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How to Make a Round Tablecloth

One of the smartest pieces of furniture you can add to any room in a skirted table. One of the best reasons is that they add pretty to a room, but also can hide your clutter underneath. I have always had a one in my studioffice, but recently updated it by making a pink and white round tablecloth for it.

I made a round tablecloth to cover my sewing machine table in my studioffice. It used to be covered in a plain ole beige tablecloth. It worked just fine for many years, but it was time to banish the beige and think Pink!  

If you are an old movie lover you may remember that line from the Audrey Hepburn movie Funny Face. :-)   The beige didn’t add much interest or style to the room, but the new pink and white tablecloth does though…Pink and white cowhide!

How-to-make-a-round-tablecloth-using-pink-cowhide

I have been searching for a long time to find just the right fabric to make a new cover.  I wanted something pink, fun, and that would drape nicely over the table.  When I was searching online for fabrics recently and spotted this, I knew it was “the one” right away. It was a little pricey, but since I LOVED it and knew I would use it for a long time, I went for it  I am so glad I did. It adds just that right amount of style and energy to the room.

pink-spotted-cowhide

It is upholstery fabric from Fabric.com called Udder Madness Cow Upholstery. It also comes in a variety of different colors.

How-to-make-a-round-tablecloth-for-any-size-round-table

I didn’t have to hem the tablecloth since the fabric is an upholstery weight where the edges won’t unravel. I did have to sew seams to piece the cloth together though.

  • Seams were required since when you make a round tablecloth, you need to create a large square of fabric in which to cut the round shape/circle out.
  • Decorator fabric is 54″ wide.  To make the square, you need to seam two or more pieces of fabric together to get the fabric wide enough to cover the table and drape to the floor.  I will explain how to do this in more detail further down in the post.
Craft-and-sewing-room-storage-ideas

I like to cover my sewing machine cabinet for three reasons:

  1. To create hidden storage underneath (*Here is what lives under my sewing machine…sometimes Trax the cat lives there too.)
  2. Add softness to the room. Since most of the furniture in the room has legs or is made of wood, having something covered in fabric adds interest to the room and breaks up all the wood and legs.
  3. Adding round shapes to a room are soothing and good Feng Shui.

I place a table round on top of the cabinet to create the look of a round table.

how-to-make-a-round-tablecloth-tutorial

Once I decided to place the tablecloth over the round table top, I had a piece of glass made to the same size as the round table top to keep dust off the cover.  When I need to use my sewing machine, I simply take the glass, cloth, and round table top off in one fell swoop and lean them against the bookshelf. Once I finish sewing, they all get placed back over the sewing machine cabinet. Very easy – nothing too complex.

How to Make a Round Tablecloth

supplies needed:

  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Measuring tape and or string
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Chalk or pencil
  • Push pin or tack

IMPORTANT REMINDERS When Making a Round Tablecloth

-If using a cotton fabric, pre-shrink fabric before sewing.

-You may need more fabric if you need to match a pattern.  Since my fabric was an overall pattern, I didn’t need to do this.

-Don’t forget to add yardage for seams and hems when measuring and cutting.

Measure-a-table-for-a-round-tablecloth

Determine the amount of fabric needed: 

MEASURE:

  • Measure each side and top of your table and add all the dimensions together (example above: 30″ + 30″ + 30″ is equal to 90″ round)
  • Add in extra for seams and hem: 90″ + Hem + Seams = Diameter of circle

FIGURE YARDAGE:

  • Divide the diameter by the width of the fabric you have chosen to determine the number of lengths of fabric you will need to sew together to achieve the desired width.  Multiply the number of lengths needed x diameter to find the total number of inches of fabric needed. (divide this by 36 to convert to yards.)

Here is a little cheat sheet:

Fabric-Yardage-Chart-for-Round-Tablecloths
How-to-seam-a-round-tablecloth-together
How to Cut Fabric to Make a 90″ Round Tablecloth

Once you determine your table size and fabric yardage needed, you will need to cut the fabric as shown above so that you can use these cut pieces to make a large square of fabric that you can then seam together to make your tablecloth.

