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Monday, January 14, 2013

Making a Draped Tablecloth

For your listening pleasure!

I read that in Victorian times, the table was usually set with a white tablecloth, and I thought that would look nice in the Mini House. The only thing I wasn't psyched about was prying off all the little dishes and silverware that I had already stuck on the table. Museum wax. I have a love/hate relationship with that stuff.  

In one book or another, there were instructions for making a draped tablecloth by dipping the fabric in a mixture of glue and water. I remember thinking at the time, why would you want to go through all that trouble? I had an old tablecloth so I found a nice clean section, cut it out and put it on the table. And then I realized why this doesn't work - there's not enough weight to this little piece of fabric, so instead of draping into soft folds, it stood straight out from the table like a shelf. 

Okay, so now I got it. Glue and water it is!  It was a quick and easy project.  When the glue dried, which happened fairly quickly, I practically didn't need the table anymore, the cloth was so stiff.

Cut up an old tablecloth - make sure there are no stains!

Leave a two inch border

Make a mix of 1/2 wood glue and half water

Protect the table with plastic wrap

Thoroughly saturate the cloth, then pick it up and smooth
out with your fingers to remove the excess liquid
Drape over the table,  pinch and shape till you like the way it falls,
then let it dry thoroughly - this doesn't take long

Table:  Naked

Table:  Draped

I really like the tablecloth - it even makes me hate the red velvet chairs a little bit less, but I'm still itching to try reupholstering them. I think I will make little place mats as well, once I decide what the color scheme is going to be in here.


  1. Hello Ange,
    Terrific job. the tablecloth looks very nice and it really adds tot he look of the room. Excellent work and thank you for sharing the technique.
    big hug,

  2. OMG wood glueeeee ;P

    That's a pretty great idea to get fabric to drape. I like the table cloth it does break up the details quite a bit. Great look ;)

  3. The folding of the tablecloth really gives it that extra pop of realism. I use diluted Mod Podge for fabric folds because I don't have the guts to use wood glue, but I can't believe it dried so clear! Can't wait to see what you do with the tablecloths.

  4. Thanks for your comments, all! I wish I could remember where I saw the instructions, but I'm positive the recipe was equal parts water and WOOD glue. Because I thought at the time, "Oh good, I have tons of that." I bought like a vat of it when I was building the house:) I used to always see Mod Podge mentioned in scrapbook mags but I'm still not really sure what it is!

    1. Hahaha, I have so much Mod Podge lying around because I seem to always think I'm out of it when shopping, and end up finding bottles in random drawers and places around my house. It's a much better sealer than glue and reminds me a lot of classic Elmer's white glue. Ironically, your post reminds me that I actually need more wood glue.