Monday, March 2, 2015

Ruffled Round Burlap Tablecloth Tutorial

I fell in love with these the minute I saw them in a catalogue,
but let's admit it, a 30 inch table isn't going to fit anyone and
I am not going to spend $200 for that, so making my own has been in the
back of my head for several years now.  

I knew it was going to
be a big job because of all of the fabric it was going to take
and I knew it was going to be time consuming, but the other
day the fabric practically jumped into my cart at Wal Mart.
 I got it on sale so 8 yards was under $30 and the bag went
into the "To Do" pile.

 Monday morning I got up and decided I wanted to 
give this long awaited project a try and Voila!! It is done!

I love to time projects - I think it came from the old black and white
version of Cheaper By The Dozen where the dad was always the
efficiency expert and watching that as a youth, I learned to love
to time things.  Now I tend to do things on the fast side so I am
going to tell you that I had this done in 7 1/2 hours total
(yes my back hurt after sewing that many hours!) so it may
take you longer but I am thinking of making a matching
one for my other outdoor table since they sit side by
side.  I do think it would take less with a white cotton fabric
(I want to make one in white too!) because the burlap is
heavy and bulky.  One other disclaimer - I didn't have to
cut out my ruffles, I had a 100 foot roll of burlap runner,
that I had bought for our church

and which our daughter had also reused for runners at 
Girl's Camp also.  Itt happened to match the
burlap I bought perfectly, so that would take additional
time if you had to cut the ruffles out.  I did serge one side
and hem the other so I didn't get to skip those steps.  So
I had already purchased that over a year ago and just reused
the long runners.  I used about half of the 4 yards of burlap
and under 30 yards of runner so you could buy the 50 yard
roll and use a little over half of it and the cost would be
under $50 for this cloth to fit a 48 inch table.

(The link is to a 50 yard roll of the 14 inch wide runner
that is fringed and sewn.  I couldn't find the 100 yard
roll.  You could also use 3 10 yard rolls of the 12 inch too.
It certainly saved time and sanity.)

Start by measuring your diameter of your table.  I
have two indoor rounds and two outdoor rounds and
each of them were different sizes - alas!  Add 1 1/2
inches to that for your seam allowances as the seam gets
pretty bulky with the heavy burlap.

So I was cutting a square of 49.5 inch fabric.

Fold that square into half twice and taking a yard stick
or a large quilting ruler, place the top of the ruler at
the point and mark half of your diameter as you go around
every few inches

so that when you cut you will have a 49.5 inch diameter circle.  This is
a kind of follow the dots exercise to get a round circle.

Keep your phone's calculator handy as you are going to
be using it all the time from now on. (Or any calculator, or
use paper and pencil!  It all works.)

To calculate the circumference multiply your diameter
by 3.14 so 
49.5 X 3.14 = 155.43 inches
Then divide that by 36 inches
= 4.3 yards
Then you will want to multiply that times 2 to get the fullness
= 8.6 yards for my first ruffle.

After cutting the length for the ruffle, since I was using a 14 inch wide
runner, I needed to 
trim the runner down to  11 inches, considering half an
inch for the seam and half an inch for a hem.  Most tables have 
a 30 inch drop to the floor so you want your ruffles to end up being
about 30 inches.  It can hang a little above or puddle a little
too so don't worry too much.

Then I serged the top edge and
turned over the bottom edge to hem it.  

Next, seam the two ends together, being careful to make
sure that right sides are together and serge or finish the seam to 
prevent raveling.  

Now run a gathering stitch around the top of the 
ruffle.  I like to break something like this into quarters
so when you pull your gathering threads you don't have 
as far to go.  Keep those pins in place or remark
your quarters.  I used one color for half way and
another color of pin for the quarter mark so I knew
where I was.  Later I added a third color for marking
into eighths as the second and third ruffles get bigger.

Fold the top round into quarters and mark the
quarters with coordinating colored pins. 

Attach the first ruffle to the top of the tablecloth.


(Shown with the straight underskirt attached to top and ruffle)

Now you are going to add the straight underskirt
that the other two ruffles are going to be attached to.

Take your circumference
which mine was 4.3 yards and add 12-18
inches to this.  You will want to be able to
have some room for the cloth to fit over the 
table.  Cut a piece that is that long and 30 inches

Before you sew this end to end, use a felt tip
marker and mark 11 inches up from the bottom
edge.  I used the finished selvedge seam so I
didn't hem it.  Then mark another 11 inches above
this line all the way down the length of the fabric
so you know where to place the two remaining ruffles.

I laid my underskirt down the hallway to do this.

Serge or finish the top edge.  Sew a hem if desired.
 Sew the back seam and finish the edge.

Again, marking both the table top and this new
underskirt piece into 4ths with pins, line up
seams and begin pinning from there.  

The right side of the underskirt will
be facing the right side of the ruffle
so the ruffle is sandwiched between the table top 
and the underskirt.

To gather up the extra fulness in this underskirt,
just create a pin tuck or two on each quarter.  No
one is going to see this and you need room to
get the skirt over the table.

Attach this underskirt to the table top.

Now it is time for ruffles number 2 and 3 -
the thing is growing!!!

This ruffle measurement is going to be bigger
because you added the extra 12-18 inches
onto the underskirt so use your calculator again
and multiply the length of your underskirt by
2 to get the proper fullness for the ruffle.  
My first ruffle was a little over 8 yards and my
second and third were 9.5 yards.  Fortunately
the runners we had used on the Christmas party
table were that long as we had placed 3 tables 
end to end so I had plenty of length using the
runners we had already cut.

