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How to Make Overlays & Tablecloths

Adding tablecloths and overlays to tables is an effective way to add color and texture to a room. When you decorate with tablecloths you can change the colors of a room without spending a lot of money. You can also change tablecloths with the seasons as an inexpensive way to update a room. It is fast and easy it can be to create attractive tablecloths and overlays for various rooms in your home.

Things You'll Need:

  • Sewing Machine
  • Sewing Notions (Thread, Scissors, Pins)
  • Tape Measure
  • Decorator Fabrics
  • Iron

How to Make a Tablecloth

Measure the length and width of the top of the table with the tape measure, if the table is rectangular or square shaped. Decide how far you want the tablecloth to drop down from the top of the table. Add 1 inch to this number and add this number to the length and width measurements. If the table is circular, measure the diameter of the tabletop. Multiply the tablecloth drop figure by two and add this to the measured diameter of the table.

Choose and purchase the amount of decorator fabric determined in Step 1. For best results, purchase fabric with a width of at least 54 inches.

Place the fabric with the wrong side facing up onto a flat working surface. Cut the fabric to the size determined in Step 1.

Measure 1/2 inch around the edges of the fabric and fold this amount of fabric up, to create the hem. Press the fold in place with the iron and pin the folded edge to secure.

Stitch the pinned hem 3/8-inch from the folded edge.

How to Make an Overlay

Measure a second piece of fabric that is 4 to 6 inches smaller than the size of the tablecloth.

Follow Steps 2 through 5 to make the overlay.

Place the tablecloth onto the table first and center it evenly. Place the overlay on top of the tablecloth to finish.


A lace overlay is a popular look.

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