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Budget Decorating: Adding a Skirted Table

Skirted tables are one decor item that not only adds color and pattern to a room, but they can be changed easily seasonally while providing hidden storage. In this post I am sharing a few that I think will inspire you to think about how one would fit into your decor and storage needs.


4 photos of skirted tables in decorated rooms.

If you missed the first post in the series, you may want to read it first to find out why I started the series. You can read the first post here —> Budget Decorating: The Forgotten Secrets #1

In a nutshell….when decorating a home, there are a few decorating basics or as I like to call them… the forgotten elements that we often overlook. These elements can help make the decor look more cohesive, even on a budget. The series is to show you ways you can add these elements to your home.

The #2 Forgotten Decorating Secret comes in round, rectangular, and square shapes.

It is the skirted table.

It is a classic staple when decorating, but when we hear the term, skirted tables, we tend to think only of the inexpensive round “decorator” accent tables that were popular in the 80’s and 90’s.

You know the ones with the round particle board top that come with 3 or 4 legs that get screwed on the underside of the table and then covered with a round ruffled or lace tablecloth.

This is only one type of table that has a fabric cloth over it.

The skirted tables of today have an updated vibe and are rectangular and square as well.

They have a modern style that can have traditional elegance or country charm. They add a pop of color or pattern and can do something that no other table can do:

  • Skirted tables are the best place for creating secret accessible hiding spots for all your stuff.

And since we all seem to have a lot of stuff, getting a place to store and hide it makes the skirted table element something you should seriously consider when decorating.

If you’re looking to freshen a room without spending a lot of money, adding a skirted table can be a quick solution.

Most furniture can be expensive to buy or reupholster, but the cost of a table skirt is almost solely based on the price of the fabric. If you find the perfect fabric at Walmart or an online fabric discount site, you can make a skirt for a table for under $30 depending on the size of the table.

The table itself is usually inexpensive or a skirt can be made over an existing table you already own.

Skirted storage in a pantry
2019 Southern Living Idea House

Or you don’t even need a table and can add a skirt where there are no cabinet doors.

Round Skirted Table Ideas

How-to-make-a-round-tablecloth-for-any-size-round-table
Pink Cow Print Round Skirted Table That Hides a Sewing Machine Cabinet

In my previous studioffice I made a round table cloth to place over my sewing machine table that was old and outdated looking, but still functional.

To hide it, but keep it easy to access, a skirting the table was the answer. You can read how I made it in this post: How to Make a Round Tablecloth Style Skirted Table

I made a round table cloth for my table, but this is not the only way to cover a round table with fabric.

Drum Style
A drum tablecloth is a cylinder-shaped cloth that fits neatly over a round table. It has perfectly straight sides sewn to a top circle of fabric. It is very tailored.

A pleated drum style skirted table.

Pleated Round Style
For a more fitted tailored look, add pleats to the drum style skirt evenly spaced around it. Add trim to fit your personal decorating style.

Rectangular or Console Skirted Table Ideas

Rectangular
Rectangular or console tables when covered with a table cloth are tailored and more formal than a round table. For softness, place a box pleat at each corner. Add a glass top for added protection and a little shine.

Skirted tables can take on any style of decor, depending on the fabric and trimmings you use. From burlap…

…to linen…

…to inexpensive solid color twill to more high end fabrics. Whatever your decorating style, a fabric covered table will fit in beautifully.

I don’t have a tutorial on how make a tailored skirt for a rectangular table, but here you will find a good one: How to Make a Tailored Skirt for a Table the Easy Way.

Other Fabric Table Skirt Ideas

How to make a vanity skirted table.
The old-fashioned vanity skirted table hides a ton of stuff underneath, but keeps it all easily accessible.

To add a skirted table to your home, you don’t need a “decorator” style table. A skirted table can be made over any existing table you have, even a folding card table can take on a totally new personality with a table skirt that goes to the floor.

Add a Glass Top

Adding a piece of glass to the top of any skirted table will protect it from dust, dirt, and spilled drinks. It also will hold the cloth in place. For large tables, getting a piece of glass cut can cost more than the cloth or the table, but if your budget allows, it will add a nice finishing touch.

  • Have a piece of 3/8-inch plate glass cut to the exact size of the tabletop. For a designer finish, have the edges beveled about 1-inch in from the edge of the glass. No matter what cut you choose, be sure that the edges are smoothed out after the cut as the edges can be sharp.

Ideas for Creating Hidden Storage

Farmhouse kitchen with skirted table in front of sink.

When it comes to skirting, don’t stop with tables – adding a skirted front to a kitchen or bathroom sink can look quite stylish in neutrals…

…or your favorite colorful fabric.

