Friday, December 13, 2019

How to Make a Pressing Board

Time to freshen up my pressing board with a new cover. 

how to make a pressing board

A pressing board is one of my favorite quilting tools - it has a firm surface for pressing crisp seams, is portable, and super easy to make. 

All that's needed to make a pressing board are a piece of wood, a few layers of cotton batting, a sturdy cotton fabric covering, a staple gun, and a bit of glue - let's get started!


  • 3/4" thick plywood, approximately 15" x 20" or a size of your choice that's easy to handle
  • 2-3 layers of 100% cotton batting - do not use cotton/poly. For thick cotton use 2 layers; thin, use 3. After many uses, the batting gets crushed.
  • sturdy cotton fabric covering, such as canvas or pillow ticking a minimum of 5" larger than the board (ex: 20" x 25")
  • 1/4" staples and staple gun
  • cotton or poly batting for the bottom, slightly smaller than the board
  • glue

Step 1:

Cut the 100% cotton batting to the size of the board plus enough to go up the board's sides without going over the back. This eliminates a build up of layers on the board's backside, and allows the board to lay flat. The first picture, after Step 3, shows these first two steps.

Step 2:

Center the 100% cotton batting on top of the cotton covering, then center the board on that.

Step 3:

Snugly pull the cotton covering to the back, and staple every 2" along the long edges, starting approximately 3" from the corners.

snugly staple sides of covering to back of pressing board

Step 4: 

Create angled folds at the corners, laying excess fabric along the edge of the board, 

angled fold at corner with excess in crease

tucking it into the crevice.

tuck excess fabric at corner fold into crease

Fold the covering over to the board back, and staple the flap in place. 

staple covering in place

Step 5:

Repeat Step 4 on the opposite corner, then snugly staple down the remainder of the flap. Repeat steps for the other side.

stapled covering on backside of pressing board

Step 6:

Cut a piece of cotton, cotton/poly, or poly batting slightly smaller than the size of the board. Place glue along the outside edges, and a wiggle or two down the center to attach batting to the backside.

attach backing with glue

Press firmly in place and let dry.

backside of pressing board

Not only does this make the back look nice, it also helps to keep the board from slipping.

Turn it over for a beautiful pressing surface!

how to make a pressing board tutorial

And when the surface gets ugly or scorched, or the batting gets crushed and thin, just tear off the backing, remove the staples and start fresh with new batting and a new cover. 
Until then, wishing you crisp seams with the new pressing board!

Happy Quilting!

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  1. Thank you for the tutorial. Looks easy enough. I like this size - just right for a quilt block.

  2. Nice!! we just re did my Big Board top - it looks way better!

  3. Great tutorial! Good idea for small working spaces or when we need to move things around.

  4. And it's good for when I'm too lazy to set up my full-size standalone ironing board!


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