironing board fabric" at a popular chain) or online (several sources came up on a search), for about the same price as cotton duck or canvas, often for less. Measure the board and be sure to allow fabric to tuck under and attach to the bottom in the same way as the original cover. It is strong but not bulky or very stiff, silver-gray, and easy to work with, also often used for potholders. If needed, you should replace the cotton padding while you are at it, with cotton batting, from the same sources.

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I love making my own ironing board covers, you can match the other fabrics in your room, or just be playful with it. I always use 100% cotton but a tighter weave than canvas, the objective is to achieve as smooth a surface as possible so you don't inadvertently iron in a pattern. In addition to muslin and percales, check out the upholstery section of your fabric store, some good ideas there as well. It's also sometimes cheaper to use an inexpensive twin sheet. For the padding, I use a couple of layers of wool felt which comes on 60" bolts and is available in most fabric stores in neutral colors. Wool will not hold moisture as much as cotton will and is also very heat resistant, much more so than foam padding which will yellow and can show through your cotton top. I make a drawstring casing all around and pull a cord through with a safety pin, pull tight, smooth the corners, and tie. Have fun! What a space saver that type of fold-out ironing board is.

  • Good tip about the wool batting/padding (I iron enough clothes with steam that moisture is a minor, but present, concern). And I love having a board that just vanishes into the wall! :) – Erica Mar 27 '17 at 23:11

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