Do It Yourself Wedding Decorations: How To Make Napkins And Tablecloths

A basic guide to making your own wedding napkins and tablecloths.

Sewing your own napkins and tablecloths is easier than you might think. If you cannot find pre-made ones you like, use these simple instructions to create your own linens for a stunning wedding reception.

How to make napkins

Select a fabric that coordinates with your wedding theme. A machine washable cotton or cotton/polyester blend is a durable and washable choice. For each four napkins, purchase a yard and a half of fabric that is at least 45 inches wide. Select matching thread. You may also use a contrasting thread that fits the wedding's color scheme.

Pre-wash and iron the fabric. Cut the fabric into 20-inch squares.

Fold each edge of the fabric 1/4 inch and press into place with an iron. Turn the edge under an additional 1/4 inch and press it again. Pin the folded edges into place.

Use a sewing machine to hem the napkins with a straight stitch, 1/8 of an inch from the edge of the fabric. When you reach a corner, leave the needle deep in the fabric and raise the tension foot of the sewing machine. Rotate the fabric so it pivots on the needle 90 degrees to sew the next edge.

For extra decoration, add topstitching to the edges of the napkin or embroidery to a corner.

Consider pairing printed napkins with a solid tablecloth or match napkins to a solid tablecloth that is covered with a sheer.



How to make tablecloths

Before you make tablecloths, it is important to find out the dimensions of the tables you will be using. It is easiest to make tablecloths for square or rectangular tables.

Add twenty inches to each dimension of your table to calculate the amount of fabric you will need to purchase. For example, if your tables are 34 inches wide and 60 inches long, you will need fabric that is 54 inches wide by 80 inches long (2 1/4 yards of at least 54-inch wide fabric) for each table. The extra fabric will account for the part of the fabric that hangs over the edges of the table and the hem you will sew at the edge of the fabric.

Purchase the fabric of your choice and thread of a matching color. If it is washable fabric, you should pre-wash and iron it before you cut and sew. If the fabric is washable and is likely to shrink (such as cotton), purchase up to 20% extra fabric to account for possible shrinkage.

Use a fabric cutting and measuring board or yardstick to mark the cutting dimensions on your fabric. Use a washable sewing pencil or marker to create the cutting lines and cut the fabric to the appropriate dimensions.

Turn over each edge of the fabric 1/2 inch and press into place with an iron. Turn the edge an additional 1/2 inch and press again. Pin the edges into place.

Use the straight stitch of a sewing machine to sew the hem into place on all four sides.Sew the seams 3/8 of an inch from the edge. When you reach a corner, leave the needle deep in the fabric and raise the tension foot of the sewing machine. Rotate the fabric so it pivots on the needle, positioning it to sew the next side of the tablecloth.

For a romantic wedding look, top a colored tablecloth with a sheer white tablecloth such as an organza or tulle. Or, top a white tablecloth with a sheer colored fabric.

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