I needed 5 yards of fabric to make a tablecloth that would be 90″ round in diameter.

  • #1 in the diagram above is:  54″ wide and 92″ long.  (2″ extra for seam allowance.)
  • Fabric pieces #2 + #3 are:  27″ wide and 92″ long.  Pieces # 2 + #3 will be sewn to the sides of #1 to create one wide piece of fabric.
Directions-on-how-to-make-a-round-tablecloth

Here is a diagram to give you a visual on how you will seam a round tablecloth. You want to create two seams on the tablecloth so that once it is placed over a round table they will fall on the sides of the table. This way you won’t have one seam running down the center top of your cloth.

Piecing-fabric-for-a-round-tablecloth

I moved the furniture from the center of my family room to give me a large space to lay out my fabric so that I could easily pin my cut pieces of fabric together.   Pin the side pieces right sides together to the center piece of fabric.

Round-tablecloth-tutorial

This is what it will look like when both side pieces are pinned right side together to the center piece of fabric.

How-to-make-a-seam-on-a-round-tablecloth

Sew the seams on a machine.

How-to-cut-fabric-when-making-a-round-tablecloth

How to Cut Out Fabric to Get a Perfectly Round Shape

  • Fold the fabric in half so the seams run horizontally.
  • Tack a tape measure or string to the center of the fold in the middle of your fabric.
  • Swing the tape measure/string like a compass using pencil or chalk to mark the diameter.
  • Pin along your drawn line and cut both through both layers at the same time.
How-to-sew-a-round-tablecloth

My cut out round tablecloth. See the scraps that used to form the square on the bottom right of the photo?  There are some pretty big pieces that I will use for another project someday.

make-a-90'-round-tablecloth-tutorial

Unfold the fabric to reveal a round tablecloth.

How to Hem a Round Tablecloth

I didn’t need to hem my round cloth since the edge on my fabric won’t fray, but if you are using a lighter weight fabric you will need to add a sewn or fused hem.

  • Press the seams open to flatten the seams on the cloth.
  • Then press the fabric around the bottom edge of the tablecloth 1″ under and then fold over again and press. This creates a finished edge. You may need to pleat the fabric a few times as you work your way around the hem since it is not a straight edge.
  • Use Iron-On Fuse to hem the cloth or pin the folds and sew the hem on your machine. Remove the pins and then press the cloth.
    How-to-make-a-round-tablecloth-for-any-size-round-table

I am loving the infusion of pink and white in the room and want to add more of it. I found the pink magazine files on the bookshelves at IKEA.  I think I may have to go back and get a few more.

Now what to do with the Armoire. I was thinking I was going to strip it, but found that the wood is not all the same. I may have to simply paint it.  Decisions…decisions….

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42 Comments

  1. Thanks for your post. I am trying to do such a table, and it is remarkable how difficult it is to find the glass tops or a round table top to add , as you have done, over an existing table. Where did you get the round top? Or did you make it somehow?

    Thanks again.

  2. I hope you’re still monitoring this! I’m really excited to try your round tablecloth!! I’ve just got a small table. 19.5” top with 25” drop. So 25+19.5+25=70 plus seams/hems
    I can see quilts and even made everything in my daughter’s nursery but I can NOT figure out how much fabric I need for projects. I guess and then buy more than I think and always end up with too much!! Could you help? Since it’s so small I’m thinking I could use the 44” fabric you mentioned in another response. If I did that would 7 yards be acceptable!?

    1. Hi Lyn – I feel your pain when it comes to figuring out yardage. Anything with numbers makes my mind go numb. 44″ fabric will work, but you will need to get 3 yards of it for the center piece and 3 yards for the end pieces that are sewn to the middle. 6 – 7 yards is good. :-)

  3. Diane,
    I wish I could post a photo of the beautiful tablecloth I made after watching (and following closely) your tutorial!! It came out so well. Unfortunately, the fabric I used was heavy and the table was 42-inches round, so I felt like I was throwing a body around. Thank you for an easy to understand, common sense method of making a tablecloth!!

