My 3 Monsters: DIY Tailored Tablecloth {from a Painter's Drop Cloth!}

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DIY Tailored Tablecloth {from a Painter's Drop Cloth!}

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Easy DIY Tailored Tablecloth from a Painter's Drop Cloth at
Hi guys!  Have you ever fallen in love with a shop before you really realized that it was pretty much waaaayyyy out of your price range?  Sadly enough, it happens to me.  Often.  Such was the case when I saw this beautiful linen tablecloth from ruffledlinens on Etsy.   It was perfect -- the mitered corners so it fit snug on the table, the cute ruffly edging, the linen fabric, the shabby chic style.  I loved absolutely everything about it.  Until I saw the price, which I'm sure is totally reasonable for such a lovely custom tablecloth, but is more than I could justify paying on my budget.  Time to get creative!

I knew from when I made the drop cloth slipcovers for my couches that when you wash and bleach a painter's drop cloth it looks and feels vaguely like linen, so that was my starting point.  I purchased a 6-foot by 9-foot drop cloth for about $9 at Walmart.  I think it was the 7-ounce weight.  It felt quite a bit thinner than the ones I bought at Lowes for my couches, but that was actually OK because it ended up looking a lot like linen after I washed it and was easier to work with.

I put the drop cloth in the washing machine with about 1 cup of bleach in the wash water and let it sit for an hour.  This lightened up the color several shades, but you can see it is still not white.  I liked the shabby chic look of the grayish finished color.  After it soaked, I let it finish the wash cycle and then I washed it one more time with laundry soap to make sure all the bleach was washed out.  I also ran it through my dryer on high heat to pre-shrink it.

Before you begin sewing, decide how wide you want your ruffle to be -- mine is about 2½-3 inches.  I used the pre-hemmed edges of the drop cloth to create my ruffle.  This saves a lot of time because I didn't have to go back and hem my ruffle when I was finished!   Cut a strip of the drop cloth to your desired ruffle width + ½ inch along each hemmed edge.

Easy DIY Tailored Tablecloth from a Painter's Drop Cloth at
Sew all the cut ruffle pieces end to end to create one long strip of fabric and set it aside. 

Use the rest of the fabric to cut the tablecloth itself.  Measure the top of your table {the overall width and length} then decide how much overhang you want on each side.  Mine was a little bit more than 4 inches.  Double the overhang measurement and add it to each of the table measurements.  For example, my tabletop is 42 inches wide by 60 inches long, so I added 9 inches {double my overhang} to get 51 inches by 69 inches.  Add one more inch in each direction for seam allowances to get your final cutting dimensions.

Easy DIY Tailored Tablecloth from a Painter's Drop Cloth at
Lay the fabric right side down on your table top and center it so there is an equal overhang on all sides.  Miter the corners by pinching the excess fabric on each corner and pin.  Sew along the black dotted lines as shown below.

Easy DIY Tailored Tablecloth from a Painter's Drop Cloth at
 Trim off the excess fabric.  Turn right side out and check for fit on the table.  Since my corners are rounded, I made two smaller pleats about an inch apart on each corner to help it lay smoother.

Easy DIY Tailored Tablecloth from a Painter's Drop Cloth at
Pin the ruffle piece along bottom edge of tablecloth, right sides together, matching up unfinished edges.  Make a small pleat in the hemmed ruffle piece every inch or so and pin in place.  You should have enough of the hemmed fabric to go all the way around your tablecloth, but if you come up short {I did by about 6 inches - boo!}, just use the excess drop cloth fabric to make more strips the same width as your other ruffle pieces, plus an extra inch for hem.  Hem it to match the other pieces and sew it onto the end of your long strip.It's not hard to do, just a little bit of a pain.  

Overlap the ends so no raw edges are showing and stitch the ruffle all the way around.  I went back and finished all my seams with a zig-zag stitch so the fabric would not unravel when washed.  This will ensure the tablecloth lasts a good, long time.  Turn it right side out and put it on the table.  I didn't even press it or anything because I likes the casual, lived-in look it had.

Easy DIY Tailored Tablecloth from a Painter's Drop Cloth at
For $9, it is the perfect solution to hide my scratched wood tabletop.  It's easy to slip on and off when we are using the table and it stays in place because of the mitered corners.  One of my biggest pet peeves about tablecloths is when they are not straight on the table.  Not a problem here! Plus, it gives the dining room a much more finished feel.

Easy DIY Tailored Tablecloth from a Painter's Drop Cloth at

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!


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  1. WOW! I love this idea. :) Thanks for the info.

    Can you direct me to a link for drop cloth slipcovers, please?

    Thank you,

    1. HI Shiela! I never wrote a tutorial for the sofa slipcovers because they were so involved, but this post has some really good links to the resources I used:

      The link to Miss Mustard Seed's slipcover tutorial series was EXTREMELY helpful. Hope that gives you some good info!

  2. I love this!! I have 3 monsters and a monsterette too - and oh my!! I can't stand when the table cloth moves from them pulling/pushing it!! I am SO making this soon!! I think after bleaching and softening I may dye it? Just a thought...

    Thank you!!!

    1. Thanks! This table cloth is great for families with kids . . . or dogs . . . or husbands . . . who aren't as OCD about these things. I would love to see how yours turns out!


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