A Simple Fringed Tablecloth Tutorial

My boys have been pretty hard on my table.  They have colored on it, pounded on it, scratched it, etc. etc. etc.  Since it is not in the budget to replace it, I have considered refinishing it or painting it many times, but then I look at my littlest boys and realize that they are going to have to learn the same lessons about how to treat furniture that my older ones did.  So, the table stays in its present condition for at least a few more years.

To hide the worst of this poor table's battle scars, I try to keep it covered with a tablecloth most of the time.  I ran onto this fabric and decided that it would make a cute spring tablecloth.  It is a cotton duck decorator fabric that is 54"wide.  I like the width because my table measures 40" x 60" (without the leaf), so with a 54" fabric, it would not require a seam to make it wide enough to cover the table.  I decided on a fringed tablecloth because the fibers in the fabric are quite substantial and the weave is loose enough that I knew it would not be too difficult to fringe.

To make a similar tablecloth to fit a 40" x 60" table you will need the following:
  • 2 1/4 yds 54" fabric (be a bit careful when using decorator fabric, because a lot of it is not washable).  Try to pick a fabric with larger fibers and a somewhat loose weave.  I actually used 2 yards but I wish I had just a few more inches on both ends.
  • Coordinating thread
Now, on to the method:

First, square up the edge of your fabric.  It is easiest if you have a cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter, but if not, use a washable medium to draw a straight line from fold to selvage edge and use your scissors.  It is really most important that you make sure that it is square at both corners. so that your tablecloth will end up as a perfect rectangle.

Second, cut off the selvages.

Now, take it to your sewing machine that has been threaded with a coordinating thread and stitch all the way around the edge of the tablecloth.  I used a one inch seam allowance, but you can use larger, or smaller, depending on the look you would like.

Next, the fun part.  Turn on your favorite TV show or some good music.  Sit down and start pulling threads.  Begin at the edges with the outermost threads. I found that the selvage edges fringed pretty easily, while the others gave me a little more trouble.  Keep pulling the the threads until you reach the stitching line.  When a thread breaks before you are able to pull it out (I say when, not if, because it will happen) just find it again and finish pulling to the edge.

When you are done, you will have a nice big pile of threads!!

Finally give your tablecloth a good ironing, put it on your table, and enjoy!

Easy enough!!