    1. Hi Lucie – Thanks for telling me about your tablecloth. I smiled when I read about how heavy the fabric was. It can make it difficult to sew…almost like you are sewing wood. Happy to hear it came out beautifully.

  4. Used your instructions to make a round tablecloth to match chairs in a dining room. Your instructions were extraordinarily clear and the illustrations made everything easy to follow. Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Felice –

      Thank you for taking the time to tell me that my directions for making the round tablecloth helped you to make one. Without reader feedback, I don’t know if what I share helps or not. Thanks for reading and enjoy your new tablecloth.

  5. SO if I want to make round table cloths for a table that has a 60in round and a 32in drop what size fabric should I get? I tried to understand the cheat sheet. But it didn’t work too well.

    1. Hi Jamie –

      When making a tablecloth you should always use “decorator fabric” that is 54″ wide. Since you will need to piece the fabric together it makes it easier and the seams will fall low on the drop of the cloth. Fashion fabric is around 44″ wide and would require four seams in cloth instead of two depending on the size of the table.

      To figure out how much fabric yardage you will need:

      Add 60 + 32 + 32 = 124 + hem and seams-roughly 5. Total = 129 inches which is roughly a little less than 4 yards. You will need about 10 yards of fabric. If you want to save on fabric yardage (this is what I did) and don’t have a pattern to match, you could get 8 yards and cut two pieces at 129″. Then cut one of these pieces lengthwise in half, using each half to sew onto the center piece of fabric. You need to piece 3 lengths of the fabric together as I show in the post. Once sewn, fold as shown, mark the circle and cut and then cut.

      You may need more fabric if you need to match a pattern. Don’t forget to add yardage for seams and hems when measuring and cutting.

      I hope this makes sense. Once you do it, it will seem easy, but doing it for a first time can get confusing with all the calculations needed.

      My best – Diane

  6. I have not had time to sew in a long time but now I do and my BFF wanted me to make a tablecloth for her I need to recall how I did it 25 years ago. Watching your tutorial helped me and actually made thongs a lot easier than I tought.
    Thank You

  7. You never said what the length is that you use when you are cutting the fabric AFTER you fold it in half? I’m using a 30 inch table top 30 inches tall.

    1. Hi Kathryn –

      When folding the fabric in half once you have the 3 sections of the tablecloth sewn together, you simply just fold it so the edges meet. Whatever that measurement is has already been calculated in the previous steps. Does that make sense, or am I not answering the right part of the process for you? Please let me know and I will try to clarify it better.

      1. Her question is mine. Do you mark half the diameter?? If it’s 92 then you mark it at 46. Right?

        1. Hi Libby –

          Sorry for any confusion in the directions when making a round table cloth. If you have attached the two side panels to the center panel and have folded the whole thing in half with corners meeting, place the pencil on the center of the folded side. The length to cut the attached string, should be as wide as the folded fabric, so yes – it would be half the diameter.

  8. Hi Diane, I’ve sewn many projects for my home, but must admit the round tablecloth has always intimated me. I’m at the point now where I must make one for the decorator table in my guest room. I understand every step of your fabulous tutorial until the very end. My question is this . . . when folding the fabric 1″ under for the hem, and then folding over again, do you fold it over another full 1″ or 1/2″ inch just to meet the top edge of the first fold, using 1 1/2″ of fabric for the hem? Or is it a complete double fold using 2″ of fabric? Thank you! Deena

  9. I found this information very useful, not only for this project, but for any requiring a circle of fabric! Thank you!

    1. Hi Anita – I thought I had a post on how to make a scalloped table cloth but I can’t find it. I have illustrations showing how to do it. I will have to create a post with them. In a nutshell, you would create a strip of fabric for the drop. Make this how long you want it x the circumference of the table. Make 2. Use a plate to make the scalloped shape, trace the plate onto the fabric, then repeat until you have traced scallops along the strip of fabric, then cut out the scallops. Sew the two scalloped lengths together. Put the right sides out and then sew to a circle shape the size of the table top.

