My ironing board cover had gotten scorched and was literally in shreds so I decided to make a new one. My vintage ironing board belonged to Michael's grandmother, and it is a bit larger than modern boards and thus hard to purchase a cover that fits well.
I determined I didn't want to spend any money and so I picked some thrifted fabric from my stash. I am also all about 'quick and easy' when it comes to such utilitarian projects - by using two layers of fabric it's very easy to make a casing for the elastic in spite of the odd and curvy shape of the cover. I used elastic in the cover as that's what my most recent cover had, although I remember my mother's old covers having cording that you had to pull very tightly like a drawstring. I think elastic is much easier. The cover will be reversible, so if you wanted to use two different fabrics that would work as well. Just be sure to choose fabrics that are 100% cotton so it can withstand the high temperatures of the iron. If you are going to use batting under your cover for padding, I suggest you use cotton batting for the same reason. I didn't use any new padding in mine - I left the old cover in place and just cut off the shredded top layer of fabric like so:
My piece of fabric was about 50" x 60", and I made the cover out of two layers of the same fabric. I folded the fabric in half with right sides together, then I traced around the board with a piece of chalk. Then I cut out the two pieces of fabric together approximately 4" outside of the line I drew. (If you have a very fat ironing board thickness-wise, you might want to add an even larger allowance.)
Next turn the cover right side out, and press well. Turn in the raw edges of the straight back open part, about half an inch or so, and press.
Now stitch again around the whole 'U' shaped perimeter of the cover, half an inch from the edge. This will be your casing for the elastic. Next stitch the open straight edge closed, topstitching close to the edge - do not sew past your other stitching but leave the casing open so you can put your elastic in. Using a large safety pin, thread your elastic into your casing. I used 3/8" elastic which fits comfortably inside the 1/2" casing. It should look like this:
It's a loooong way around and your fingers will get tired of elastic threading. When you've got all the way around to the other side, fasten your pin so that the elastic can not come unthreaded, like so:
Now put the cover on your ironing board, and puuull the other end of the elastic until the cover fits well. Adjust your elastic and fabric gathers so everything is nice and smooth and without wrinkles.
Then stitch back and forth, zigzagging over the elastic ends well to hold them in place. Then trim the elastic.
I also recycled the velcro straps from my old cover - I just cut them off and sewed them onto the new cover in approximately the same places, but I'm not really sure this was necessary.
Also not necessary, but how could I resist - a little bit of vintage flower power trim added to the straight back end of the cover.