How to Make a Tablecloth

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How to Make a Tablecloth
Make a Tablecloth

Follow these steps to make a quick and easy tablecloth for a square or rectangular table.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Fabric-marking Pens
  • Fabrics
  • Ironing Boards
  • Irons
  • Measuring Tapes
  • Pin Cushions
  • Sergers
  • Sewing Machine
  • Sewing Needles
  • Thimbles
  • Threads
  • Cutting Mats
  • Yardsticks

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  1. 1

    Measure the tabletop with a yardstick or tape measure, and write the dimensions down on a piece of paper.

  2. 2

    Determine the desired "drop" of your tablecloth, or the amount of overhang, and add this number plus 1 inch to each of the tabletop dimensions. A standard drop is 8 to 10 inches.

  3. 3

    Choose home decorating fabric that's at least 54 inches wide, in cotton or a cotton-polyester blend. Purchase yardage according to the dimensions you determined in steps 1 and 2.

  4. 4

    Prewash and press the fabric.

  5. 5

    Lay the fabric out on top of a fabric cutting board, wrong side up. Use the printed guidelines on the board to mark and cut the fabric to the dimensions you determined in steps 1 and 2.

    How to Make a Tablecloth
  6. 6

    Press each raw fabric edge under 1/2 inch. Press that edge under once more.

    How to Make a Tablecloth
  7. 7

    Pin the tablecloth hem into place so that the pins are perpendicular to the edges of the fabric.

    How to Make a Tablecloth
  8. 8

    Use a sewing machine to stitch the tablecloth hem. When you reach a corner, lift the presser foot of the sewing machine and swivel the fabric so that your stitching line remains straight. Keep the needle inserted in the fabric as you reposition it.

    How to Make a Tablecloth
  9. 9

    Hand sew the tablecloth hem in place with a backstitch if you do not have access to a sewing machine.

    How to Make a Tablecloth
  10. 10

    Add a decorative touch to the finished tablecloth by sewing a decorative hand or machine stitch on the right side of the fabric along the edge of the tablecloth.

Tips and warnings

  • Create a special look for your table by making two tablecloths, one solid and one print. Make the solid tablecloth 5 or 6 inches longer and arrange it under the print tablecloth.
  • Choose a holiday print if you will be using this tablecloth to set a holiday table.
  • Always purchase a little extra fabric in case of shrinkage after prewashing.
  • Finish the raw fabric edges before pressing the hem if the fabric looks like it will ravel easily. Finish the edges with one of the methods used in "How to Keep Raw Edges of Fabric From Fraying."
  • Do a backstitch by bringing the needle up from the underside of the fabric and making a short backstitch. Bring the needle up again one stitch ahead. Put the needle in through the end of the first stitch and out a stitch ahead. Repeat as needed.
  • Make a set of coordinating napkins as described in "How to Make Table Napkins," and give them as a gift.
  • Avoid hemming by finishing the edges of the tablecloth with your sewing machine's overcast stitch or with a serger. Use thread in either a matching or a contrasting color.

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