Sunday, 24 July 2016

Hibiscus How-To... Pressing Station/Board for Patchwork & Craft

Having shared a blog post early in June that showed off my new pressing station board, I have put together a few pics of how I made it.

 I didn't want a regular ironing board for my new room... they're not a good shape for patchwork & not easy to press big items either; after all, they're designed for the ironing of garments, not the more important stuff like patchwork!
So I had a really good look around online for various tutorials & images ... got all the inspiration & ideas I needed... & headed off to the hardware shop.

 The measurements I state are what I used for my own board, but of course can be adapted for any size.

To start with, I purchased the following:
* a pre-cut piece of MDF board - 1200mm x 600mm x 9mm
*quilt batting - enough for two layers over the board
*fabric - enough for one layer over the board
 * I also bought a staple gun, plus 6mm & 8mm staples.
My batting is cotton, because it sits nice & flat. You might like to use 3 layers; I found 2 sufficient.
The fabric is a decorator cotton, slightly heavier than standard quilting fabric. I think decorator cotton or drill is more suitable for this purpose; perhaps regular quilting fabric will wear out quicker.

A Word About The Staple Gun.
For best results the staple gun needs a good firm hand, so I used the heal of my left hand to hold the gun in place while squeezing the lever with my right hand. I also used an old magazine under the gun so I didn't cause dents in my table.
Without that hand in place & something underneath the back of the stapler, I found the gun pushed
up on me a bit, & the staples didn't fire in nicely & sit flat.

Let's Get To Work.
Decide what size you want your board, & cut it to size. Make sure there are no rough edges.
The 600mm was too big for my space, so I got mrHS to cut it to 500mm.

The batting & fabric need to be cut bigger than your MDF board. I allowed an extra ~13cm (5") on each side, which allows for folding under & stapling down.

On a firm flat surface (I used my table), lay your pressed fabric RIGHT SIDE DOWN, then layer with the two pieces of batting. On top of this, carefully place your MDF piece, centred as best you can.

I chose to staple the batting first, separately from the fabric... why? because the fabric is likely to need replacing a couple of times before the batting needs to be changed.

Using the 6mm staples & starting in the middle of a long side, I folded the batting & stapled towards one end of the MDF, leaving about 3 inches between each staple. Then I went back to the middle & worked towards the other end.
There's a staple about 2½inches from the very end, so the batting has a smooth edge all the way along.

Do the same for the other long edge, making very sure to pull the batting a little so there's no wrinkles, & it's fairly firm. Just don't pull it so tight that it rips!

For the corners, cut away the batting so it will fold neatly & without unnecessary bulk.
It's important to take care with this folding, so it sits nicely & gives a good finished result; you really don't want fat/squishy/strangley-shaped corners that don't sit nicely.
Cut the corner batting, & play around with the fold until you're happy with how it sits.
(Yes, I'm obsessed with each stage being just-so, but it's worth it I assure you!)

You can now fold & staple the short edges of the board, just the same way you did the long edges - starting in the middle & working towards one corner. When you get to a corner, fold your batting up into that nice fold you created, & secure with a staple or two.
I found that the 8mm staples were better for the corners, due to the thickness of the batting in these areas.

6mm staples used:

A couple of 8mm for added security:

Continue stapling along the short edges & do your corners until all your edges are done. Lovely!

Now for the fabric... This time, my staples are a little closer together, & I've folded under the edges of the fabric for a nice finish. I went back to the 6mm staples for this, & used the 8mm for the corners.
Again, I took my time with this... to get a good firm pleasing result, but also to take into account the geometric pattern on my fabric.
 Be sure not to staple on top of one that's already holding the batting!
 As with the batting layer, I started in the middle of a long edge, worked to one end, then went back to the middle & worked towards the other end.
Put a staple about 2inches from the end of long edges - this will end up under the fabric when the short edge is folded over, & helps maintain a lovely smooth edge, right to the corner.
( I forgot to take a pic, sorry)

When stapling the opposite long side, pull the fabric so it's tight & will remain firm when in use.

Then I worked on the narrow edges, carefully folding the corners before stapling. These corners were now a bit thick, so I changed up to the 8mm staples & banged them with all the Better Homes & Gardens confidence I could muster!

You're now done, just turn over your MDF & admire your handiwork!

To keep my board from sliding around too much on my table, I glued some 12mm x 20mm pine beading underneath. Any form of stabilising can be used - customise to your own situation. There are plenty of ideas to be found online.

 For me, I only glued the beading to the underside of the front edge, so my board doesn't slide backwards towards the wall. There's also a thin non-slip matting between the board & the surface of the table.

So there you have it... one fabulous pressing board for you to work with when you're doing what you love... no more struggling with an ironing board that's designed for clothes, with its annoying shape & size that's not practical for patchwork!

Thank you for reading... maybe this gives you an idea for your own space?!


Maria said...

Thanks Anthea for showing us how you made your ironing station.. Just one question, does the base have wheels sew you can move it away from the wall???

sunny said...

IT does look fabulous! Thanks for the tute. I've thought of making a larger board that would fit over my current ironing board. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

gracie said...

A great idea and wonderful tutorial. Thank you


That is a great idea and it doesn't look that complicated. Thanks for sharing. Alice Margaux.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anthea ,wow what a great idea,thankyou my friend for doing a tutorial xx

Susan said...

Excellent instructions - I think I'd take the safe option and avoid geometrics, so if its a little crooked it wont be so obvious...sure beats my 12" square in my seewing room!!

Jeanette said...

Looks fabulous. Thanks for the tutorial. Hugs, xx

Anne Heidi said...

Love your new ironing board- now I really want to make one for myself, thank you for the tutorial :-)

Lin said...

Great idea Anthea - and beautifully made. xx

Kaylee said...

It looks fabulous, great job Anthea.

Jo said...

That's a fantastic idea. Great tutorial...

Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

Fantastic tutorial thankyou 💖

Anonymous said...

Great directions! Thank you. When I find the right base, I will try this.

Sharmayne said...

I remember making one of see years ago as a back board for our daughter when she had severe back problems - it ended up getting used for multiple purposes! I need to make one of these for my cabin! Thanks for the idea, I'd forgotten all about it till now!

Jindi's Cottage said...

Clever girl...and it looks fabulous...well done!

Linda in Calif. said...

Ooooh. This is so pretty - and looks so nice. And so easy to make. I want one! Except I don't have an furniture to set it on. Well, I could put it on top my ironing board - you know how annoying it is to iron a quilt and the board has that little end.

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