Scalloped Tablecloth

Image of a finished scalloped tableclothIt is not always possible to purchase a tablecloth in the exact size or shape required.

By making your own you can have them in any size or shape to fit any table.

Covering an occasional or side table can give it a new lease of life by changing its appearance dramatically.

A single cover can be made, but by adding a second layer in a contrasting fabric, the shape of the table will be enhanced.

A second layer can also be added in the same fabric, but by adding fringing in a contrasting colour the shape will be accentuated.

The free instructions below are for a table of 17” (42.5 cms) diameter (D) with a height (H) of 22.25” (56.5 cms) but the measurements can be adjusted to suit your requirements.

Image refers to colour code key for the diagrams

Single Layer Round Occasional Tablecloth:

This is by far the simplest way to cover an occasional table, in these instructions the cloth goes down to floor level but this can be adjusted if you have decorative feet on the table which you would like to show.


  • Fabric of your choice.
  • Matching thread.
  • Fabric pen.
  • Cord and drawing pin.

Making a Single Layer Tablecloth:

  1. Cut one square of fabric measuring 62.5" (159 cms) in each direction. (2 x H) + D + 1" (2.5 cms). Although the cloth will have a double 0.5" (12 mm) hem all round this will enable it to hang 0.5" (12 mm) off the floor.
  2. Image refers to steps 2 and 3 of making a round tableclothFold the fabric into quarters and draw an arc, using the fabric pen and cord, with a radius of 31.25" (79.5 cms), i.e. [(2 x H) + D + 1" (2.5 cms)] divided by 2.
  3. Cut along the curved line through all thicknesses.
  4. Turn up a double 0.5" (12 mm) hem around the curved edge and machine stitch close to the top fold. Press.

Scalloped Top Cloth:

A second layer or top cloth can be added for decoration. It can be made in matching or contrasting fabric and adding fringing will enhance the shape.


  • Matching or contrasting fabric.
  • Matching thread.
  • 3.5 metres of bullion fringing 5" (12.5 cms) wide.
  • Fabric pen, cord and drawing pin.

Making the Scalloped Top Cloth:

  1. Cut a 41" (104 cms) square of fabric.
  2. Fold into quarters and draw an arc with a radius of 20" (51 cms). See image above.
  3. Cut along the curved line through all thicknesses.
  4. Image refers to steps 4 to 6 of making a scalloped tableclothFold the quartered fabric in half again to make 8 equal sections out from the centre point and press the folds.
  5. Unfold the fabric and place a pin on each of the folds 8" (20 cms) in from the raw edge.
  6. Work 1 row of gathering stitches 0.25" (6 mm) each side of each fold from the raw edge to the pin.
  7. Overlock or zig zag the outside raw edge to neaten.
  8. Pin the bullion fringing around the neatened edge, on the right side of the fabric, with the top of the fringing approximately 1" (2.5 cms) in from the edge. Overlap the ends to neaten.
  9. Machine stitch or backstitch the bullion fringe in place.
  10. Secure all the gathering threads at the outside edge and pull up the top threads to gather the fabric to 2" (5 cms). Knot the gathering threads to secure and trim off the excess.
  11. Press the cloth and place it centrally over the full length cloth on the table.

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