Ironing Table Solution

My ironing table is an inexpensive book case onto which we screwed down a partial piece of thick plywood that I then covered with batting and fabric.  You can see a picture of it here.  Seeing the old sewing room makes me miss it terribly!  To move the table, the batting and fabric have to come off and the top has to be unscrewed.  Besides the fact that I haven’t found the screws, I didn’t want to set it up here since we’re going to be moving again soon.  At one point, I thought I would bring the regular ironing board downstairs and use that but then I ruled that out because I iron Vince’s clothes upstairs in the master bedroom where it’s much cooler and where there’s carpet since I’m standing for long periods while doing that ironing.  I went to Wal-Mart planning to buy a second ironing board but (1) remembered I’m not buying anything else I don’t absolutely have to have and (2) they were all so flimsy looking.  I kept thinking of what might work.  This morning I woke up early wanting to sew but knowing I had to resolve the ironing issue before I could do it.  I planned to stack together a bunch of the same size cardboard boxes, staple them all together and then cover them with batting and fabric and place that on the cutting table or on an extra sewing machine cabinet.  But, then when I looked at the book case without the plywood on top, I came up with this plan:

I just folded up some Warm & Natural batting, covered it with a piece of leftover backing fabric I found in a box, stapled it all together and left a spot at the end of the shelf for the iron to sit.

This will work for the piecing.  I’ll probably still have to go upstairs to use the ironing board for whole quilt tops but I’m not nearly to that point yet. Pretty good idea, huh?

I’ll stick some of my project boxes on the shelves and that will help sturdy the book case.

I’m all set and ready to sew!  Bears in the Farmhouse blocks are on the design wall.  I’m going to have to go to Penney’s or somewhere today and get something insulated to put over those doors.  Yes!  I just remembered .. we have coupons for a couple of free meals at Chick-Fil-A and there’s one of those right near Penney’s.  I know what we’re having for lunch!

The morning sun is a killer and at night, I’m too chicken to sit down here and sew with nothing over those windows.  Those are the dirtiest windows I’ve ever seen.  I think about it in the morning and don’t want to clean them with the sun beaming down on them and by the time the sun goes down and it isn’t so hot (which I think happens around midnight), cleaning windows is the last thing I remember.

There’s another set of those doors in the downstairs family room that are equally as dirty but we’ve about blocked them with boxes.

Tonight .. even if it is midnight, I’m going to clean those doors before I go to bed!  But first . . I’m going to sew for the first time in how long?  Weeks? Months?


  1. 2

    Marla says

    Very good idea! My husband made me a huge wooden table on wheels a few years ago to use as a laundry table but it never was used for that purpose. LOL! Makes a great cutting/Ironing table. Perfect height for me. You sew today. It will make you feel so much better!

  2. 4


    How about just pinning some batting over those doors so u don’t have to buy something you don’t need?
    You could rig it uomto open or cover the windows.

    • 4.1


      I don’t think batting is enough to block the sun that comes through. It’s unbelievably hot. I need something that has some kind of sun blocking capabilities. I know Penney’s sells some of those . . whether I can buy them in the local store or have to order them is another thing.

  3. 6

    Laurel from Iowa says

    I found some great light/sun blocking curtains at JCP. Our bedroom is on the northwest corner of the house and gets all the afternoon sun. Those curtains make our bedroom as dark as a motel room! They have grommet tops and were 50% off when I bought them. I know you don’t want to buy anything too expensive because you aren’t going to stay in this house, but perhaps whatever you get you could use in your next place. I wish you the best in this latest endeavor. At least your life is interesting!

  4. 7

    Laurel from Iowa says

    I just checked the JCP website and the ones I ordered are called Studio Equinox Grommet Window Panel. They fit on a 1.5″ rod. Here is the link to the exact page but I don’t know if it’ll work. If not, enter the name above in the search bar and that should take you to the right page. Good luck!|70821

  5. 10

    Suzanne G says

    I have also found some sun blocking curtains at Wal-Mart if Penney’s doesn’t have them. We use them in our bedroom this summer and it really has helped. Another thing was a little window unit air conditoner that my husband got at Sears. I didn’t think we needed it but as I was pregnant for most of the summer it was wonderful to crank that thermostat down and get some sleep! Now it is used as white noise for the little one to hopefully sleep with at night!! Plus it is still over a 100 degrees here in OK! Good luck w/ your search!!

