"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
_ William Morris
, 19th century craftsman, designer, writer

Add your email address here & receive new posts from This American Home!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cheap & Chic: Tablecloth!

I felt like a modern-day Scarlet O'Hara as I trolled the aisles at my local Home Depot and eyed the drop cloths in the "paint" section with a gleam in my eye.

Inspired by a clever idea from Country Living Magazine on Pinterest in which they used a narrow drop cloth as a table runner (very cute!) -I decided this year's Thanksgiving table would be dressed similarly.

What I love about the idea is that drop cloths are cheap, come in a variety of sizes and feature a very cool, rustic canvas look. Better still -the edges of these drop cloths are finished. 

Okay, it's not grandma's heirloom Damask, but frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

The rustic look is one of my favorites for the fall season and goes well with simple, seasonal colors and decor.

I think the cloths would be also be a terrific, cheap and easy solution for draping over multiple buffet tables. If there's a spill (and there always is!) -no harm, no fowl (heehee...).

Before heading off to the local hardware store, be sure to measure your table and get an idea of how long you want the cloth to hang.

When choosing your drop cloths (I used two) be sure  to feel samples of the material before you buy (most of the packages had a small sample swatch attached). Do NOT buy the ones that feel more like vinyl than cloth.

When I told friends about my idea, they were a tad skeptical that the cloth would be soft enough for a holiday table.

For this reason, I recommend washing and ironing (yes, it is necessary...) the cloths before sewing them up or putting them on your table.

Since I like a tablecloth that drapes close to the floor, I created 3 panels (going lengthwise across the width of my table) and sewed them together.

I figured out the "measurements" for my panels by draping them over the table until I had the effect I wanted, taking measurements, marking with a pencil, cutting then sewing the panels together. If my college sewing professor were dead she would be turning in her grave. I'm quite sure the poor woman never imagined I would one day be dispensing sewing advice, but I digress. Also, she tried, she really did.

Depending on the size of the cloth and how it fits your table, however, you may not need to sew anything at all! Cha-ching!

Full disclosure about the cloths: they are not perfect. The ones I bought had some sort of little rust marks (?) along one edge, and although the edges are finished, it's definitely a rough, very basic job.

The good news: you can always re-use them for their original purpose when you're done!

I expect this one will see a few holidays -and hopefully more than a few friends!

Follow me on Pinterest @Bonhome.


  1. Great idea. I have to do something like this at home :)

  2. Looks terrific. I want to come for dinner!

  3. Great idea, Bonnie! I am afraid my table might be covered with Blankie Keeper fabric … for years!


Follow American Home here!

There was an error in this gadget