Thursday, May 8, 2014

Pressing Station, Part One

A week or so ago I took down my ironing board and built a pressing station.  What is a pressing station?  It is basically just a really big ironing board.  Way cooler, though!  I will attempt to capture my construction process.  This will not be completed in one post, there are just too many pictures.  Materials list is at the end of the post.
Step one:  Cut some batting.  I buy Warn & Natural by the roll.  I'm considering buying other brands, but until this roll is gone I'm going to keep on using it.  I used three layers of batting.  You'll need three pieces big enough to cover your pressing board.  My board is 24" by 48" and was purchased at a super warehouse hardware store.  You want your batting to be several inches longer and wider than your board.
See how I have at least four inches of batting all the way around?  Trim the inner two layers at the corners to reduce bulk in the corners.
Start on the corners by folding the corner of the batting towards the corner of the board.
Then fold again and staple in place.  I had some trouble with my staples not being flush, so I used my hammer to slightly tap them in.  Too much force and you'll just bend over the staple instead of driving it into the board.
Repeat on all four corners.
This is where your gift-wrapping skills may come in handy.  An extra set of hands doesn't hurt, either.  Fold over the edges, pulling tightly to make sure you don't leave any wrinkles on the top (in these pictures the top is down, towards the table-top).
I tried to fold in the corners as neatly as possible.  Don't worry, this is the underside, no one will see it.  Just pull the batting tight as you go.

Some of the corners were neater than others.
Once you have all the edges stapled, I put staples about every four inches or so, go ahead and give them a tap with hammer if you think it really needs it.
Next, lay down the pressed cotton canvas.  I purchased one yard of cotton canvas for this project.  Pressing before this is important if you want a nice smooth top to your pressing surface.  I didn't get every crease out of my fabric, but it is better than it would have been without the pressing.  Sure, you can pull those creases out, but you could just spend a couple minutes pressing.
Put the batting-covered board onto the canvas, right-side down.  Since the width of fabric runs along the longest length of the board, you can really pull out some creases.  Don't overdo, it but you can make sure it is tight.
Staple the canvas as you stapled the batting.  Start with the corners and tackle the sides after the corners are tacked down.
I folded over the point of the corners before stapling.
I finger-pressed about 1" along the raw edges before pulling over the batting and stapling down.  I didn't have much extra fabric, so this small amount of turn over is about all I could afford.
I put staples on each end and in the middle before filling in along the edge, tugging as I went to keep the top smooth.
Again, tug the fabric as tight as you can get it.  This is where another set of hands really comes in handy.
Like I said, the underside doesn't have to be perfect.  There might be some extra staples in there, but I don't mind.
Ta-da!  The completed top.  I see a little bit where I could have smoothed out the fabric a little better.  I don't think it will be a problem, though.  At more than twice the size of my regular ironing board, my pressing just improved and I haven't built the rest of it.

Materials for part one
1/2" plywood, 24" by 48", this is a pre-cut size you can get from a warehouse hardware store
1/4" staples
staple gun than can use 1/4" staples
Warm & Natural batting, 1.5 yards of 90" wide batting
1 yard of cotton canvas

Next time we will build the base for this monster.

Part Two.

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this with us! I love your blog. This is my first time visiting it and I appreciate your well thought out and easily followed explanations.

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  2. Great idea! I will make one for myself when my studio is ready!
    Sylvia Kaptein - www.sylviasartquilts.nl

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  3. I made one similar to this but I covered mine with teflon fabric like on an ironing board. I like how the heat is reflected back, seems to make my ironing easier and my seams to lay flatter. Peace, Robert.

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  4. Neat! I totally need one of these. It's on that ever expanding list!

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