How to Layer Tablecloths

An attractive table makes any occasion feel more special. Layering your tablecloths is one way to make the table stand out. Use a solid color underneath and a light, lacy cloth on top, allowing the color to peek through the lace. For Valentine's Day, the bottom cloth might be red; for Christmas, make it red, gold or green. If lace is too formal for your occasion, try a patterned cloth layered over a solid.

Layering With Lace

Choose a lace tablecloth with a loose pattern that will let the cloth underneath show through.

Pick a solid tablecloth that is the same shape and slightly smaller than the lace cloth so that it will not be visible except through the lace.

Spread the solid tablecloth over your table; then put the lace cloth on top.

Adjust the cloths as needed to keep the solid cloth out of view at the bottom edge.

Layering With Pattern

Choose a solid-color tablecloth to anchor your design.

Pick a patterned cloth that is at least 6 inches smaller on all sides than the solid tablecloth.

Spread out the larger tablecloth; then center the patterned cloth on top. If the cloths have corners, match them up for a neater look.


Experiment with various colors and patterns in your layering. Perhaps you'd rather have a patterned cloth on the bottom and a solid one on top. Be brave and combine a stripe with a plaid. Use lace over a floral. The possibilities are nearly endless.

About the Author

Elizabeth Nickelaid is an editor and writer with more than 20 years' experience in the newspaper industry. She has won state and national awards for headline writing and has collaborated with Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Wake Forest University.