Turn an antique wooden ironing board into a console table with storage. This is an easy DIY project for beginners; a drill is the only power tool you’ll need.
It’s time for an other DIY with Dad! This time, we transformed an antique wooden ironing board into a console table with storage.
Dad is a retired engineer, and he’s always had a knack for fixing and shoring up the old furniture my mom brought home from yard sales. I used to have him build stuff for me, like the washer-dryer pedestals in our laundry room. But now that I’m more proficient with DIYing, I love working on projects with him.
My mom picked up this antique wooden ironing board from my friend Kayla at Plum Pretty Decor & Design during her warehouse sale. At $8 it was a bargain with lots of potential.
Mom decided she wanted to use the ironing board as a table between two chairs in their living room. Since the old wooden ironing board was pretty wobbly, we needed to stabilize it. We also decided to add a shelf at the base to make it more functional.
There are many different ways to repurpose wooden ironing boards. I’ve seen the tops converted into signs, wine storage and floating shelving. Others have upcycled their boards into coffee bars or portable desks. Previously, my dad converted his mom’s wooden ironing board into a table, replacing the folding legs with industrial steel pipe.
It was good to have Dad’s DIY and engineering know-how to figure out the best way to complete this upcycle. But this is an easy project for beginners. The only power tool you really need is a drill, for securing screws and making pilot holes. If you have a circular saw, you can use it to cut a few pieces of wood. If you don’t have one, the home improvement store will make the cuts for you, usually for free.
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- Wooden ironing board
- wood shelf board
- L-brackets (be sure to get the correct size for your project)
- wood glue
- assorted wood screws
- Danish oil
- wood stain (be sure to match the color to the finish of your ironing board)
- circular saw (optional)
The exact measurements and hardware you’ll need for this project will vary, depending on the style of wooden ironing board you use. But the process should be the same.
First, you’ll need to remove the fabric board cover and any nails around the edge of the board. (Dad took care of that tedious job.)
Next, it’s time to stabilize the ironing board. Since we were converting ours into a table, we didn’t need it to fold up anymore. Our board had some hinges and screen door hook and eye hardware to facilitate folding.
We removed those and added L-brackets to secure the base to the board top. We also used wood glue for more stability and security.
As you’re working on this step, you’ll want to make sure the ironing board top is level before adding the brackets. For our project, we had to remove some hardware from the center bar at the base of the board. We didn’t have to do any deconstruction to accomplish this. We just adjusted the front struts of the board so they were upright instead of slanted toward the back of the board.
It helps to use clamps and let the project sit for several hours, or overnight, at this point, as the wood glue dries.
Next, we had to configure the shelf at the base of our ironing board table. You’ll want to choose a piece of wood sized to fit between the legs of the table. You can cut it yourself with a circular saw or have the cut made at the home improvement store.
Be sure to check that the shelf is level before securing it. You may have to make some modifications to your wooden ironing board to make the shelf work.
We added a small piece of wood to lift one end of the center bar to a level position, securing it with wood glue, screws and an L bracket.
Then, I cut a piece of wood for the shelf and added it to the base of the ironing board, using screws to attach it to the center bar and legs.
To finish the project, I sanded the ironing board lightly to remove any splinters, used some Danish oil to refresh the wood and stained the shelf to match. When working with a wooden ironing board, be aware that the wood can be very dry and brittle. Be wary of splinters. I recommend wearing work gloves.
I really wanted the character of the antique wooden ironing board to shine through, so I didn’t fill any of the nail holes.
To me, those holes and the flaws in the wood are a reminder of its history as a functional household item. As someone who loves household objects and furnishings with history, I’m proud knowing this ironing board has a future that honors its past. I may not want to iron on this wooden board, but that doesn’t mean it’s done for.
If you enjoyed this upcycle, be sure to check out these other DIY projects.
DIY Geometric Globe Pendant Light (Another DIY with Dad)
DIY Outdoor Potting Bench Buffet Server
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