How to make a portable ironing board out of a wooden tv tray

How to make a portable ironing board from a wooden tv tray

A dear friend sent me some fabric, a piece of insul-bright, and a gift card to get myself a tv tray to make a portable ironing board just like hers. Here is how I made mine.

TV Tray – doesn’t need to be new, just sturdy.
Staple gun with lots of staples!
Hubby and dog watching you work are both completely optional!

Ironing board supplies

Cut material large enough to cover top, wrap around edges, and enough to staple securely onto the underside of the TV tray. I started working on the floor, but quickly realized my knees didn’t like that, so I pulled out a table to work on.

Lay down a piece of batting and place the table on top, like pictured.

Staple the batting in place gently pulling tight to get a nice smooth finish.

On the batting and insul-bright pieces, I wasn’t too worried what the corners looked like, so I just cut off the extra material.

With Hubby still supervising, staple down the other sides.

This is now what the top will look like.

Repeat the same steps with the insul-bright.

Finished insul-bright layer

Time to add the beautiful fabric. Make sure your material is right side down, before you put the table on top of it. Then start stapling the material in place, I did both long sides first.

This time I want to make sure I have pretty looking corners. So I fold in the fabric to make a corner before stapling the short side in place.

Then when I fold up the short side, you can see it make a nice looking corner.

Finished corner

By now Hubby is asleep and the ironing table is done!

Finished ironing table made from a wooden tv tray


I now have my portable ironing board in place, it works great!!!!!

My Sewing Corner -

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9 Responses to How to make a portable ironing board out of a wooden tv tray

  1. Joyce says:

    What a great idea! I could use a couple in my middle school classroom. I am teaching them to sew. I will put a note out to see if someone will donate them.

  2. Hi, Your idea is brilliant. The getting up and down for ironing, when sewing seams, can be a pain. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Michele says:

    What a terrific idea! I am going to make one of these. It will surely save my arthritic knees a lot of pain.
    P.S. It was so nice of hubby to help! LOL

  4. Sue says:

    Just stumbled upon you site. That is a great idea. Getting up and down to iron is really a pain. I have wooden tv trays so I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks for the idea.

  5. Mama Diane says:

    Very ingenious. I don’t have any wooden trays but will keep my eye out this spring when we go to yard and garage sales. I have a board I’ve covered that I use to press on and a very long one for when I’m working on backings, etc. You’re just so clever!

  6. Karin Jensen says:

    GREAT IDEA, but I have one question, well my daughter has the question when I told her about this and she said that it would not last because the moisture would rot the would tray over time. Is she right, I hope not because this idea is PURFECT for my tiny space I call a sewing room.

    • Kelly says:

      Karin – I guess it is possible for that to happen, but it would probably take decades for the table to rot away or make it unusable. I know women who have been using theirs for 5 years and more and they haven’t had any issues. Even if you have to make a new one every 10 years, I still think it would be worth it! I love mine! Thanks

  7. Amy S. says:

    What a clever idea! I have one of these TV tray/tables that sits behind our front door if ever needed. It never gets used, but now I can use it for an ironing board to sit next to my sewing machine. Thank you so much Kelly! I love watching your mug rug tutorials :)

  8. Mary says:

    Regarding the possibility of the wood underneath having damage from the moisture.

    Paint your table with a good paint– I would choose something like Rustoleum enamel –
    Yeah, it’s a turpentine clean up.
    Got a small can and small cheap brush which I throw away when done.

    You could also put several layers of similar spray paint — Do it outside so you don’t paint everything around it…

    Have a great day…

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