How to turn your dresser top into an ironing board

I happened upon a tutorial from a few years ago where Elizabeth at Oh, Fransson converted a fold-up tv tray into a pressing board.  In the post, she mentioned wanting to use this technique to make a pressing board out of the top of an IKEA dresser before it was put together.  It just so happened that I had a planned trip to IKEA the next week.  And my planned purchase for that trip was a storage solution for in progress sewing projects.  This idea was prefect!

Go read the tutorial for technical details, but I’m going to tell you how my dresser top became a pressing board.

I started out by putting together the dresser front and sides, but left off the top and back.  I also assembled the drawers.  (My assistant is not particularly helpful.)

I then focused on the dresser top.  This is the piece that would become my pressing board.

On the back, there are two holes on each corner, which attach the dresser top to the dresser.  Notice how the set of holes nearer the top of this photo are a couple inches away from the edge of the top piece?  This dresser has a little lip on the front.  This detail will become important in a minute.

I followed the directions in the Oh, Fransson tutorial to put the pressing board together.

I used a piece of 100% cotton home decor weight fabric for the top and 3 layers of 100% cotton quilt batting to give the pressing board a little bit of cushion.  I cut the batting just slightly larger than the dresser top and the home dec fabric a couple inches larger all the way around.  Then I pulled the fabric tight and secured it to the bottom of the dresser piece with a staple gun.

I was careful not to put staples in or right next to the holes where my hardware to finish assembling the dresser had to go.  When I was ready to finish assembling the dresser, I took my seam ripper and made a little hole in the fabric to correspond with the hole for the dresser attachment pieces.

Here’s where that dresser lip becomes important.  I failed to recognize that it was there, so I didn’t cut my fabric longer on the front side.  As a result, when I put the dresser together, the edge of the fabric did not tuck seamlessly under the dresser top where it couldn’t be seen.  It’s likely that no one would have ever noticed this edge under the front lip of my dresser/pressing board, but it bothered me enough to fix it.

I thought I could just attach a strip of fabric that was long enough to cover the edge and tuck under the top piece of the dresser when it was assembled.

It looks nice enough in the picture below, but with that extra fabric, I couldn’t get a snug enough fit between the main part of the dresser and the dresser top.  I ended up taking out all the staples and using a larger piece of fabric.

I’m thrilled with the end result.  It will be great to have this little dresser next to me when I want to easily iron quilt pieces during a project without getting up to go to the ironing board.

And the drawers are just what I had in mind to store projects I’m working on.

5 replies
  1. Laura
    Laura says:

    Perfect! Did you use regular batting or the kind that is heat resistant? I am impressed that you were still able to assemble the dresser. Well done!

  2. Jenny
    Jenny says:

    great looking ironing board! i just did this with a bookcase … no idea there were tutorials out there! i just did it my way i guess 🙂
    helps when you only pay $15 for the bookcase!!!

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  1. […] smaller dresser in the above photo is the one with the top I made into an ironing surface. When I’m not using it to iron, my 12 x 24 inch cutting mat goes up there and it’s the […]

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