Free Sewing Instructions for Table Cloths

by Ainsley Patterson
Set the scene for any dinner with a homemade table cloth.

Set the scene for any dinner with a homemade table cloth.

Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Use basic sewing skills to add some color and elegance to your dining room by constructing a tablecloth. The wide variety of fabrics available at fabric stores allows you to make the cloth perfectly suited to your decor, a special occasion, a holiday or season. Choose bright bold fabrics for summer or to match funky decor. Use a more subtle, neutral fabric for a formal dining room or fancy dinner party.

Items you will need

  • Iron
  • Tape measure
  • Cotton fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
Step 1

Measure the length and width, or the diameter, of your table. Add 13 inches to each of these dimensions to determine the dimensions for the fabric needed for the table cloth, so you know how much to buy. Be sure to allow some extra fabric for shrinkage and cutting when determining how much fabric to purchase; giving yourself an extra 3 inches or so all around is usually a suitable buffer. If your table is 40 inches in diameter, you'll need a piece of fabric that can be cut to 53 inches in diameter. If your table is 40-by-50-inches, you'll need a 53-by-63-inch piece of fabric.

Step 2

Purchase a piece of fabric that will fit the dimensions you determined.

Step 3

Iron all the wrinkles and creases out of the fabric. Iron the fabric straight out of the dryer, before it cools thus setting wrinkles and creases, for the best results.

Step 4

Measure the length and width, or the diameter, of your table. Cut a piece of fabric 13 inches to each of these dimensions to determine the dimensions for your fabric. If your table is 40 inches in diameter, cut a circle 53 inches in diameter from your fabric. If your table is 40-by-50-inches, cut a 53-by-63-inch piece of fabric. Six of the extra inches will hang over the edge of the table on each side, and 1 inch allows for a hem on each side.

Step 5

Fold each edge of the cut fabric to the wrong side 1/4 inch. Iron the fold all the way around the fabric. Fold the edge another 1/4 inch in the same direction, and iron the folds again. Sew all the way around the cloth with an 1/8-inch seam allowance to complete the hem, and thus the table cloth.

Tips & Warnings

  • Look in the home decor fabric section for extra-wide fabrics if the standard 40- to 60-inch-wide fabrics aren't wide enough for your table. The selection will be more limited, but you can also check online fabric stores for extra-wide fabrics for more options.
  • Use oilcloth to create tablecloths for outdoor use or for a tablecloth that you can wipe down, rather than having to machine wash.
  • You can create a table cloth that hangs lower than 6 inches below the edge of the table by adding additional inches to all dimensions of the fabric.

References

  • Singer; The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing; 2009

About the Author

Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Ainsley Patterson has been a freelance writer since 2007. Her articles appear on various websites. She especially enjoys utilizing her more than 10 years of craft and sewing experience to write tutorials. Patterson is working on her bachelor's degree in liberal arts at the University of Michigan.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images