So first, take off your old cover and stretch it all the way out as flat as you can. Lay it out right on top of the fabric that you want to use for your new cover. I had about a two yard cut of an old Amy Butler print, and by placing my cover on the bias, it was pretty much a perfect fit. You could also just turn your board upside down on the fabric and use that as a template.
As you can see, I cut about an inch larger than my old cover, and not perfectly. My old cover had a wide serged stitch that was used as the channel for the cord, but I planned to make more of a hem, so I gave myself a little more to work with.
I cleaned up and finished my raw edges with a quick trip through the serger. An overcast stitch on your regular machine, or a zig-zag at the edge would work too. Or just fold the edge over an extra time and press to conceal the raw edge.
Then I folded my serged edge about 5/8" to the raw side and pressed.Cutting my fabric on the bias came in handy here, as it helps make those round edges easier to manipulate.
This will be the new channel for my cord, which I salvaged from the old cover. If you're starting from scratch, it's just a polyester string. I imagine that narrow twill tape would work too, or ribbon. It does need to be really long. Measure the perimeter of your board and then add a foot or two to make sure you have enough.
I stitched the channel right through my serging line, easing in the excess at the rounded edges. It doesn't have to be beautiful. Just make sure you leave enough room for a safety pin to fit through the channel, and leave about an inch unstitched.
Tie your cording on to a safety pin and thread it through the channel. Have a seat, this takes a while!
You're ready to put your new cover on! Stretch it out over your ironing board and smooth out the wrinkles. If your board isn't padded, you can add a layer of cushion underneath the cover first. Mine had a layer of padding already, but it was kind of smashed so I just added a second right on top. I used Insul-bright, and I didn't secure it or anything, just cut it to fit and smoothed it down.
This little blue doo-hickey came with my old cover, so I reused it to wrangle all the extra string once I pulled it tight. It helps keep everything snug and secure, but a knot would be fine too. Just make sure you can untie it, and don't cut the excess string! You'll need all that length if you ever want to remove or replace the cover again.
And look how pretty! So much better than the old one. I was going to post a picture so you could see the before, but whoa. It was too gross. Who would ever think that an ironing board cover could get so nasty? So sorry, but no. You'll have to use your imagination.
Hooray for a pretty new addition to my sewing room! I'm almost ready to show you the whole thing, btw. It's come a long way since this post of yore.