Stenciled Drop Cloth Tablecloth

7 Materials
2 Hours
They say necessity is the mother of invention. And I have a rockin’ drop cloth tablecloth to prove it. A few weeks ago, I hosted an informal alfresco dinner. My cozy courtyard was the perfect sitting for an intimate evening with friends, and I had all the essentials – good food, great wine, a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and whimsical dotted napkins. With one exception. I didn’t have a suitable table covering. So I made one from a canvas drop cloth - for less than $15!
Out came an unused drop cloth I had stored in my basement. Four feet wide by 12 feet long, and I bought it for less than $15. Sure beats a $100 tablecloth from Sur la Table

The first step was to shorten the drop cloth. The width was perfect, so I just cut off the extra yardage from the end and machine-hemmed the raw edge. 

Next, I placed pieces of cardboard on top of my patio table to protect it from paint seeping through. Next, to create random diamond shapes on top of the cloth, I cut pieces of  Frogtape approximately 18″ long. Using a measuring tape and pen, I marked the center of the piece of tape. 
After placing the first piece of tape down, use two more pieces (also 18″ long with centers marked) to create an “X” across the center of the first piece, as shown below. Using six shorter pieces of tape, seal off the outside segments of the diamond. 
Next, with fabric paint and foam brushes, apply paint to each diamond segment. I used a sherbet color palette. Raspberry pink, creamsicle orange, and pastel mint. Once dry, I removed the tape, uncovering the whimsical diamonds.
Finally, add fresh flowers. This is always my favorite part of creating lovely tablescapes. Flower arranging. And sometimes supermarket flowers are the best. 

One last piece of advice. Be creative when entertaining. Use what you have at home – even a drop cloth as a table covering. But never, ever cut corners with the wine.  And may I suggest a French one?
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Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Bzm11686139 Bzm11686139 on Aug 20, 2018

    Have you tried washing it, and if so, how did it go? Tablecloths tend to attract spills and stains, so it's critical for me to be able to wash it.

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2 of 28 comments
  • Val Val on Aug 20, 2019

    Charming and adorable! Well done.

  • Sarge Sarge on Aug 22, 2019

    Great idea! I think I may try this and use a stencil to paint a runner and octagon shaped "chargers" at each place setting.