This is about making your own wooden pressing tools : sleeve board, pressing board, tailoring board, point presser and clapper.

There’s another post about making your own pressing tools from fabric : ironing board cover, pressing ham, and pressing mitt.

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Sleeve board

A small narrow ironing board, for pressing tubes such as sleeves.
Written instructions on making a sleeve board, from The Curious Kiwi (includes pattern template, scroll well down, it looks unlikely at first).

Pressing Board

A ‘pressing board’ is a pressing surface like an ironing board but larger. Here’s a photo tutorial from Brooks Ann Camper about making a table version. Use the same instructions for making a smaller area that you can put on a table.

Tailor’s board

”pressboard”
image from The Curious Kiwi

A complex looking object with many odd corners for pressing awkward spots.

You can now get a tailoring board from The Sewing Workshop.
Commercial tailoring boards could also be used as a pressing ham stand.

And you can make your own.
Photo instructions for making one, in the previous tutorial from The Curious Kiwi. Though sadly the pattern she refers to is no longer available.
Try this pattern from a Russian site (metric measures). The photo looks different, but that’s because the tool is lying on its other side.

Here is a video from Threads magazine about how to use one.
And another video, this one from Nancy Zieman.

Point Presser and Clapper

Simpler wooden shapes are readily available. Many sources for buying a ‘point presser and clapper’.
point presser clapper
That one comes from ebay.

Some versions have a blunt end. It is important the end comes to a point, so it can get into corners.
Here’s a quick video on making one.
I like to press open the seams at corners, using a point presser.
So do add those tapered corners if you can.

Clapper
Or just make a clapper (the base in the photo). Must be made from real wood. Much used after steaming fabrics. The wood absorbs the steam, while the flat area holds in the heat and continues the pressing but without danger of singeing.
Many applications in this video from Nancy’s Notions.

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Unlike an iron, these extra pressing tools aren’t essential for good sewing.
Though a sleeve board is excellent for pressing sleeve and pant leg seams.
The other tools are useful, and it can be fun to make them 😀

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Originally written March 2014, updated March 2021, as many of the links have changed.

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