Table Top Pressing Board Tutorial

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Looking for the Post 2nd Quarter Linky Party? It is here.

Have you ever read a blog and instantly thought of the writer as a sort of celebrity? Well that is the way I have always thought of Jenelle of Echinops & Aster. I am not sure what it is about her & her blog that keeps me ever so enamored but I am! I can tell you how excited I am that she is here…in The Gap!! Ok…before I make a sure-fire idiot of myself, let me hand it over to Jenelle herself. Take it away Jenelle….

Wow! Thanks for such a kind introduction Rhonda. 🙂 I am so happy to be here today and to have the chance to share a tutorial with you that will not only help you conquer your FAL goals, but is also really simple to make and requires no sewing. Yup! You heard right no sewing! I’d like to share with you how I made my very own table top pressing board.

Table Top Pressing Board

If you quilt, you’ll understand just how important it is to get your seams as flat as possible. Sometimes a regular old ironing board just doesn’t cut it because it doesn’t give quite the right amount of firm support that you need to get a really crisp press. I also struggled with my regular ironing board not being the ideal size and shape to handle yardage or large quilt tops. In all fairness, traditional ironing boards are designed more for ironing clothing than for quilting. So I decided to build an actual pressing board, that is a simple wooden board wrapped in several layers of padding and fabric to provide a firm pressing surface that’s especially great for quilting. Here’s how I did it:

I went to my local hardware store and purchased a 2′ x 4′ piece of finished plywood. I wanted a board that would require limited sanding and no extra finishing, so I opted for the higher quality, furniture grade stuff. I also picked up a staple gun, some 5/16″ staples, and some 220 (very fine) finishing sand paper to lightly sand any rough areas on the board and to round the corners of the board a bit. Creating rounded corners helps to reduce the stress on your fabric and prevent it from tearing on the corners once your board is in use.

Table Top Pressing Board  Table Top Pressing Board

Next, I took two layers of cotton batting (you do need all cotton batting for this project) and one piece of cotton fabric and made sure that they each measured about 5″ to 4″ wider all around than the board. I then took the batting layers and laid them on top of the board, making sure that they were relatively centered before flipping the board over to expose the backside. I began wrapping the excess batting around back of the board, staring with the corners first.

Table Top Pressing Board

I began by taking the corner of the batting layers and pulling it tautly in towards the center of the board.

Table Top Pressing Board

I then folded over the extra batting on the short side of the board towards the center, laying it on top of the folded-in corner.

Table Top Pressing Board  Table Top Pressing Board

I smoothed the batting and secured it in place using the staple gun.

Table Top Pressing Board

I then took the extra batting on the long side of the board and folded it in towards the center, lining up the corner crease with the stapled batting edge making a neat mitered corner.

           Table Top Pressing Board 
I then stapled this in place as well.

  Table Top Pressing Board

The result was a nice clean edge and carefully wrapped and secured corner. I repeated this process for each of the remaining three corners.

Table Top Pressing Board

I then smoothed the batting towards the center, in between the corners, on the long and short sides of the board, and placed a few more staples to secure it in place as well

Table Top Pressing Board

Once I was finished securing the batting, I flipped the board back over and made sure that the top side was also smooth and flat.

Table Top Pressing Board

I then added my piece of cotton fabric to the top, centered it on the board, and flipped the board back over.

Table Top Pressing Board

When attaching the fabric to the board, I wanted to avoid exposing any raw edges on the non-selvedge sides of the fabric. I decided to carefully fold my fabric under about an inch and press the crease in place to create a more finished edge.

Table Top Pressing Board  Table Top Ironing Board
Table Top Pressing Board  Table Top Pressing Board

I then was able to tackle my corners much like I did when attaching the batting to the board. I carefully folded in the fabric and stapled it in place to create a nicely mitered corner. 
Table Top Pressing Board

After completing each of the corners, I also then placed a few more staples along the edges of the fabric where I folded it under to secure the fabric on the long and short sided of the board.

Table Top Pressing Board

I then flipped the board back over to the front to make sure that all the layers were laying smooth and flat. Success!

Table Top Pressing Board

It didn’t take me long (like pretty much immediately!) before I had started enjoying using my new table top pressing board. I hope you’ll have the chance to make one too, large or small, to help make your seams and blocks flatter than flat. 😉 Thanks for following along and a special thanks to Rhonda for hosting the FAL! 

And speaking of the FAL, Rhonda has also asked me to remind you about the Pre 3rd Quarter Link Party that will start right here on July 8th and run for 7 days. If you don’t get your list in on during this time you won’t qualify for the amazing 3rd quarter prizes!!! Be sure to get ready!!!

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11 Comment

  1. Fab – I think I will make a chopping board size one x

  2. You must have been in my sewing room with me yesterday as I was trying not to curse at my ironing board. I will be going to the home goods store today. Thank you so very much.

  3. What a great idea! I've had one of these on my to-make list for a while – now I know how to make it 🙂

  4. Cool idea, I'm eyeing up some unused MDF with a whole new interest now…

  5. That's a great idea! If only I had the space for one =D

  6. Your pressing board is very smart. Thank you for sharing your techniques. Pressing Bliss…

  7. thanks for posting your articles so often, every day i access your website and check for updates.http://www.twietter.net

  8. Great idea, I will be making one as soon as I can.

  9. Wonderful tutorial! I love the blue striped fabric! It looks awesome 🙂 I have a pressing board from half a sheet of plywood.

  10. I just read your instruction for the pressing board and plan to have one made by the weekend! Thank you for the great instructions!

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