I don't think I'm alone in saying that ironing is not one of my favorite tasks. I try to use a steamer on everything I can or just spritz things with water to ease wrinkles, but sometimes you just can't get around bringing out the ol' iron for a job. I think part of not wanting to iron is the fact that a full size ironing board usually takes up all of the space in a laundry room (if you even have a separate room for laundry). So you have to cart everything a few rooms away to really have enough space to do the job. If you've had that problem, you may have your eye on one of those fold up ironing mats that you put on top of your washer/dryer so you can iron smaller items without having to get out the ironing board. The mats usually have magnets on them and some sort of non-slip bottom layer so it will stay put while you iron, and you can fold it up for easy storage when you're done. What's not to love! And being able to make it yourself so you can customize size and color? Double win! This seemed like the perfect project for our ongoing Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores collaboration since I was able to find all the needed supplies in their online store.
-1.5 yards of 100% cotton fabric for top layer (I used this pattern)
-1.5 yards of 100% cotton fabric for bottom layer (I used this solid in black)
-1.5 yards of Insul-Bright
-8 magnets (.75 in diameter)
First you'll want to cut a rectangle of fabric that is 39" x 18" from your top fabric, bottom fabric and your Insul-Bright (so you'll have three rectangles of matching size from each).
NOTE: These dimensions will make a finished mat that is 38" x 17". If you need a mat that is longer or shorter to fit your washer, just adjust the measurements accordingly.
Cut two rectangles out of your bottom fabric that are 4.5" x 18". Space out four magnets on the lower half of each rectangle and fold the top half down on top of them. Use straight pins around the magnets to keep them in place, and then hand sew closely around the magnet to secure it.
Place one of the fabric magnet strips on the wrong side of your bottom layer of fabric about 3" from the end. Pin in place. Repeat the process with your second magnet strip on the opposite end. Sew your strips around the outside edges with a sewing machine to secure.
Now you'll want to layer your three rectangles in a specific order so that when you turn your fabric right side out after sewing, it will be in the correct order. First place your Insul-Bright lining down first (doesn't matter which side faces up). Then place your bottom layer of fabric on top with the wrong side of the fabric (the side with the magnets) touching the Insul-Bright. Finally, lay down your top layer of fabric with the right side of the fabric facing down. Pin layers together all around the edges.
Sew around the edge with a 1/2" seam allowance, but make sure to leave a 4" gap so you can pull your fabric right-side out through that hole later. I would also sew with the Insul-Bright facing up rather than down so it doesn't get caught in your sewing machine feed.
Using the gap you left when sewing the edges, separate the top layer of fabric from the bottom and Insul-Bright layer. Then reach in to grab the fabric and pull it through until the mat is right side out.
Press all your seams with an iron and use a blind stitch to close the gap by hand. For a non-stick surface, you can also add little dots of puff paint all over the back of your mat before use, and if you want to get really fancy, top stitch a few seams across the top of your mat for a quilted look. Now your mat is done and ready for use!
We tested the mat in Elsie's laundry room and it works perfectly! Takes up way less space for a small job, and you just roll or fold it up when you're done–perfect for small laundry spaces or apartments. I'm up for anything that can make household chores a little bit easier, so I'm pretty happy with how this turned out. Think you'll give it a try for your laundry area? xo. Laura
Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.