      Check out this post where I scallped paper for a gift, it may give you an idea: https://inmyownstyle.com/2012/02/how-to-make-a-tissue-paper-flower-valentine-gift-box.html

  10. Thank you so much for this post. I have a sewing machine cabinet just like yours that’s currently being stored in my laundry room that I can now bring out of hiding and use as a beautiful functional piece of furniture for additional storage. I will definitely bookmark this for future use.

  11. Love that fabric!
    I was just looking at some summer pictures and wondering what to do with this bistro
    table and there popped up your post.
    Just what it needs.
    Thanks for the great tutorial.

  12. You gave perfect directions. And please…… you certainly can add 2 + 2 and a lot more. It takes math skills to make this table cloth. Oh and you can cheat on the fabric, but you have to be more than never tried it before. Those outside lengths can be cut downn……. and save some money, but it does take some experience. You did a really fantastic job. And wow, do I love that fabric. The blue is calling my name, but I know it is out of my price range.

    GREAT job.

  13. Love it Diane! Such a clever way to cover a sewing cabinet. Love the fabric. Your office is soooo happy and bright!!! Great job :).

  14. Brilliant! And very pretty! Thought your idea of putting the round table top over the machine was so cool, and the tablecloth instructions are great. Now I need instructions on how to do an oval tablecloth! :)

    1. Hi Linda – I believe the directions are the same up until cutting it out. Once you have a long rectangle of fabric that drapes over your table you should make sure the fabric is centered on the table and then weigh it down in the center. Use a measuring tape to mark the length you desire all around the table, plus add for hem allowance. Once you have made the measurement marks all around on the fabric, cut on these marked lines, then hem.

  15. Easy, but effective. I wouldn’t think of that, to be honest :) Thanks for the tip, I’ll use it to decorate my little round table.

  16. You’ve answered the question……..what’s better than pink? ……pink cowhide …of course.
    Love it……fresh….creative….fun.
    And..it’s so you.
    Also love those pink IKEA file folders.
    Excellent.
    Keep warm and safe,
    Suz

    1. Thanks Susie – IKEA also makes pink boxes in a few different sizes to go with the magazine holders. I didn’t get any, but I may since they are very inexpensive. The high today is 17 degrees. Brrrrr. I will be staying inside. Hope you are staying safe and warm, too.

  17. Hi Diane,
    That looks really lovey! As odd as it sounds bright pink cowhide material gives the room a real softness, gentleness…. looks restful even. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it. Your room looks absolutely beuatiful! Thanks so much for sharing the information, too.
    Cheers, Liz (Australia). :)

    1. Hi Elisabeth – Thanks. I think the cowhide works in the room since it is nice shade of pink – not too pale or bright. It is also a subtle mix of a classic animal print + modern meets traditional. :-) It kinda of blends right into the decor.

    1. Thanks Stephanie – I am all about no sew since it works and is easy, but since the fabric was upholstery weight I decided to sew the cloth. If using a no-sew method for upholstery weight fabric, I think I would use fabric glue. It would have more hold, where iron-on fuse needs heat to bond it to the fabric. Since the fabric is thick, the heat won’t penetrate as easily.

  18. That snazzy tablecloth looks fantastic! Love the pink accents in your studi/office. I’m off to see what other colors that fabric comes in. Vikki in VA

      1. Yes, I did see the sky blue. My master bedroom is done in blues and the wall the bed sits on is papered in blue toile and has cows in the scenes! I was was thinking the sky blue cow hide would make great throw pillows on our bed. :) Vikki in VA