Monday, June 13, 2011

Ruffled Rags: DIY Table Cloth

There's just something about ragging that makes it undoubtedly charming. Using strips of old fabrics to create rugs, garland, lamp shades and yes even table cloths. If you've been to arOka you'll have seen the one I created for the display table at the front door. There have been so many of you asking for the DIY details, its now time to share! So without further adieu here are the step by step directions to creating your own... 

Supplies you need:
Old sheets or fabric 
To start measure the top of your table and add 3 inches all the way around for the main table top portion (you can also repurpose an old table cloth, just trim it). For the rags, calculate the width, depth and drop to the floor to get the proper amount of fabric needed. It may seem like a lot of fabric but trust me you’ll need most of it to get the full ruffled effect!
Cut strips of fabric … Burlap 2” (too wide makes it impossible to work with & tie), cotton or other light weight fabrics 2 or 3” and tulle 4”. Once you have all your fabric cut into strips, take the measurement from the top to the floor and add 6” to get the length for each piece. Tip #1: Using rolls of tulle found in some craft stores saves time! (I used one that was 4” wide found on sale at Michaels)
Place the table top fabric over the table and even it out ensuring each side has a 3” drop. Pick a side, any side to start. It doesn't matter where you begin or with what fabric. Depending on the thickness of your rag, cut a small hole 1-2” down the drop that’s big enough to pull it through. Tip 2: Practice on a piece of the table top fabric to see how it reacts to the hole and rag pieces being pulled through and tied. Burlap has such a loose weave; the small hole can grow too large so you may need to adjust these directions accordingly.
Insert your first piece of rag carefully through the back of the hole (see picture). Wrap the fabric around the back and tie it only once in the front (see picture). Now keep going! Make sure each new hole is 3/4" away from the last. From here there are no rules…you can alternate your fabric however you wish!
Tip 3: Don’t trim the rags! When you’re done one side, reposition the others so you have the proper 3” overhang (the weight of a completed side often pulls the others out of proportion).
Once your done ragging the entire way around, adjust the top for evenness and start trimming! Leave the knotted area about 1” higher than the table top for a ruffled effect. Trimming pieces at the floor should be done one at a time. There is no need for perfection or measuring, imperfectly perfect as I always say!
That’s it! Simple, easy and full of charm! 
Have a wonderful week my friends!
xoxo Dawna
Creative Curator


  1. This really looks lovely! Just wondering can you wash it in the machine or does it need to be by hand?

  2. This is made with burlap which in my opinion shouldn't be washed. When wet, burlap has a less than appealing smell. You can create the table cloth using other fabric and omit the burlap. As far as washing goes, it depends on what fabric you you. My suggestion would be to wash in a bath tub in cold water, the washing machine agitation would probably cause the frayed edges to become knotted up. Happy Creating!

  3. I may try one with drop cloth and cheesecloth....a table runner would be nice like this also! Love it!

  4. Oh my goodness! I loved the tutorial--it was very clear except for one thing: how long it takes to do this! But I did it for two 5' tables and 45 yards later but it really was beautiful and certainly the prettiest tables in the entire show I did just yesterday! Believe it or not, I plan to do a couple more more on a country/vintage theme. I really really love the way they look and NO ONE had anything like mine! Thank you so much!

  5. Nice outcome. Going now to check out your other projects.

  6. I love this! Thank you so much! I'm gonna try this for a table for my daughter's wedding!

  7. Your DIY burlap table cloths idea is really amazing. It’s easy to create it and it looks so beautiful. Thanks for sharing this post publically.

    Fascinating collection of burlap tablecloths!