I had a problem with my ironing board pad sliding around under the cover and the cover falling off. I was feeling too cheap to buy a new one, so I decided to try making one. I'd seen a few different DIY ironing board covers, but they all seemed to reuse the old pad and that's what I was having problems with. I devised a combined ironing board pad and cover from an old towel and a bedsheet and wrote up a quick tutorial to share.
To replace the pad and cover on your ironing board you'll need a towel, a bedsheet or other fabric for the cover, and some strong string. The towel and sheet or fabric need to be long enough to cover the ironing board. My board is full size so I had to use an old beach towel, but a for a table top ironing board you could get away with a smaller bath towel. My towel was striped and the sheet was solid, so you can kind of see the stripes through the cover. I'm going for functional rather than pretty so it doesn't matter for me, but you could always use a solid towel or thicker fabric to avoid it.
First, remove the old cover and pad from the ironing board. I had to cut the string on mine to do this, but try to keep the cover intact because you'll use it as your pattern for the new pieces. Then lay the towel and cover fabric down on the floor and pin the old cover to the sheet and towel, going through all the layers.
Cut around the pattern, leaving approximately two inches on all sides to have plenty of room for the drawstring casing and for the cover to wrap around the board.
Then unpin the pattern from the new pieces and pin the cover fabric to the towel all around to hold the two pieces together.
Stitch around 1/2 inch from the edge, leaving several inches open on the square end. Stitch backwards and forwards several times at the ends to reinforce the opening.
Stitch around again, about 1 inch inside the previous stitching line, to make the casing for the drawstring. Make sure to leave the same several inches open on the flat end and backstitch to reinforce the opening.
Tie the end of the string to the largest safety pin you can find and thread the drawstring through the casing. The easiest method for me was to push the safety pin through about six inches of the casing, and then push the bunched up part of the casing all way towards the spool rather than let a whole lot of casing bunch up at once.
Once the string is threaded through the whole thing you are ready to attach it to your board. Position the cover and pull the string as tight as possible. This is where having strong string is important! On my first try I just used some yarn I had and it snapped as I was tying it off. I had to get the boyfriend to help with this step because I needed three or four hands to get the cover positioned correctly and hold the string tight at the same time. It also helps to turn the board upside down for this step so you don't pull it over on to yourself.
If you wanted to get fancy you could use some sort of toggle on the ends of the drawstring so it's easy to get the cover off to wash it, but I just tied a big old knot.
Your new ironing pad and board cover are ready for use!