How to Build Your Own Steam Table for Clothing

ironing image by jovica antoski from

A steam table (or ironing table) is a large, flat surface for use with your iron, but instead of shelling out a money to buy a steam board, you can construct one yourself. Building a workable table capable of handling the hot steam and press world of clothing can be well within your reach.

Trim the 2-by-6-feet of wood until it fits the dimensions you want. Consider that a small board is more portable but offers less surface area, while a large table will stay stationary but can house more articles of clothing.

Seal the table with sealant. As steam travels past the layers of batting, the wood must be water-resistant, or else the wood can warp, weaken and harbor bacteria.

Place cotton batting on a clean surface. Do not use poly batting because the iron will burn and melt the fabric. Turn the table upside down and place on batting. Trim the batting, leaving about 5 inches of batting uncovered by the table. Stretch that excess batting to the underside of the wood and staple in place. Repeat for all sides so that the batting is held in place. Consider using hot-glue, gorilla-glue or some other adhesive to keep the fabric from stretching around the staple over time. Add another layer of cotton batting if possible.

Repeat the step above, but use the muslin fabric on top. A cheaper option to muslin is felt, but the better quality the fabric, the better the finished product will be.

Place your cover fabric on top of the table. Trim, leaving 4 inches on all sides. Mark on the underside where each of the four corners hits the fabric. Measure 4 inches from each point out to the corner. Mark that distance and round the corners to that point. Take that fabric and sew elastic hemming around the edges.

Add the table's legs. If you decide on ornate legs, attach them decoratively, or if you are aiming for function, screw the wood at an angle into the underside of the table. Consider placing the table on an industrial strength hinge and add the board to the inside of a cupboard so it can swing out. You also can leave off the legs and place the steam table on a regular table, coffee table or the ground and use it as a mat of sorts.