How to make a dining tablecloth alternative using a wood look paper that can be easily wiped clean, rolled up and used again and again not only for holiday table settings, but for any occasion.
My mind is constantly filled with ideas imagining items which can be used in many different ways when decorating my home. A few of them are a bit over the top. But one thing I have learned is to never dismiss a creative idea with an assumption that it won’t work just because it has never been done before. Instead I think… why not try?
My house is my lab where I experiment with many ideas. Some never make it to the blog, but the one I did… was post worthy!
I wanted to do a test run for how I plan to set the table for Christmas.
I am not a fan of tablecloths as they are too much work with having to launder and press them. Wipeable placemats are my go to, but it is hard finding ones that I like.
Earlier this fall, I saw this table setting created by Shannon over at Home Made Lovely. I loved it and immediately knew that I had to create something similar in my own style for my holiday dining table.
What I liked most about this table setting was that I already owned most of the items Shannon used with the exception of the dark wood table.
At the time I did this, my dining table had light colored wood.
I had wanted to darken the wood on the table to make it feel warm, cozy and inviting, but I wasn’t quite ready to take the time and effort to stain the table.
While searching Amazon for something unrelated to my table. This bulletin board paper came up in my search. After I read the description, I started to get excited and asked myself….. “What if?
What if I cover my round dining table with the Dark Wood look paper“. Sold! For $14.99 (12′ x 4′ roll), it was worth it to me to at least try it. I could make a tablecloth alternative using the paper.
Why I Like This Paper To Use Instead of a Tablecloth
- Better Than Paper Bulletin Board Roll – Dark Wood It comes in many wood types, colors and textures like burlap, shiplap, brick and even painted wood.
- Cuts easily with scissors.
- Is budget-friendly.
- Does not tear.
- The durable wipe-off surface cleans easily and can be used again and again. Rolls up for easy storage.
After I cut and placed the wood look bulletin board paper on the table, I didn’t think it was going to work. The paper has a sheen when the sun is shining on it and had a few ripples, but when I stood back, I smiled. I was getting my wish for a dark wood holiday table on a temporary basis. :-)
I got more positive reaction to the wood look paper when our friends came over for dinner and thought it was real wood!
How to Create a Dining Tablecloth Alternative That Looks Like Wood
- Better Than Paper Bulletin Board Roll – Dark Wood
- Crayon with paper peeled off
- Sharp scissors
- Low-tack Painter’s tape
Time needed: 10 minutes.
- Roll Paper Over Table
Roll the paper over the table. Center it and use low-tack Painter’s tape to hold the paper down, until you can cut it to the exact shape and size of your table.
- Cut Away Excess Paper
Here’s a trick to make working with the paper easier while getting an exact fit for the top of your table. Once you have the paper centered over the table, cut the excess paper that is around the table, leaving about 2 inches. Your final step will be to finish trimming to the exact shape of the table.
- Flip the Paper So Wrong Side is Facing Up
Turn the paper over on the table so the white underside is facing up. Center on table and use painter’s tape to hold it in place. Use the side of a crayon to mark the edge of the table. This will give you an exact fit when cutting to the table size.
- Cut Along Drawn Line
Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut along your drawn line. If your scissors are very sharp, you will be able to simply push the scissors through the paper. Cutting this way will give you a very smooth cut edge.
- Flip Paper Back Over
Turn the paper back over so the wood side is face up. Center on table and if needed, press and smooth paper out from the center to the outer edge around the table. Ensure you remove any remaining ripples. Then make rolls using painter’s tape to place under the edge to hold the paper down.
- Set Your Table
Once the paper is taped down, you can set your table and enjoy a new dark wood look or whatever paper you use – white wood, burlap and oak are a few others.
Once I had the paper cut I enjoyed setting the table keeping with my simple and nature inspired Christmas decor.
After a few days, the weight of the items I placed on the table was all that was needed to flatten the paper in the areas where it was slightly rippled from being rolled up
So polish your silver and pull up a few chairs to a new wood look table, even if you don’t own one.
I realize that many of you may never want or need to create a tablecloth alternative like this, but I hope reading this post lets you see what is possible in decorating and just about everything in life when you look at using items in a new and different ways than they were originally intended to be used.
Update: I like the way this paper looked on the table so much I kept it on for over a year. It held up great and gave me another idea, to make a new real wood top for the table. You can read all about how I did it – How I Made a Large Round Wood Top for My Kitchen Table.
- Better Than Paper Bulletin Board Roll – Comes in many wood types and colors and textures like burlap, shiplap, brick and even painted wood.
- Cedar Wreath
- Green and White Napkins
- Bubble Glass Candle Holder – Purchased a few years ago at Target. No longer available.
- Woven placemats – Similar placemats
- White dinnerware – all bought at HomeGoods
- Silverware – hand-me-downs from Ed’s parents
- Cut Crystal Stemware – hand-me-down Waterford – Alana pattern