I know there are two words that every DIY decorator loves to hear… “easy” and “no sew“. If this sounds like your style, then I have a decorating project that will cover you on both fronts.
In between all the prepping and purging I have been doing the last month to ready my house to sell, I did have time to make a no sew tablecloth that is also fuss-free (in the maintenance department) for my outdoor dining table. So much of what I have been doing the past month will stay with the house. I enjoyed making something colorful that I can take with us.
I know the summer is ending and many of you have fall on your minds, but this cloth can be used inside as well.
After using a white cotton cloth on the table earlier in the summer that needed to be laundered and pressed to look halfway decent. I decided I had to go in search of more of the same type of fabric from which I made a tablecloth for my dining room table.
What makes it easy to care for and no-sew? The fabric is oilcloth!
Modern day oilcloth is a canvas fabric that has a wipeable, semi-shiny, hard-wearing PVC coating that wipes clean easily. It is perfect for tablecloths. One side of the canvas is semi-shiny, the other side is untreated.
What I like best about oilcloth is that it is super durable and will last for years. Spills won’t stain it and you don’t have to iron it. :-) Just wipe it clean, let dry and roll it up to store. It will grace many gatherings around your dining table for years to come.
The fabric got the name “oilcloth” in the days before vinyl. It was fabric that was boiled in linseed oil to make it waterproof. Oilcloth often features a printed design. Think of 50’s retro chic and visions of oilcloth tablecloths may come to mind.
IMPORTANT: If you do purchase oilcloth online and have it shipped to you. Request that it is rolled on a tube and not folded. This way creases won’t form in the cloth. Mine came folded and it had creases, they eventually go away, but I wish I had asked for it rolled.
If you do get folded oilcloth, the best way to get the creases out is to unfold it right away and spread over your table so the folds can soften.
To store a tablecloth to keep it wrinkle and crease free, roll it up on a cardboard fabric tube instead of folding. Use painter’s tape to secure. Stand tube on one end and place in a closet. When it is time to use again, your cloth will be wrinkle-free and ready.
If you don’t have fabric tubes, try this tablecloth storage idea that I use to store all my cloths, not just ones made from oilcloth.
How to Make a No-Sew Tablecloth
- Measuring tape
- Oilcloth in yardage needed
- Sharp Scissors
- Optional – white glue and a foam paint brush
1. Measure your table’s width and length. The oilcloth is 56″ wide. The stripes run horizontally with the length of the cloth. You can get it cut to the amount of yardage you need. I used the whole width of the fabric and added 12″ to the length:
My table measures 44″ x 84″. The size of my tablecloth is 56″ x 96″. The extra is needed for a 6″ drop on all sides.
2. To cut cloth to size needed while making sure your cut line is straight: Turn fabric wrong side up. Use a piece of chalk or marker to mark length from one end’s edge. Repeat all along edge.
3. Connect marks with a yardstick and draw a line. Use this as your cutting line. Cut with a very sharp pair of scissors.
Optional: I did not do this since oil cloth does not ravel or fray, but if you want to seal the edges, do so with a foam brush and white glue that is slightly watered down. 1 part glue to 1/2 part water, mix well. Brush the mixture over the cut edges and let dry.