Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ikea Hack- Trofast Ironing Station

I've had multiple rooms in the house as my sewing room, and it seems like the ironing board is always an afterthought. It ends up in my way, I have to take it down between projects, and it just wasn't working for me. I also wanted to be able to iron full widths of quilting fabrics without a hassle. I looked at the quilting ironing boards, and they were either too expensive, too big for my space, or simply a waste of space. Ikea to the rescue!

I had noticed the Trofast units when I was looking for storage solutions for the grandtwins toys. I ended up going with something else for them, but these units were stuck in my mind. I realized that some of the Trofast units were about the right height for ironing, and an idea was born.

I bought three Trofast units at Ikea earlier this week. I thought I had picked up a package of shelves, but I hadn't. It's just as well I didn't, because now that I see how the Go cutter and dies fit on these, I think I will just buy more bins to fill the first unit, and skip the shelves entirely.  Trofast units have three sizes of bins, and you can see I bought two different sizes. There is a larger size as well. The bins come in multiple colors, but I chose to stick with white.

I bought lids to go with all my bins. The lids are a little different. The set down in the container so they don't interfere with the way the bins slide in and out of the grooves. That circle in the center is a fingerhole so you can pull the lid up. Since the fingerhole will always be covered when the bin is put away, I'm not expecting dust to be an issue. 

To give you an idea of what can be stored in the shallow bins, Aurifil spools can stand up and large cones can be stored on their sides, and the lid fits easily over these. I keep my thread elsewhere, but I thought this was an easy comparison for quilters.

Yesterday DH and I went to Home Depot, and bought a sheet of 1" plywood. We had them cut it for us, and I decided I wanted my ironing top 16"x56". In this photo I have the board sitting on top of 4 layers of Warm and Natural batting, and 1 layer of the extra wide heavy duty aluminum foil. I had looked up ways to make ironing boards, and a lot of people suggested the aluminum to protect the wood from steam. I don't use steam very often, but I had some foil on hand, so decided it wouldn't hurt. I used Warm and Natural because I had it on hand as well. Had I wanted to purchase something for the padding, I likely would have gone to a military surplus store and bought a wool blanket. Why four layers of batting? Well, I had looked around on different sites that had directions to make ironing boards, and most said two or three layers of cotton batting, one said one layer, and one said six. I found a couple that said four. I have a roll of queen sized cotton batting and after cutting the batting to the correct length, folding it a couple times gave me four layers about the right size, so I only had to trim off a couple inches. 

DH and I turned up the sides and used an electric staple gun to tack the batting to the bottom of the board. I was busy holding the edges down while he stapled, so I didn't get any pics of the process. It was pretty wasy though. 

I had a piece of that rubber gripper stuff they sell to put in cabinets, so I laid the last of what I had on top of the Trofast units. You can see the bottom of my ironing board with the batting stapled down towards the bottom of the photo. I need to make an ironing board cover, but I haven't yet. I didn't have enough duck cloth, so I ordered some scorch resistant cloth online and it should be here next week. Two yards of cloth will be enough to make two covers for my new ironing board.

There is an overlap all the way around the board, so the batting doesn't touch the top of the units. In this pic I had lowered the right side flap of my Juki cabinet so I could see if it would be in my way when I iron. I think it will be fine, and if it is in my way, it's easy enough to flip it up. 

Here is a piece of quilting fabric spread out on my new ironing station. Once my ironing board cover is made and on, I will easily be able to iron the full with of fabric, and still have space to rest my iron. I have the ironing board top about an inch from the wall, so if I am pressing yardage the fabric can go behind the ironing station. 

This is a great height, has amazing storage space (even better when I fill the first one with more bins), and seems very sturdy. I didn't attach the Trofast units to each other, and I didn't attach the ironing top to the units either. Since we used 1" plywood, it's pretty heavy, and the gripper stuff really keeps it from sliding at all. I have a two inch overhang front and back and less than that on the sides. If you wanted a much larger top, attaching the top to the units may be necessary, but with this small an overhang, I'm not anticipating any problems. I can't wait to get my ironing board covers made, and get to work on my new ironing station!

Another Ikea find was these shelves. I had to move my Juki cabinet to get these up, then move it back afterwards, but now my glass caniters filled with sewing notions have a place to live in my newly rearranged sewing room.

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