If you iron several times a month, an ironing board is a useful tool to have around the house. If you iron only a few times a year, however, or if you have limited storage space, it may not make sense to own an ironing board. Fortunately, nearly any flat surface can be turned into a spot for ironing in a pinch, as long as you protect the surface with a thick towel or ironing cloth.
As long as your floor is flat and clean, and you adequately protect it from the heat of the ironing board, you can use it to iron on. Sweep or mop the floor, and then put down a wool blanket, thick towel or other cloth protector. For better protection, use an ironing blanket; they're specifically designed to stop the scorching heat and steam of the iron from damaging your floor.
The ancestor of the ironing board was a simple board. Balance a sturdy board on two chairs and drape a protective cloth over it. If you don't have sturdy chairs to balance your board on, put it up on two sawhorses or two tables. Alternatively, balance the board between your kitchen counter and your island.
If a table is at a comfortable height and reasonably sturdy, it can make a perfectly serviceable ironing board. Use an ironing blanket on top of it as you would with the floor. Alternately, buy a tabletop ironing board. These small ironing boards have tiny legs that make them more portable, but come equipped with an iron rest, foam pad and cloth cover just like full-size ironing boards.
An Ironing Bag
For the ultimate in space saving, buy an ironing bag. This small bag stores your iron when it's not in use. When you want to iron, remove the iron and unfold the bag. It becomes a flat ironing pad that you can place anywhere: on top of a washing machine, on a table or board, even on the floor.
Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has over five years experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.