The second and third ruffles are going to be
cut 1 inch wider as you want them to tuck up
under the first ruffle so I cut mine 12 inches wide.
Again seam, hem and finish the top edges of the two 
remaining ruffles.

I cheated on the second and third ruffles and
just marked the underskirt and the ruffles into
eighths and hand tucked the ruffles - so I skipped
using the gathering stitch on the machine.  I don't
know if that saved me time or not, but the hand
tucking of the ruffles as I went seems to look as
even as the first ruffle.  You are going to want to
sew that on the lines you have made with the
marker, starting with the second ruffle and
finishing with the bottom ruffle.

(You can see I don't have the gathering stitch, I
just hand gathered it and held it in place as I sewed
on these two bottom ruffles.)

Here is when it gets really bulky, but just
have plenty of counter or table space for
the tablecloth.  

Again, the counting thing - my efficiency expert
part of my personality - but I was counting how
many remaining eighths I had as I went along.

Before I knew it, I was done!  It fit!

(Give the seams a nice pressing as you go along.)

Next time (if there is a next time, but that matching
though slightly larger table is lonely without one,) 
I probably won't try to do it all in one sitting.

I have to admit - BURLAP SMELLS!
I thought I was working in a barn all day
and growing up in Wisconsin and having
dairy farmers as relatives, it was a pretty
familiar small!  I think with the smell, I probably
am going to keep this as an outside cloth.
Dirt Road Dakota Girl says to spray it with
vinegar and let it dry to get the smell out. 
I haven't tried that yet but I think I will.

If you are making a tablecloth that is wider than
your fabric is, you will need to add strips along both
sides to create the diameter you need for the table topper section.
 Let's say you
have a 60 inch wide table, you will want to
add a strip to each side of the table topper to create 
61.5 inches.  Those would be pretty little strips, so
you might want to make them 4 - 6 inch strips on each
 side and cut your center panel down accordingly to reach 61.5.

I hope I haven't scared you off.  It was very 
and I am in love so it was worth the time spent!
And yes, I can see myself sewing more of them -
oh the colors, the fabrics!!

I actually made the tablecloth first and then
decided to do the chair sashes and
while setting this table realized I had better
try making the napkin rings!  One thing just
lead to another!

I haven't been this crafty in years!  At least not
all in one week!

I will be posting this with 


Chocolat - French for Chocolate. I adored chocolate from a young age when I had to sneak in the cupboard to find where my mother had hidden the Nestle's Chocolate Chips. Having read about the famous chocolat shoppes in Paris, when I finally got there I was determined to try a chocolate from every Paris shoppe. I invite you to share my adventures in creating, in travel, and in life.


  1. I love it and what a great tutorial. While I love the looks of burlap I am allergic to something in it. It makes me itch like crazy...but oh--how cute this looks on your table. Love the table setting, too. You are ready for Spring! xo Diana

  2. You really are so talented Jacqueline. What a pretty site that Easter table and the background.

  3. Your ruffle table runner turned out beautiful my friends, it's time like this, I wish oh how I wish I new how to sew....
    I just adore ruffles they look so pretty and romantic....
    Your Easter table setting was gorgeous as always ;-)


  4. This is SO beautiful! I would LOVE to have one for our kitchen table but I don't sew, or have a sewing machine.I also LOVE your table. You have inspired me to do a Spring table too!!~! I know you will enjoy the tablecloth. GREAT job and tutorial!!!!

  5. Who would not want to sit at your beautiful table? I know we are not suppose to be jealous, but I must say I am. Thanks for sharing and for putting the hours in to show us what can be done.

    Cherry G.

  6. You are very talented, Jackie! Both the rabbit tail chair cover and this tablecloth are crafted so well and your instructions are easy to follow.

    I wanted to tell you that I received the adorable pink tea cup cupcake holders from your give away!!! Thank you so much! I will blog about receiving them soon. I can't wait to use them! Thank you again for such a sweet gift!



  7. I absolutely adore this, would you ever consider making one of these for the public? I have never learned to sew and am horrible at Love all you do.

  8. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I love this and will be making it for my round table. Pinned and featuring you on fb and next week's The Scoop! Thanks so much for this fabulous diy!

  9. Ich tatsächlich das Tischtuch und dann beschlossen, die Stuhl-Schärpen tun und während der Einstellung dieser Tabelle merkte ich hatte bessere kreiere die Serviettenringe! Eine Sache justlead zum anderen!


    FIFA Münzen

  10. You KNOW I am not going to make this, but I loved it. It looks so great with the Easter dinnerware. You are quite a seamstress. Mother would be proud. Jooni

  11. That tablecloth is beautifully made! It looks so nice with your Easter decor!

  12. Burlap Bliss Jacqueline! I don't have the patience or the skill set at the sewing machine but I sew :) appreciate this awesome tutorial! I'd love to hop right over to your table, especially with the bunny tail chair wraps. ♥

  13. This is so pretty! You are very talented.

  14. Now this is what I call a tutorial!

  15. You did a wonderful Job. I have a round table and I may do one. It is so beautiful.

  16. This is beautiful, Jaqueline! And what a fabulous tutorial! Thank you! <3

  17. Thank you for the step-by-step tutorial, I'm going to attempt to make one. Did you use 7oz or 10oz burlap when making the table cloth/table skirt?
    Thanks Heather

  18. Hi
    Love the project, definitely want to give it a try. What type of thread and needle did you use for your sewing machine? Burlap is such a heavy material I wasn't sure. Would appreciate any advice. Cheers Heather


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