irony … the opposite of wrinkly.

Believe it or not, one of my favorite chores while growing up was ironing.  I started out with my dad’s hankies (yes, believe it or not, ironing hankies was a thing … in fact, hankies themselves were a thing … in the 60’s and 70’s).

I graduated to his shirts as my skills improved.  Back then employees of IBM were required to wear white button down shirts with their suits, which meant a lot of ironing.  They also weren’t allowed to have facial hair (which would be a problem for me these days, ha!).  I still remember when they finally relaxed that rule and my dad immediately grew a mustache.

Clearly my mom did a lot of ironing before I took over.  Here she is in 1961, pregnant with my sister, slaving away over the ironing board …

Looks like she ironed his weekend shirts too, huh?

Ladies, let’s all take a moment and breathe a collective sigh of relief that this sort of thing is no longer expected of wives shall we?

Funny, as I study that photo I’m realizing that is the same ironing board that I used later.  I bet my mom still has it!

Anyway, all of this leads me to today’s post.  A funny thing happens when you have a reputation for refurbishing vintage items.  In this case, a neighbor of mine showed up at our door one day.  She wondered if I wanted some old ironing boards.  She used to run a laundromat, but had sold the business.  The ironing boards had been used there as decor.  Mr. Q was the only one home, and he said yes to the ironing boards.

I’m not so sure that I would have.  I tend to shy away from taking on things if I don’t know what I’m getting into.  This tendency helps prevent me from becoming a hoarder 😉

I would venture to say that none of these ironing boards would meet today’s safety standards.  In fact, most of them seem like they would collapse in a stiff wind.  For that reason I would not recommend actually using them as ironing boards or using them set up at all (so that leaves out using them as a makeshift bar when entertaining too).

In the past I have turned a couple of old ironing boards into signs (you can see those here and here).  But I remember at the time thinking that they were fairly heavy and clunky for hanging on the wall.  I suspect that many of you out there have spouses who tend to be a bit persnickety about hanging heavy things on walls, am I right?

So I decided the best solution would be to remove the legs/bases entirely to lighten them up some.  Seems like a simple fix, doesn’t it?  But no.  As it turned out, the bases on 4 out of the 5 ironing boards in my stash were riveted on.  Only one of them was held in place with simple screws.  I had to recruit my handyman Ken to help at that point.  He had to drill through each rivet to remove it.

Once that was taken care of, the rest was simple.  I decided to go with a slightly different look for each one.

I used quite a few different paint colors, some stencils and some transfers from re.design with prima.

The first one got a coat of Dixie Belle paint in Midnight Sky.  Once dry, I stenciled it using Dixie Belle French Linen paint and my french laundry stencil (the Etsy vendor I purchased this from is no longer in business, but you can find similar stencils on Etsy).

I really don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of the look of a distressed black finish with a french stencil.

The next two were painted in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.  I taped off some grain sack style stripes on one and painted them in Dixie Belle’s Yankee Blue.  Then I added re.design with prima’s Laundry transfer.  The 2nd Drop Cloth ironing board was stenciled using Dixie Belle’s French Linen paint and a stencil from Maison de Stencils.

Maison de Stencils gifted me with this stencil when they sent me the stencils I gave away during my 12 days of giveaways.  This was the first chance I’ve had to use it, and I absolutely love it.

The 4th ironing board received a coat of Dixie Belle’s Sea Glass, which seemed to be a top favorite among you guys when I shared my comparison of their shades of aqua.  Once that was dry and distressed, I added the Moment transfer from re.design with prima.

I painted the last ironing board in Dixie Belle’s Apricot.  Isn’t this a gorgeous color?  I think of it as halfway between a pink and a peach.  It’s not so pale as to be blush, but not too bright either.

I used one of the newer prima transfers on it called Hello Baby.

Aren’t those animals just adorable?

Rather than hanging this one in a laundry room, it would be perfect in a nursery.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co, re.design with prima, and Maison de Stencils for providing the supplies used for these ironing board makeovers.

And most importantly, thank you to Mr. Q for having the wisdom to say yes to these ironing boards for me!

If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

If you’re looking for Maison de Stencils you can find them here.

If you’re looking for re.design with prima products you can find local retailers here, or online sources here.

And finally, if you are local and in need of a fabulous ironing board sign, check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.

54 thoughts on “irony … the opposite of wrinkly.

  1. Another fun post! I especially like the “ hello baby” and thought perhaps hooks could be added for function plus the cuteness. Always look forward to seeing what you’ve come up with!

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    1. Great picture of your Mom…I was wondering who took the picture too! And the first thing I thought when I saw the boards without their legs is a coloring crayon…would be cute in a kids room. Loved all the colors and decals. I started on hankys too…could never get over how many my Dad went through. Lol

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  2. I smiled when you stated you loved to iron, that is one of my favorite things, too! Still is. There’s something about taking something wrinkly and messy and turning it into a crisp, ‘un wrinkled’ finished piece. And yes, I started ironing my dads handkerchiefs, the graduated to shirts. I love these ironing boards. My favorite is the Laundry Co. with the grain sack stripes. But I love the look of the black one with the French lettering. Great job!

