How to Make a Vinyl Tablecloth With Elastic

Written by louise harding
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Vinyl is an extremely versatile fabric that has many household uses. According to The Vinyl Institute, "Today, vinyl is the second largest-selling plastic in the world, and the industry employs more than 100,000 people in the United States alone. Vinyl's low cost, versatility and performance make it the material of choice for dozens of industries...." Sewing an elasticated, vinyl tablecloth is an easy sewing project that can be completed in an afternoon, but will offer practical rewards for many years to come.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Vinyl Fabric
  • ½-inch wide elastic
  • Straight pins
  • Scissors
  • 2 safety pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Needle

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  1. 1

    Measure the length and width of the table. Add two inches to the width measurement. Add two inches to the length measurement. If using a round or oval table, add two inches to the diameter measurement.

  2. 2

    Cut the vinyl fabric according to the measurements in Step 1.

  3. 3

    Place the cut vinyl onto a flat surface, with the wrong side of the vinyl facing you. If you're working with flannel-backed vinyl, you will be looking at the flannel backing.

  4. 4

    Fold the edges of the vinyl over to the wrong side of the vinyl, forming a two-inch wide casing. A casing is a gutter or "tunnel," where the elastic will be threaded through. Pin the edges as you go along the edges to secure them in place.

  5. 5

    Using the straight stitch on the sewing machine, sew the edges of the vinyl, along the pins, leaving a three-inch opening or gap into which the elastic will feed. Remove the pins as sewing progresses.

  6. 6

    Cut a piece of elastic measuring half of the combined measurements of the table (the measurements of both sides and ends combined).

  7. 7

    Connect a safety pin to one end of the elastic. Connect the other safety pin to one end of the elastic AND to the opening in the vinyl casing. This is so you won't lose the elastic in the casing as you work.

  8. 8

    Feeling the safety pin through the vinyl, feed the elastic through the casing, gathering and pushing, pulling and working, it until the safety pin and elastic emerge from the other end of the casing.

  9. 9

    Hand sew, using the needle and thread, the elastic to the vinyl and the three-inch opening closed.

  10. 10

    Turn the elasticated tablecloth right-side-out and slip it over the tabletop, stretching the elastic hem over the edge and under the table.

Tips and warnings

  • Flannel-backed vinyl is measured, cut and sold in huge rolls at your local fabric store. The vinyl comes in a wide array of prints and solids, and is an inexpensive way to protect your tabletop.

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