How to Make a Scalloped Outdoor Tablecloth with Oilcloth

The great outdoors. What a wonderful place to set up camp and make a living space.

Recently, we got a picnic table at work and I am pumped to be able to take my lunch outside but it is under one of the biggest trees on the lot so it could be in shade. And I like the shade, but so do the birds.

To spare you the details the table gets pretty gross between the birds and the pollen. I needed a tablecloth I could clean easily. It also had to be cute (DUH). I could have just created an elastic band around the bottom but it would have been pretty ugly.

Instead, I used oilcloth and scalloped edges to create a more sophisticated looking table cloth.






Step 1: Measure

Measure the width, length and depth of your table and write it down.

Step 2: Determining the amount of fabric

We are using a 4th of July print that is 47.5”

So the hang of our table cloth is  8.75”

The hang of this tablecloth will be the same length all the way around so it will be determined by the width of the oilcloth we are using.

To find the hang, measure your tables width. Then subtract the width of the table from the width of the fabric. Then divide that number by 2.

This will be the hang of your tablecloth.

Ours will be 47.5”x 89.5”

Now you need to determine the length of the table cloth. To do that, measure the length of the table.

Multiply the hang by two and add it to the length.

This will be the dimensions of your table cloth.

Step 3: Cut

Cut your oilcloth to the right length.

Step 4: Create corners

Create your corners by placing the oilcloth right side down on the table. Make sure that the hang is the appropriate length on all sides.

Pinch the fabric on the corners with right sides facing and pin it together so that it creates a triangle shape over the corner and the edges match up.

If you want, you can use an iron and a press cloth to open these seams which will give the final product a more refined look.

Then with a needle and thread sew the pieces together along the inner edge of the triangle and cut away the excess fabric.

Do this to all four corners.

Step 5: Create Scallops

For example – the perimeter of my table is 274” ((47.5”x 2) + (89.5”x 2)) so my scallops are going to have a 2” diameter.

Find the perimeter of your table by multiplying the length and the width by two and adding them together.

The diameter of your scallops should be able to be divided evenly into the perimeter.

For the first scallop it should only be the length of the diameter away from the corner (not double) so make sure that is measured out correctly.

Create a base line by marking the distance of your diameter away from the edge all the way around the table cloth on the wrong side of the fabric. Also place tick marks in the center of where each scallop will go. This will be double the length of the diameter (EXCEPT for the first scallop) . So I will be placing a tick mark every 4 inches.

Set your sewing gauge to the diameter and start creating the scallops by putting one pen through the hole in the top and tracing around with the other. Do this all the way around the table cloth.

Finally, cut around the scalloped edges following the lines you just made. Never cut above the base line.

Flip the table cloth right side out.

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