DIY Home: Easy-to-Sew Square Tablecloth

by Landis Carey on March 24, 2011

Have you missed Mint Peach this week? I have! We’ve been on staycation but keeping quite busy (too busy, in fact!). Since the weather came with abrupt force yesterday, I decided to spend a little time on a sewing project I’d been wanting to tackle. And the best part: I was able to bring a little classic black and white ticking into our kitchen!

We’re lucky to have the space for a 42″ round table in our kitchen. It’s the prefect size for breakfasts and casual dinners. But because we use it so frequently (i.e. I’m always wiping it down) and it’s a bit small for place mats, I thought protecting it with a washable 100% cotton tablecloth would be the perfect solution. We’re trying to live without paper towels and napkins, so I’m all about cloth replacements. If this helps me reduce our use of paper towels, I’m sold!

What You Need

  • Tools: Iron, ironing board, sewing machine, fabric measuring tape, fabric scissors
  • Materials: 1.5 yards of 54″ medium or heavy weight cotton fabric (for a 42″ round table), matching thread


  1. Wash and iron your fabric.
  2. Ready your sewing machine for the project.
  3. Cut your fabric to a 54″ square.
  4. With the wrong side of the fabric facing up and beginning with one edge, fold it over 1/2″ and press. Fold the same edge again, but this time 1″ and press.
  5. Repeat step 4 on each side rotating the fabric clockwise.
  6. Machine sew a 3/4″ seam around all four sides, being careful to catch the folds. Remember to backstitch to secure your seams.
  7. Sew a second seam at 1/4″ to finish the edge. This is not a necessary step, but it secures the edge and will keep your tablecloth in working order after many washes!
  8. Press and steam seams.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Let me know!

Related Post: DIY Home: Easy-to-Sew Cloth Napkin

(Images: Landis Carey)

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica March 24, 2011 at 11:13 am

I have a question — given the water used when washing cloth linens & napkins, I’m always torn w/ the cloth v. paper debate. I feel like I read conflicting information all the time. How did you make your decision?


Landis Carey March 24, 2011 at 11:27 am

It’s a good question, Jessica! And a tough one to answer!

I justify using (and washing) cloth napkins and super absorbent kitchen towels by rotating them and using them multiple times.

For our cloth napkins, we keep track of which one belongs to my husband and which one I’ve used. We tuck them away after each meal and use them for several meals.

For kitchen towels, I always have 3 on the counter: the cleanest is used to dry freshly washed fruits and vegetables and dishes. Once that towels is too wet, it becomes the counter towel. I use it to wipe down the counters when I’m done cooking and cleaning. Once that towel is at the end of its life, I set it aside and use it for wiping-up spills on the floor. There’s usually another one floating around for drying hands, as well. I have a gigantic stack of inexpensive cotton kitchen towels that are super absorbent and I wash them regularly.

Most paper towels and napkins are made from virgin tree pulp, something I just can’t justify using to clean with. And what’s worse, if you don’t recycle or compost your paper products once you’ve used them, they just sit in a landfill where their energy will never be used again.

Long answer, I’m sorry :)


Jessica March 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Thank you!! I’d rather have a long & thorough answer than a short and incomplete one. :-) I hadn’t thought of the virgin tree pulp argument – it is compelling. This week, I will try to cut down on my paper towel use & see how it goes.

One more question — what do you use for cleaning bathrooms, mirrors, windows, etc? My mother was always a ‘use a newspaper’ kind of lady, as she thought nothing else got a good streak-free clean. But I have always found cotton to be a poor substitute for either paper towels or newspaper when talking about the above surfaces. Thanks for your patience w/ me!!! :-)


Landis Carey March 28, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Hi Jessica, I love your questions! I’ll address them all in a more thoughtful way in tomorrow’s post! Thanks for keeping up the conversation!


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