easy diy: canvas drop cloth tablecloth

diy tablecloth
tablecloth done

I love the idea of using drop cloths in place of linen. Not only because I of the texture and color, but because fabric has become ridiculously expensive. To make a Provencal-inspired tablecloth, I bought a $9 canvas drop cloth. The painter’s tape and fabric paint I already had, I just need to mix to get a deeper red. You’ll also need a small tape measure and because the canvas resists moisture, a wallpaper tool or other straight edge to smooth down the tape as you paint. (You can see the tape starting to pop up in the first picture. As long as you work in sections and smooth down first, you shouldn’t get any bleed.) Once you measure out your lines, it goes quick. And since the ends are hemmed, I only needed to finish the edge I had to cut. All totaled? $9 for the cloth and about an hour of my time, which included fighting with the sewing machine. After the paint sets for three days, I’ll be able to back and iron and call the project truly done.

Other creative tablecloth ideas?
• Paint a train track down the middle and line up toy trains for a kid’s party.
• For a casual outdoor wedding or wedding shower, drape cloths over the front of a gift table, so that it touches the ground. In script, have the word “gifts” painted on the front.
• For a family reunion, arm everyone with a Sharpie and ask them to sign and write their name and add important dates.
• For Thanksgiving, have everyone write what they are thankful for on the cloth.

If you give this idea a go, remember to put a piece of cardboard or towel under your line. I found out just in time that the paint goes through. Other ideas? Let’s hear them. Add to comments. — Sarah L.

From our partners

Wow; I LOVE this idea!! I think the applications are endless…and I would not have thought of using this material; brilliant! I really like the texture.

I’m thinking holidays…simple modern stencils…and the kid type uses are endless, too…groups of kids could add different parts of a forest, or zoo, or fairy wonderland, etc.

i’ve also used these drop cloths to make new covers for my patio furniture cushions. they worked great! inexpensive, natural-hued, and durable… cant ask for more!


Keep thinking about this one…might also be fun to combine this with the make-a-rug-from-a-tablecloth project from last week!


My sister recently recovered her couch with a drop cloth.


I love your dishes, what are they?