Colorful, casual, and altogether charming, this vintage-style tablecloth is ideal for outdoor entertaining. It's also easy and inexpensive to make, requiring only bandannas and a few basic sewing supplies. We alternated two patterns to create a checkerboard look, but you can use this technique to create virtually any design you like. In addition, you can construct a runner, sewing the bandannas together, end to end, until they cover the length of your table.
Tools and Materials
Bandanna Tablecloth How-To
1. Measure your table to determine how many bandannas you'll need (Martha uses fifteen 22-inch squares for a 35-by-71-inch picnic table, with a row of three for the width and a row of five for the length). Pin bandannas, right sides together, to create the width. (Martha doesn't want the existing border around the bandanna to show, so she uses the edge of the pattern as a guide for the pins). Once pinned, the pattern of each bandana should be flush with another.
2. Machine-sew the bandannas together, then iron the seams flat. Attach the strip of bandannas, pinning them, right sides together, side by side. (Again, Martha uses the edge of the bandanna pattern as a guide.) Machine-sew them together, and iron the seams flat. Repeat process for remaining panels.
3. Create the hem, using a mitered-corner technique: Fold a double hem, iron, and unfold, making sure the bandanna is topside down and each corner is a 90-degree angle. Fold in half diagonally to make a 45-degree angle and, using a sewing pencil, draw a line perpendicular to the fold. Start from the edge of the pattern closest to the corner, and continue to the first crease of the ironed hemline. Sew along line, then cut off excess fabric beyond the stitch line. Turn inside out, repeat with remaining corners, and sew the hem.
We found the bandannas at giftwagon.com. These are also available at army-navy and novelty stores.