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  3. I remember starting out with the hankies too. But I did not love ironing. The baby ironing board came out really cute. My favorite is still the grain sack one.

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  4. When that neighbor pulled up in our driveway and showed them to me, I was under the impression that she may have already talked to you about them. When she showed them to me, I immediately saw them as the blank canvass sort of thing that you adore.

    I feared your wrath had I turned her away! 😁

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  5. It’s so funny that someone (your dad?) actually took a picture of your mom ironing! I loved ironing too, usually while watching TV. I think the black ironing board is my favorite, but I love them all.

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  6. As a lover of most vintage things…even simple domestic necessities, I love the old wooden ironing boards. I love that we can use such items to reminisce the past while adding cute decor to our homes. I too ironed my dad’s hankies and our pillowcases. I have a hand painted ironing board on the wall outside my laundry area now and I am very thankful every day that I don’t have to use it. Your ironing boards are beautiful.

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  7. Love all of them. And have to agree with Vonda about the humor on a pic of your mom ironing. The hairstyle looks so familiar and brought back fond memories. I love to iron and my husband still carries a hankie every single day. Cannot tell you how many times it’s been handy. But they are definitely not ironed!

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  8. What a fun post for us boomers. I also loved to iron (still do) and started on linen tea towels. I still have my Mom’s original wooden board to do something with.

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  9. So lovely. My mom would wrap coins in the items to be ironed and when you unrolled it to iron, you got to keep the money you earned for your work. I still LOVE to sleep on ironed pillow cases that are crispy and smooth. Funny that I too saw ‘hooks’ on the baby one to use for cute little decorations, like those dresses on the fabulous hangers:)

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    1. What a great idea your mom had! There is something about sleeping on a freshly ironed pillow case, isn’t there? Especially if it was dried out on a clothesline too.

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  10. Wow, wow, and wow Miss Quandie: Wow #1, someone shows up at the door with a bunch of ironing boards! Wow #2, they still make wooden ironing boards? Wow #3, you made each one of them unique and awesome!

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  11. I have an ironing board like the one in front. My grandmother had an all wood one; I’d like to find one like that. When we were kids, we used it as a stove when we played on the front porch! We now use mine as a sort of sofa table (although not behind the sofa at the moment!) I like the legs on them but the signs are really cute. I’ve seen them with “Welcome” on the front. I also started with ironing my granddad’s hankies, then his blue chambray work shirts. I didn’t like to do his work jeans though. I rarely iron anymore unless I’m sewing.

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  12. I too ironed hanky’s but they were my grandparents! And pillowcases and sheets, cannot image doing that now! Love the ironing boards, you have such an eye for renovating!

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  13. I just love vintage ironing boards. I have quite a few. I really like children’s small ones. Thanks for the really cute makeovers!!!

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    1. I love those little play sized ironing boards too. I used to see them at garage sales and never snatched them up, but a few years ago I realized they were worth grabbing and I don’t think I’ve seen one since!

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  14. Oh my gosh, I could write paragraphs about this post!! Love it. Love it. Love it!!! And what a sneaky way to show off one of the new transfers!Kaye

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  15. I have an old wooden one that I use for ironing. It doesn’t come out much. I used to iron my neighbors shirts (also worked for 3m) and get paid .50 a shirt. Very generous at that time. Love your redos. So creative you are.

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  16. I remember sprinkling all of the ironing pile and rolling up each item to put in a plastic bag. We used a special top that fit in a glass vinegar jar filled with water. The next day we would start ironing! Your ironing boards are fabulous and the baby pink one is perfect for a nursery.

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  17. As a kid growing up in .Ontario, Canada our ironing board was in the wall, attached.You just opened the door and pulled it down and one leg came out. It was great and all the ironing was done in the kitchen.it was amazing what my Mom used to iron, and now I at 84 still do the same thing. Some things are just ubchangeable. My grandaughter wants me to show her …how to iron. It’s just not the same as your Mom, my .mom and me,,Bett

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  18. We just finished helping with a wedding where we totaled 23 hours of collective ironing of tablecloths. Luckily, I got to decorate the tables after the cloths were ironed and placed on them, instead of wielding the iron. One day my husband stood and ironed for 6 hours solid! Could’ve used you Linda😉 I LOVE the Hello Baby ironing board. Now I know what to gift a mommy-to-be friend with who gave me an old wooden ironing board “to do something with.” A perfect “backsie” don’t you think?

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  19. The ironing boards are awesome! I love the colors that you painted them. I love the new Prima Marketing transfer, Hello Baby. What a darling idea for a nursery 😊

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  20. Aww this makes me sad. I had my grandmothers wooden ironing board and when i moved from Texas to Florida i left it behind and will never see it again. This is a great idea.

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