When planning this year’s holiday table and you realize you’re in need of a new tablecloth don’t limit your options to disposable plastic, something covered in smiling pumpkins or gigantic poinsettia blooms.
Think outside the box.
I love decorating for the holidays. And I want things to look beautiful.
But I also love handmade or even homespun touches to my holiday tablescapes.
With today’s holiday tablecloth you get all of the above. Plus a tutorial!
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This holiday tablecloth is casual and works beautifully with so many styles including farmhouse, cottage, coastal, country, shabby chic and more.
It’s been my favorite go-t0 tablecloth for years.
The Right Fabric
You can create a holiday tablecloth out of almost any fabric but for this look I used inexpensive canvas drop cloths. You can also use canvas duck cloth for a similar look that’s a bit lighter in weight. The tutorial (below) shows how to piece fabric together to achieve the raw edge look of these tablecloths.
I use drop cloths because they’re…
- readily available
- easy to sew
- great texture
- and great as a last minute no-sew option. Just cut to size!
HINT: Drop cloth fabric is very stiff and will need to be washed and dried. When starting with a large drop cloth begin by cutting it in half, washing it in hot water and drying it several times. Repeat the process after your tablecloth is finished for the best results.
MATH – To Get Started
- Measure your table – Length and width of a square or rectangular table OR diameter of a round table
- Determine the drop length – the drop is the length a tablecloth hangs off the edge of the table
- The average drop is between 6″ and 12″ no further than your guest’s lap
- If you’d like your tablecloth to hang to the floor then measure the height of your table.
Rectangle Holiday Tablecloth – 3′ x 5′ Table
3′ / 36″ + 20″ (10 each drop on each side) + 2″ (1/2″ double hem) = 58″
5′ / 60″ + 20″ (10″ drop on each side) + 2″(1/2″ double hem) = 82″
If piecing together remnants the finished size will need to be at least 82″ long x 58″ wide.
Round Holiday Tablecloth – 60″ Table including Instructions Below
60″ (distance across the widest portion of the table) + 20″ (10″ drop on each side) + 2″ (1/2″ double hem)
= 82″ x 82″
To make a round tablecloth you must begin with a square. In this case I sewed remnants together to create an 82″x82″ square piece of fabric. See tutorial below.
How To Create The Raw Edge Look
There was no specific rhyme or reason to how I pieced the remnants. It was strictly determined by the size of the remnants I had on hand and my goal to make a tablecloth large enough to fit my 60″ table.
Hint: In hindsight, I would have used more remnants in smaller sections in order to create more opportunities for the raw-edge seams.
- To create the raw edge (or exposed seam) sew remnants “wrong sides together” leaving seam on the top of the fabric.
The above raw edge seam is about 1″ wide, ironed to one side and topstitched about 1/2″ from the raw edge.
The other seam shown above is a french seam with the wrong side on top to add additional interest. These were topstitched as well.
The goal is to have a great frayed edge without fraying too much. The raw edge is topstitched to keep the fraying under control.
To Secret to Creating The Fringy Raw Edge Look
The secret is simply washing and drying the fabric. It’s the easiest way to fray all those raw edges.
Above is a raw edge seam that has been washed & dried next to a brand new raw edge seam so you can see the difference.
You can also get the fraying process started by removing some of the strings by hand.
How to Sew A Round Holiday Tablecloth
Remember the MATH above when we determined a tablecloth for a 60″ table would need to be 82″ square.
Once the remnants are sewn together to the necessary size the next step is to…
- fold the fabric in half – twice to create four layers
- An 82″ square should measure 41″x 41″ at this point ( half of 82″) but…
When making my tablecloth the remnants I had only created a 78″ square instead of an 82″ square. My folded square now measures 39″ (half of 78″). Still plenty big but instead of a 10″ drop my tablecloth will only have an 8″ drop.
- Moving forward…we’re working with measurements 78″x 78″ large square/39″x39″ small folded square
- Starting at the corner fold – measure to the longest point of the folded square – in this case 39″.
- Keeping the tape measure at the point of the left folded corner, begin ticking off the 39″ measurement from the bottom folded side to the 90 degree opposite folded side creating an arc of tick marks across the fabric. (see above)
- After the marks are made cut through all four layers of fabric following the tick marks.
- With the four layers still together the fabric is now the same shape as a 1/4 of a pie.
- When the folded fabric is opened up it will be a perfect circle.
- Now, open up the fabric and stitch a double 1/2″ hem all the way around the tablecloth.
- Wash and dry your tablecloth.
- If you’d like a softer feel you can wash and dry the tablecloth several more times in hot water to help the fabric soften. This also helps the raw edges get their nice, fluffy appearance.
This is my favorite part. 🙂 I love the way the raw edge looks after washing.
These have ended up being the best table cloths! I’ve made several to fit different size tables and while I made them as holiday tablecloths I use them all year long.
And they still look great after many, many washings!
I love the casual aspect of these tablecloths even for my holiday dinners including Thanksgiving shown above. And you can’t get much more casual than a drop cloth tablecloth.
Especially one showing off all it’s raw edges!