IC ’14 Challenge #8 Lightning Fast Tablecloth

We had people over for Easter and I wanted a different festive tablecloth. We were going to try to eat outside, so I was okay with “cheap and cheerful”, but I did not want a holiday theme. I was really on a budget and the tablecloths I saw at the kitchen stores were $50 – $100, so I made one for less than $12.00

Project Lightning Fast Tablecloth


  • 3 yards Burlap
  • thread


  • sewing machine
  • scissors
  • iron

Take the burlap and trim the short edges. (The cut edges)

The ideal way to do this is to pull on one of the threads and actually pull it all the way out. Then cut along that line. Take care to make sure that the burlap piece lays flat and that the treads run at a 90 degree angle.

Now you will iron a hem into it. I used a low setting, physically creasing the burlap with the weight of the iron. Fold as small a piece as you can over. That will be about 1/2 inch. Iron that all the way across. Then, fold it again over that fold and repeat the ironing. (If you wanted this to be no-sew, you could just iron in a strip of hem tape in the second fold and you would be done here.) Iron a hem on both of the short sides. Then sew both hems.
And you are done.
This is the hem on the outside and the side selvedge showing.

  • Be sure to turn the hem under the same way on both ends of the tablecloth. There is no “front” and “back” of burlap. (There is a front and back if there is printing on it, like a coffee sack.)
  • When burlap is new off the bolt, it is quite stiff. It is very flat, aside from the center fold, and my advice is to keep it flat and dry for a lovely crisp presentation.
  • The burlap sheds. So don’t get dressed for dinner and THEN sit down to make this before the guests come. You will be covered in a wiry fur.
  • In theory burlap is washable, but this will make it very wrinkly and you will need to iron it. It is a bit of a chore to iron, and takes some real effort. But, if there is say a red wine mishap right away, then you always have the option to wash it.
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