Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How To Make a Tablecloth From a Sheet

     When we moved into our current home, I decided to change my color scheme up a bit.  I had previously done bold primary colors and now desired some cooler tones. The new color scheme also allows me to incorporate my favorite color- gray! My current room project is our dining room. I wanted to replace (or at least have a second) the red tablecloth with a gray one. I soon discovered that gray is not a very popular color for a tablecloth, or, at least, not as popular within my desired price range. I then discovered the local discount store was having a white sale. I found a king size set of sheets for $20 and instantly envisioned the set being transformed into a tablecloth and seat cushions. The pillowcases will be used to make pillowcase dresses to send to organizations like Dress A Girl Around the World. That's a lot of material and potential for the typical price of a single store-bought tablecloth. 

       The skill level for sewing a tablecloth from a sheet is that of beginner. If you can sew a straight line, then you can do this project. The most difficult part for me was my sheet material being rather thin and lacking in structure. This is one area in which the rougher tougher sheets are better than the "luxury." 

        Below is a tutorial for making the tablecloth. If you would prefer printable versions of the tutorial than follow either link below.

Tutorial: How To Make a (52"x70") Tablecloth From a Sheet
1. Begin by washing and drying your material to account for any shrinking. Next, iron the material. 

2. Lay material out on a large flat surface. If you have an existing tablecloth, then you can lay it on top, and use it as a size guide. You will then measure one inch extra around all sides to allow for a 1/2'' hem.  If not using a guide, then measure out a rectangle that is 53'' x 71''.

3. Cut out measured amount.  

4. The edges will be finished with a 1/2'' hem. A beginner's tip is to use a fabric glue stick and disappearing ink pen to ensure all parts align properly. Using the disappearing ink pen, measure and draw a line 1'' and then a second line1/2'' from the first around all edges. This acts as a guide for folding the edges and making sure they are straight. The corner markings will also be helpful in creating the mitered corner. 

5. Fold edge of material to meet first line marking. The folded section will be about 1/2'' wide. Do the same for all four edges of the material. (It may be helpful to add some glue and then iron to keep it in place). 

6. Next, fold the tip of the corner corner piece to the innermost crossing of the line marks. Press the bottom edge of that fold with an iron to maintain marking of the edge. (I've demonstrated it with a dotted line in the photo below). 

7. Unfold the corner. Cut along this line. This will reduce bulk within the corner once sewn. 

8. Ever so slightly turn the raw edge of the cut corner under (towards wrong side of material) and secure by ironing it in place (may be helpful to add a dab of glue). 

9. Fold one edge of the tablecloth material so that the corner edge of the cut corner meets the innermost crossing of the marked lines. Do the same for the other side.  

The corner edges should meet and now look like this. 

10. Fold side edges again to meet innermost marked line. You should now have a 1/2'' hem and mitered corners all around the material. 

11. To finish, simply top stitch 1/4'' along the perimeter of the tablecloth. 

12. You will probably want to add a waterproofing to the material since spills are bound to happen at the dining table. Scotch Guard is a common product for waterproofing. You could also just lay a clear vinyl tablecloth over everything while eating. 


One of the fun aspects of having a solid tablecloth is the potential to change up the look with various centerpieces and even cloth napkins. Textiles are fantastic for adding a lot of color and life to home decor while still being budget-friendly!


  1. Nice tutorial! I use twin size flat sheets for table cloths at craft shows since they were so much cheaper than purchasing ready-made table cloths. I haven't taken the time to sew nice edges like you did, though.

    1. Thank you! I think I'm going to keep an eye out for a twin sheet to go on discount at this store for future tablecloth options. :)


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