How to Make a Tablecloth

It’s easy to make a tablecloth. This is the ideal challenge for novice sewer who needs a few projects under their belt. A tablecloth is an essential item for the home, and personal touches make all the difference at those family mealtimes. Here is a quick step by step guide that will get you sewing in no time.

What You Need

Tablecloths are simple projects and all you really need are a few key items:

  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Fabric marker
  • Fabric
  • Iron (for fabric pressing)
  • Pins
  • Thread for sewing machine (or hand sewing if you prefer)
Getting Started

There are only a few key steps involved in making tablecloths, and they are very straightforward. We have given you the basic instructions to make a simple cloth, but feel free to add detail and embellish it as you wish. For Christmas, you could, for example, add appliqué snowflakes or glitter. For a children’s party, you could custom make the cloth with a fairy or dragon theme. Once you have the basics down, you can add whatever detail you want!

Step 1 – The first thing you need to do is grab your measuring tape and take down the table’s measurements. Be as exact as possible so that your tablecloth is of the desired size. Make sure you record the numbers somewhere to save having to go back and start measuring all over again.

Step 2 – Look at your fabric and consider the style of tablecloth you want to create. You can make something elegant and grand, with a table to carpet overhang. Alternatively, the cloth can be more of a cover with only a few inches of overhang at the table’s edges. The benefit of having a longer overhang is that the cloth will be more secure on the table, and you don’t have to worry so much about miscalculating and creating a small cloth. The standard overhang is about 8 inches, and this is what we would advise you to go for.

Step 3 – Once you have sorted out your measurements, lay out your fabric and mark, with a fabric marker of your choice, the dimensions out. Use a ruler if you want to be precise. Then, with your fabric scissors, cut along your markings.

Step 4 – Key to the neatness of your tablecloth is hem. Working with the fabric, fold over about half an inch of fabric and with a medium-hot iron press the fold into place. This acts as your guide and from here you can pin the hem you have created into place.

Step 5 – Sew the hem into place. If you are using a machine simply use a backstitch. This is the neatest and most secure stitch for the cloth.

When you reach a corner, lift the presser foot and turn the fabric to the next unfinished edge. Take as long as you need to with this step. The line needs to be as straight as possible to ensure that the end result is professional. Once you have finished the hem, press the fabric and place it on the table, ready for the next family meal.


Tablecloths are a great basic and the perfect item to practice your skills on. Simply choose a fabric and start sewing!

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