Living in a small space can be an organizational challenge, but when you work in that space as well it becomes even more difficult to keep things neat and orderly. I really dislike having my full sized ironing board sitting in the middle of my living room while I'm working on sewing projects. For several years now, I have had a small ironing station on my wish list. I've seen several variations at the retail level, but they were either not the right set up for me, or just too expensive for my budget. So I created my own ironing station -- the board is attached to the dresser, and swings out when I need it.
I live in an old house that still retains most of the character of a mid-century home, including a little cabinet in the kitchen that contains an old drop down ironing board. Now you would think that would have solved my problem but...small kitchen...little counter space...needed the floor space in front for a microwave cabinet. Still, I kept thinking that I could use that ironing board somehow. So I finally got around to removing the board from the cabinet.
I removed just the board itself, and left the metal mechanism in the cabinet. The board was attached to the metal with just one bolt, and a wing nut. Lucky me! I drilled a hole in the top of the old dresser I use for sewing supplies, and attached the board with the bolt, and the wing nut. I wanted a good portion of the board to sit on the dresser while it was turned out, so I made the hole just behind the 1X2 that runs down the inside center of the dresser. I then just attached it with the same wing nut.
I wanted a little bit of padding on the surface, but not too much. My daughter makes quilts, so she went through her stash and found some scraps of batting for me to use. For the first layer, I used a polyester batting (the kind that looks like fiber fill); the second layer is a cotton batting. I used my staple gun to attach each layer at the sides.
I added a top layer of thin, smooth fabric. Actually, this fabric came from a king size pillow case that's been hiding in my linen closet forever. I cut up the sides so that I had one long layer of fabric, layed it across the board, and used my disappearing ink pen to draw out the shape before cutting. I quickly serged the edges, and then stapled it to the ironing board along the sides.
Because the board sits flush against the dresser top when not in use, I didn't want any bulk underneath the board -- hence the reason I stapled everything to the sides. I can now find a cute fabric, and make a cover with elastic edges that will just slip right on. Perhaps I'll even make a dresser scarf as well to cover the board when not in use.
Here's the part I love. The dresser was something my neighbor gave me, the ironing board came out of my kitchen, the batting came from my daughter's stash, and the cover came from an old pillow case in my linen closet. The only investment I've made in this whole thing so far was the wrapping paper, and Modge Podge I used to decorate the dresser.
If you don't have a board you can use for this project, or the tools to cut the board, take a trip to the lumber yard. More often than not, the staff at the lumber yard will cut the wood for you. If you don't have a drill to make the holes for the bolt attachment, check to see if your community has a tool library where you can borrow one.