DIY: Make Your Own Pressing Surface

I love a DIY project that actually makes my life better! I made this small pressing surface a while ago, and I want to share how I did it with you. You can easily make one like it out of a folding TV tray, some fabric and some batting.

BLOG_PressingSurfacePin Start to finish, this project took me about 2 hours to complete (but I was stopping to take photos along the way). Here is what I did to create my pressing surface:

1. Gather supplies:

  • TV tray
  • Aluminum foil
  • 100% Cotton batting
  • 100% Cotton fabric or muslin
  • Staple gun loaded with 3/8” staples

2. Measure your surface then cover it with foil.

(This will prevent any finish on the wood from melting onto the back of your batting and fabrics and will reflect the iron’s heat when you’re pressing). Cut your fabric and batting four inches larger than the surface of your table. My table is 14-1/2” x 19”. I cut my fabric and batting 18-1/2” x 23”.

3. Lay out your fabric and batting.

Lay out your fabric or muslin (right side down) and smooth, lay the batting (I used two layers) over the fabric and smooth. Place the TV tray upside down in the center of the batting. Pull the fabric and batting taut and staple in the center of two opposite sides.

4. Staple the sides.

Continue stapling toward the corners and prepare to miter the corners

5. Miter the corners.

To miter the corners, pull the loose fabric up at a 45-degree angle and staple. Then pull the loose fabric up perpendicular to the side you just finished stapling, making sure it is smooth and taut and staple.

6. Finish stapling.

Pull the fabric up and staple to secure. Step back and admire your mitered corner! Miter and staple the remaining corners and sides, always being sure that you’re pulling the fabric taut before stapling.


Your beautiful new pressing surface is ready for action! And it can be folded out of the way when you’re not using it.

It is great to have my little DIY pressing surface right next to my sewing machine for when I am piecing blocks, so I don’t have to get up and go over to the ironing board every ten seconds! And when I was working on a paper-piecing project recently, I pulled out another TV tray and placed it on the other side of the machine with a small cutting mat and ruler. My piecing went so much faster!

Download the Pressing Surface Tutorial (PDF)

Download the Pressing Surface Tutorial (JPG)

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