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.
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.