    • 10.1


      There’s not a single window in this house where a window unit will work. Mostly they’re either big picture windows or narrow windows that don’t open. Vince wanted to stop at Wal-Mart but my rule is NEVER on Saturday will I stop at Wal-Mart. Guess I should have broken my rule! 🙂

      • says

        And in Florida NEVER stop at WalMart between 11:30 a.m. and 2 as every seasoned citizen is there, whether they need anything or not!
        You won’t even find a parking space until someone pulls out and then there will be a grumpy old man trying to steal it from you.

  6. 11

    NancyMahan says

    Could you buy the blackout fabric from JoAnns and just leave it as a window drape until you get permanently settled – then it would work to incorporate into new drapes/curtains.

  7. 12


    judy, i think you will feel so much better about things once you get to sewing again. it’s so therapeutic, at least for me it is. i have to laugh about you saying you were scared to sew in the room at night. for the longest time i have debated moving my sewing area to the basement (i have not moved it) because there is much more room down there. but i’m afraid of the basement, mainly at night, which is when i do a lot of sewing. stupid, i know, but that the way it is! sigh. will have to get over that some day.

    • 12.1


      My sewing room in both MO and KY was in the basement and I never minded it til Chad left for college. It seemed so lonely and desolate down there without hearing his TV or duck calls or him laughing. I hated staying down there at night when he was gone. In this house, since he never lived here, I’m ok down in the basement but there probably aren’t a dozen houses in this town with a basement so I’m sure it won’t be an issue when we buy a house . . but I will miss the basement.

  8. 14


    It is so nice that you have internet again so we can hear from you more often. And I really like your new, even if temporary, sewing room. I know you and it will be very happy. 😉

    • 14.1


      I wouldn’t mind taking the sewing room/longarm room setup with me. The room where the longarm would be set up, though we probably won’t set it up, is right next to the sewing room.

  9. 15


    Very clever Judy! I have a recommendation for you before you put your plywood back on it the next time. I bought a sideboard at Ikea that I put an ironing surface on. What I did was put batting and canvas over some OSB board (plywood is fine) then stapled it all nice and tight underneath and then put some fusible felt on it. Then, I bought a length of quarter-round (that little molding that is usually at the bottom of the wall around the floor. I measured the width of the actual sideboard, then nailed a strip of the quarter round to each side, so the ironing top can’t move, but, if needed, I can simply lift it off and cart it off separately. Makes it a lot easier to put it back together if I ever move out of here!

  10. 16

    myrna sossner says

    RE: improvised ironing board………
    Necessity is the mother of invention.
    Your improvision was probably done by the prairie settler women too!

  11. 17


    How nice to have your sewing room up and running! Maybe you could move your design wall in front of the doors and block that sun? 🙂 I got warm just imagining no AC and the sun coming through! But it looks like a lovely room to sew in!

  12. 18


    You’re so much more energtic then me! There is really no place to put my ironing board, and leave it up. Since I don’t want to put it up and take it down each time I need it, I use my counter-top with a folded towel as the padding for the ironing. Your “new” ironing board looks like a great plan too. About the doors, you might try sewing some beach towels together to the right size, make two panels for each door. The double layer will slow the sun, and heat. Plus, when you move, take them apart and use them for bath towels, or use them for something else. ~Nita

  13. 19

    Marilyn says

    I took a sheet of plywood about 18 inches by 44 inches. I covered it with batting and managed to find some of the silvery fabric for making insulated pot holders, etc. from a store here (now closed). My “table” sits on my cutting table, or my kitchen counter or wherever I need a space to iron. It can just stand up behind the door too and be out of the way. I so seldomly use my ironing board anymore I have to look for it!
    BC Marilyn

  14. 20

    Carol says

    Donna’s idea of moving your design wall in front of the doors got me thinking. Since you can’t find insulated curtains, can you use rigid insulation sheets to cover the doors? You could tape sheets together, temporarily cover them with fabric and lean them against the doors or temporarily attach them to the door/wall. It might not be the prettiest solution but it might work.

  15. 21


    Great idea Judy! I also went and looked at your old quilting room, I had never seen it before and it was beautiful. You’ll get all settled in here soon and then it will be time to move again!