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How to Make an Altar Cloth

Updated April 17, 2017

If you're Wiccan or Pagan, you may have decided at some point that you'd like a decorative cloth on your altar. This comes in particularly handy if you're using a table that the rest of the family uses. An altar cloth keeps spills and candle drippings off of the table's surface. It's also a great way to get into the spirit of the Sabbat you're celebrating. If you can sew in a straight line, you can make your own altar cloth.

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  1. Figure out what material you'd like to use. If you're celebrating a spring Sabbat, consider something with bright flowers or green leaves on it. For fall, perhaps a harvest pattern would work best. Or you may wish to choose a celestial pattern, or some other natural sort of design. Regardless, select your fabric, and then cut a piece approximately 24 inches by 36 inches for a rectangular altar cloth, or 36 inches by 36 inches for a square one.

  2. Using your iron, fold over the edges all the way around, and press down about one inch of the edge. Next, fold the pressed hem in half, meeting the raw edge, and press with the iron again. This leaves you with a hem approximately 1/2 inch wide all the way around your altar cloth.

  3. Use your sewing machine to stitch the hem in place, all the way around the cloth.

  4. Put your altar cloth on your altar, and use it for rituals, Sabbat celebrations, or other events.

  5. Tip

    Make altar cloths using a variety of designs, so you'll have one for each Sabbat you celebrate.


    Be sure to pre-wash your fabric so that colours don't bleed the first time you toss your altar cloth into the washing machine.

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Things You'll Need

  • Cloth in your favourite design
  • Scissors
  • A ruler
  • A sewing machine
  • Thread
  • An iron

About the Author

Patti Wigington has been writing for nearly twenty years. Her work has appeared on a variety of websites and in a number of print publications, and she spent five years as a staff writer for a Columbus, Ohio, newspaper. She is the author of a children's book, a novel for middle grade readers, and two adult novels.

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