Laundry room where laundry tub has a skirt of fabric around it to hide clutter or in this case a cat litter box.
Hidden Storage Under a Laundry Tub Skirt

I added a fabric skirt to the front of the laundry tub in my previous house. It is easy to make even if you don’t own a sewing machine. Hems and seams can be made with fabric glue or fusible web. Find out how to make no sew hems and seams in this post: How to Make No-Sew Drapes

I used Velcro to attach the skirt: How to Create Hidden Storage Under a Laundry Tub

Skirted fabric attached around a laundry room tub sink makes for a good place to hide a litter box that allows the cat to still easily use it.

I made it to hide the cat litter box. The skirt is made using two pieces of fabric that slightly overlap in the front. This is where the cat could easily get in and out. As you can see from the two photos above, I changed out the fabric over the years.

Reasons Why You Should Consider Adding a Skirted Table To a Room

  • Skirted pieces soften a room that has a lot of the hard angles, wood, and leggy furniture that are popular in decorating now.
  • The cloths/skirts can be easily changed out seasonally.
  • Are great for hidden storage.
  • Add instant color to perk up a lifeless room.
  • A table skirt is a nice way to add another texture, print, or color to your decorating scheme.
  • Can be embellished with details in the way of trims and cording to coordinate with the rest of your decor.
  • Skirted tables can be made using no-sew methods so don’t think just because you don’t own a sewing machine that you can’t make one for your home.

Where to Use a Skirted Table

A skirted table can go into a bedroom as a bedside table or dressing table. It can also go into a living room as a side table next to a chair or sofa, or as a festive dining table, or even in a home office.

Because the skirt will completely cover a table, the style or color of the table you use doesn’t matter at all.

Nightstand or Bedside Table

Magnolia Home Chalk Painted Table-

Any round, square, or rectangular table can be covered with a table cloth or skirt to transform it.

  • Hide lamp cords and store books, tissue, or extra linens underneath.

Side Table in the Living Room

Place a skirted table next to a sofa or chair where it will add color and impact, or where it will fill a corner between other furnishings.

  • It can hide kids’ toys, stacks of magazines and extra throw blankets. Place a lamp on top with a plant or stack of books.

A Hall Table

Brown and white flat panel skirted table in foyer.
Cote De Texas

If you have a large entryway or foyer, a skirted round table can be very welcoming.

  • Choose a beautiful fabric, cover the top with glass, add a vase of your favorite flowers, and use the table for mail and keys.
  • Place your tote bag or brief case underneath so it is ready for when you head out the door again.

Bathroom Table or Sink

If you need extra space in a bathroom, a skirted table can provide storage space and hide towels, toilet paper, toiletries and cleaning supplies.

Don’t Have a Table? Try These Table Making Options

Since the table form itself will be covered, it doesn’t matter what condition the table you use is in, as long as it is sturdy. Look around your house to see if you can find something that is the right height and size for your needs.

  • An old table bought at a yard sale or flea market.
  • Bring in an outdoor piece of furniture.
  • A cabinet base bought at Habitat for a few dollars – get a piece of plywood cut to size for the top. Store stuff neatly inside the cabinet itself.
  • Make your own table. For a square or rectangular table, cut the top from a piece of inexpensive 3/4″ plywood to the size you need. Screw legs sold at the home improvement store (near lumber aisle) into the bottom on all four corners. For a round table, home improvement stores also sell table rounds of plywood.

Add Decorative Details to a Skirted Table

To add more interest to a table:

  • Add a band around the hem of the skirt using a contrasting or coordinating fabric, ribbon or trim.
  • Make the inside panels of box pleats with a coordinating fabric.
  • Add two layers of fabric. A topper is a separate tablecloth that goes over the top of a floor-length cloth. It is made of a coordinating or matching fabric and can be round, square, or fitted, with hems that are plain, corded, banded, or shaped into triangles or scallops.

For My DIY Readers

I will post a tutorial on how to make sew and no-sew table skirts soon.

Resources For Buying Tables & Cloths

  • Ballard Designs – Is the best place for all things skirted tables when you don’t want to make one yourself or you just want more inspiration to get ready to make your own.
  • Walmart – has a few colors 70″ and 90″ round checked cloths that would go over 20″ and 30″ round tables. Nice for summer decor or a classic black and white color scheme.
  • Table Base – You can also find these at bargain prices at thrift stores.

Has reading this post made you think of a place where you can add a skirted table in your home?

I am thinking about adding one in my living room. Since getting the big leather reclining chairs, the side tables I have in the room look too small and out of proportion. I have been searching for just the right fabric to create a larger custom table.

  • Once I find the right fabric and make the table, I will share the DIY tutorial with you.

A skirted table – it is such a smart piece of furniture – inexpensive, pretty and functional – plus you can change it out seasonally or on a whim in minutes… and don’t forget – one handy place to hide stuff.

