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Welcome to the second post of the "DIY Dining Room Decor" series! Over the course of this week I'll be sharing five easy and budget-friendly projects to add to the organization, function and style of the dining room. The last post we focused on organization with the creation of a menu board to hang in the dining room or kitchen wall. Today we're shifting the attention to the dining table.
I've had our dining room table since my first apartment in college (I was only 19!). This poor table has made numerous moves, and while it has structurally held up the table surface has experienced quite a few cracks, scratches, and gouges. Even if your table top is still in good shape, a lovely tablecloth adds a lot of character to a dining room. It's also fun to quickly and easily change up the look with a simple tablecloth swap. Ordinarily, having cloth or multiple tablecloths would be rather expensive. However, you can actually create your own tablecloths from a (new) sheet for as low as $5 (depending on the size of your table)! Our table is pretty small and only requires a twin sheet, which can be found pretty inexpensively. I'm certain that a cute tablecloth for only $5 would be hard to find in the stores!
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. While you might prefer the thinner and smoother sheets for bedding, you'll want those rough and tough sheets for making a tablecloth (which are cheaper too).
Below is a tutorial for making the tablecloth. If you would prefer printable versions of the tutorial then 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!
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