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How to Add a Border to a Tablecloth

Updated April 17, 2017

Adding a border to a tablecloth is a simple project that only requires basic sewing skills. Borders add style and tailoring to plain store-bought tablecloths. You can also make any large piece of fabric into a tablecloth with the addition of a border to customise it on the cheap. Darker borders contrast nicely with ivory and white tablecloths for a classic tailored look. For a more eclectic look, borders in fun patterns and prints add an unexpected shot of colour to tablecloths.

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  1. Iron your tablecloth and lay it on a flat surface. Lay your border fabric next to the tablecloth and decide how wide you would like the border to be. A typical border width is 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Add 1 inch to this measurement for your seam allowance and mark it on your fabric with fabric chalk.

  2. Measure the length and width of the tablecloth and add 2 inches to each measurement, then mark these on your border fabric. Cut the border fabric into two long strips and two shorter strips according to these measurements.

  3. Pin the four border strips to the tablecloth, leaving a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Sew each strip in place. There will be 1 inch of excess fabric on each border strip at the corners.

  4. Fold the corner of each border strip diagonally so the ends of the strips match up and the excess fabric hangs below. Pin the excess fabric on the backside along the diagonal fold.

  5. Sew along the diagonal fold and trim excess fabric. Repeat this for all four corners.

  6. Fold 1/2 inch of border fabric underneath all the way around the outside edge. Press this edge with an iron. Sew the edge down to create a finished hem.

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Things You'll Need

  • Fabric for border
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric chalk
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Pins

About the Author

Betsy Morgan

Betsy Morgan has been writing and editing professionally since 1995. She has written for publications like "Wired" magazine, "Paper" magazine and Vault.com. She has a Bachelor of Arts in history from Columbia University.

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