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22 Comments

  1. I have a teeny, tiny table I use as a night stand in my small bedroom. It is about 13” square but I need something for a c-pap machine. I have several changes for this table depending on my bedroom decor, I even have a tree skirt I use as a topper at Christmas time. Because of its size it’s nearly impossible to use a lamp so I’ve hung a mini chandelier over it exactly where you would expect the lamp to be. The table is just enough to hold my kindle and a tiny tray for my glasses. I hide additional jugs of distilled water underneath.
    Even when I had a huge bedroom I preferred a round table for my side of the bed. They are so versatile and such an easy way to change a look without breaking the bank.

  2. Hello, I want to make a skirt for my cart, but I can’t find sewing patterns, do you know any resource to make my own table skirt? Thanks

  3. Finally, I found a great post where I can get new ideas for decor in a new way. I have read your previous blogs too as I love to try new and trendy things to decorate. The skirted table is new for me because I didn’t try it before. It looks classy as well as in budget, as I see in your pictures. I didn’t even think about doing this before! Thank you, Diane. You are giving me such a great idea. I can use my old table, which I thought that it is a waste for me because it is too old. But it is not, and you gave me such a creative idea for decor, and it also creates hidden storage.

  4. This is such a great post! I’d literally never really thought about doing something like this so simple and elegant, but also really practical. Definitely keep up this series its great.

    1. Hi Gracie – I have gotten lots of positive feedback about the series and will be continuing it. Thanks for taking the time to tell me the post inspired you.

  5. I think I’ve made almost all of these at one time or another through the years! Today I’m actually upcylcing a skirt I made years ago to cover water damaged cabinets at my kitchen sink until we remodeled the kitchen. It was good Laura Ashley buffalo plaid that I’m turning into window valances for my sewing room. Haha. My girlfriend had perfected the skirted round table by stacking 2 wood cubby cubes that were open on one side for the table base and then a larger (in circumference) top nailed down to the top cube. They were solid and heavy & you could store a lot in the hidden cubes. I’m enjoying this series. Thanks.

  6. Thanks Diane. I will be adding a skirt to our mini console table behind our sofa. And maybe one to our mini table with our tv electronics. It will be nice to hide the tv receivers, while still giving them room to breathe and receive the remote signals. Enjoying your latest series of posts. Thank you!

    1. Hi Linnea – So happy you are enjoying the series. I thought it would be fun to do something a little different over the slow summer months to get readers thinking. Hiding TV electronics is one thing that a skirted table is very good at. :-) Hope you are enjoying the summer. I am in Cville right now getting Mimi time with my little Zoe. Being a grandmom is SO MUCH FUN! XO

  7. I love skirted tables! In a previous home, I had the cheapest of Ikea desks left from my boys. I made a skirted console for our tv and underneath we stored my granddaughter’s toys for when she came to visit. I made it just like the pleated rectangular ones you shared above and used unbleached muslin with a slightly darker wide bias binding trim. I loved it! Thanks for the idea, Diane!

    1. Hi Bettsi – Great use of a cheap IKEA desks that were no longer used. I enjoy hearing about how readers re-use items to make them fit their current needs. The tables sound like they were pretty and functional, which is the best combo in my book. :-)

  8. Ha ha,by the time I got to the end of this post………..I’m finding myself really thinking I need to create one in my bedroom!

  9. Skirted tables are pretty and handy for, as you say, hiding stuff. I’ve had several skirted tables in my many years of moving and re-decorating. I currently don’t have one, but you have certainly given me more than one idea to spruce up my not-so-new tables.

    1. Hi Pat – I don’t have one either, but I am working on changing that status. Happy to hear that my post has given you a few ideas to spruce up a few old table you have. :-)

  10. You sure do present a very representative cross-section of ideas when you post your decorating methods! Thank you, it’s food for thought!

  11. Thank you for the fresh eyes on skirted table options. I’ve toyed with the idea for our dog crate, but needed to see these options—the tailoring and glass tops in particular—to see how this could work and not look dated or obvious. Great solution!

  12. My mom skirts everything! While living in a small NY apartment, I have a large cardboard box of keepsakes that I wanted to keep but didn’t have room for.
    My mom asked me the dimensions, sewed up a cute skirt and then I had a new, attractive side table.

  13. So many great ideas! I remember the skirted table trend well, as I worked at Laura Ashley for years and we actually pleated and stapled fabric around those tables and made “toppers” out of a square yard of fabric. I wish I had thought of the curtain hiding the cat box while I still had a cat – that’s just brilliant. I want to bookmark this post for future reference!

    1. Hi Gina – Thanks. I fondly remember the Laura Ashley trend…It was big like Farmhouse is now.

      I no longer have a cat either, but if we ever get one again, I will be placing the litter box in a hidden but accessible spot again. The lake house doesn’t have a laundry tub. :-( I do miss it!!! I have to use my kitchen sink for everything – even all the paint messes I make.