Making special occasion tablecloths is one of the easiest, most satisfying and cost effective projects you can undertake. For weddings, birthdays or showers, you can make tablecloths for a very reasonable price and in less time than it would take to locate just what you want, if ever you could. The splash of color and coordination with the decorations or color theme makes the affair seem a bit nicer.
The use of a serger certainly streamlines the process, but with a sewing machine and a little more time, you can still achieve the same satisfactory, economical results.
For most occasions, a square of print or colored 60″ wide fabric works very well. I keep my eye on the $1 py clearance fabric at WalMart and JoAnn’s and usually, with few weeks advance notice, can find just what I need. Fiber content does not concern me. For $1.66 per cloth, I can throw it away if it doesn’t wash.
Generally, I just serge the edges with a rolled hem, as I have done with the sheer pink fabric above. When using decorator fabric, I stitch a shirttail hem.
After our daughter’s garden wedding for the cocktail hour, I layered two cloths. Nine years ago, I made a dozen 60″ squares of the floral decorator fabric @ $5 py (clearance, of course!) for my niece’s wedding. They have been used three other times and were pulled out yet again for Rebecca’s wedding. Even at a cost of $7.50 each, I have more than gotten my money’s worth. The pink fabric was $1 py, of unknown fiber content, but washed very nicely.
The transformer tablecloth for Robert’s 4th birthday party was a little more time consuming, but a real hit with the boys.
He insisted that he wanted a Superman/Transformer party, so we called it a SuperHero party. Each corner featured a different machine embroidered transformer. The boys examined each design and enthusiastically discussed their favorite transformer. Who would have thought that a tablecloth would impress and/or catch the interest of 4-6 year old boys? This was real junk fabric, but to my surprise it laundered quite well.
When I found this cotton 45″ HAPPY BIRTHDAY fabric, I knew the text would make up for the lack of width. I made up several and the colors were perfect for Robert’s 3rd birthday Wiggles party. These tablecloths has been to more birthday parties than a popular 10 year old. I liked it so much that I lined Robert’s Wiggles Jon-Jon birthday suit.
For Rebecca’s wedding reception, I needed 14 tablecloths. The clearance table finally had the perfect sheer gold I wanted (@ $1 py) but had enough for only 9 tables. Later, I found the same shade in a decorator weight fabric ($2 py) and used that. I doubt any of our guests noticed or cared about the difference in texture. At least, no one asked to be seated elsewhere.
The next time you host a shower or birthday party, consider making a tablecloth. With the right fabric, you might really impress a grandchild or someone else.