Sewing/Quilting Pressing Board Tutorial

What is a pressing board I hear you cry!

Well a pressing board is a harder version of an ironing board, which can be any size, it is usually wider than an ironing board, but shorter.

Why use one?  When you press quilting pieces or seam lines on sewing projects using a regular ironing board, the pieces can become distorted.  That perfect line you thought you had sewn turns up at the ends, or the square starts looking a bit too much like a diamond.  This is more often than not because you have ironed the fabric on a regular ironing board, which is too soft for the job, when the iron pushes on the fabrics they curve up and pull out of shape.

The solution is to make your own pressing board, not only will it take your makes to the next level, but if like me, you sew on the dining room table, you can press all your pieces right next to where you sew – no more having to drag the ironing board out.

One more thing before we get onto this super quick tutorial, do you know why its called a pressing board?  It’s because when you are working with sewing pieces, you should press the seams NOT iron them.  To press you lift the iron up and down, working across the seam, rather than push the iron along the seam, the act of pushing can in itself stress the seam line and distort your fabrics – lecture over – now for the fun bit!


1x piece of hardboard, chipboard or MDF, cut to your preferred size ( think about space available to use your pressing board, and the size and shape of most of your fabric pieces).  We have used a piece of MDF.

2 pieces of wadding, each a minimum of 10cm (4″) wider and longer than the pressing board.

1 piece of top fabric, a minimum of 2.5cm (1″) wider and longer than the wadding.  We used Dashwood Studio Annali – Golden Rainbows.

Staple gun and LOTS of staples!


Place your board centrally on top of one piece of wadding.

Cut triangles off each corner to reduce the bulk (see image below).  Fold the edges onto the back of the board and staple into place.

Repeat this process with the second piece of wadding, placing it directly over the first.

step 1 - covering with wadding - sewing-tutorial-sewing-pressing-board

step 1b - covering with wadding - sewing-tutorial-sewing-pressing-board
Iron a 16mm (1/2″) hem onto the back, along each side of your fabric, you might find it helps to use spray starch along the folds to keep them crisp.  Place the fabric down, wrong side facing up.  Place the pressing board on top, wadding facing down (on top of the back of the fabric).

Double check that the board is centrally placed on the fabric.  DO NOT cut the corners off this time.  Fold the two long edges over and staple into place, remembering that these staples will be visible so be neat (you should not be able to see any wadding).  Fold the short edges over, folding the corners into triangles to make mitered join lines on top of the long edges.  Staple into place.

step 3 - top layer- sewing-tutorial-sewing-pressing-board
Finished!  This one is going to be used at our Sewing School.



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