How to Make a Ruffled Burlap Tablecloth {Easy Sewing DIY}

Posted on October 10,2012 by Jennifer

How To Make a Ruffled Burlap Tablecloth Tutorial, How to Sew a Ruffled Burlap Tablecloth Tutorial

Do you love this tablecloth from my Ralph Lauren Inspired dinner for two post? I am really happy to share this tutorial on how to sew a ruffled burlap tablecloth with you and hope that it will help you if you decide to make one of these wonderful tablecloths for yourself! It does take a little time but that’s the hardest part of it all. If you can sew a straight line (or even a pretty straight line!) you can make this cloth!!

My table is 42 1/4″ square by 27 1/4″ tall, so all the measurements I will share with you relate to that original dimension.

Now, please note, I am not a seamstress by a loooong stretch. So, the steps I will share here are what worked for me. A more experienced sewer may have much better ideas on how to accomplish the same result. This tutorial is meant to inspire and assist you and I hope it does just that!

OK, on to the supplies & steps.

5 yards of Muslin fabric (or other inexpensive fabric – this will not show once the cloth is completed)
11 1/2 yards of burlap
Thread in coordinating color (I buy two spools to be sure I don’t run out mid-project!)

Measure top of your table and add 1 inch to your measurement. This will give you a 1/2 inch seam allowance for each side. If you prefer a wider allowance add more. In my case my “cut dimensions” were 43 1/4″ x 43 1/4″ for the top piece. Note: I did not use a piece of muslin under my top piece, I personally didn’t think I needed it although once I put the cloth on the table I did decide to put a piece of loose fabric under it for a little bit of padding.

Next, cut the fabric for your sides. For the muslin fabric I cut one long panel piece to be 28 1/4″ x 170″. (My table is 27 1/4″ tall so I added 1″ for the height and then multiplied the width of 42.25″ by 4 and added one inch to the side dimension giving me 170″.) You still with me? I hope so!

Now, let’s cut the fabric for the ruffles. I have three layers of ruffles on my cloth and I cut each layer to 12″ x 340″. I wanted my “visible” ruffle height to be approximately 9″ – but don’t forget you have to have a little bit of ruffle hiding under the ruffle above it so that’s why I made mine 12″. This gave me room for a hem at the bottom and still layering space. The 340″ is twice the length of my muslin piece – this is the “extra” fabric needed to create the ruffled effect.

Once I had my burlap ruffle layers cut I hemmed one long end of each.  This is the “exposed” edge so it needed to be hemmed before pinning. Since it’s just a long line, it was easy and I didn’t bother pinning this end. But if you love to pin things, never fear – this next step has loads of it… You should now have 3 pieces of burlap that are “raw” on each short end + one long side and hemmed on one long side.

The next step is to lay your hemmed burlap out – I laid mine on the floor while my daughter was napping – and begin to pin, pin, pin! Begin with the bottom layer of ruffle and pin the top of the burlap piece to the muslin.  When you are deciding where on the muslin to begin pinning it helped me to lay all three layers loosely on the edge of the muslin to get an idea of where I wanted each one to fall. Mark where the top of each piece of burlap falls and that’s where you pin. Pinning is a vital step – so don’t skip it. I’ve learned the hard way that proper pinning when you’re sewing ruffles makes your time sitting at the sewing machine a breeze!

Pinned ruffles in How To Make a Ruffled Burlap Tablecloth Tutorial, How to Sew a Ruffled Burlap Tablecloth TutorialI pinched about 1 inch of fabric and pinned it approximately every 6 inches. This was not an exact science – I just pinched and pinned according to what looked “good” to me. This left me with some extra burlap at the end – I left this on until after I was finished sewing, in case something went wildly wrong while I was sewing and I needed it…

Once you have your bottom layer pinned, it’s time to sew it! Just a straight line of sewing, pulling out your pins as you go.

Once you’ve finished sewing your bottom layer, lay your muslin out and repeat step 3 by pinning the next layer. Then repeat again for the top layer. When I pinned the middle and top layer I offset my ruffles from the bottom layer so that the ruffles didn’t look to “matchy-matchy”. They still came out kinda-close but not right on top of each other which was good to me!

Now that you have all three layers of ruffles sewn onto your muslin you are ready for the last step, to sew the sides to the top. Place right sides of the fabric together and sew the four sides together and voila! You have a fabulous ruffled burlap tablecloth!

Tally-ho tete-a-tete, Romantic outdoor dinner for two, Ralph Lauren inspired dinner

I really hope you make one of your own – I’ve already used mine a few times and I get so many compliments on it!! Please leave a comment letting me know if you make one and if this tutorial was at all helpful. :-) Thanks for stopping in!!

I’m linking this tutorial up with Savvy Southern Style, Freckled Laundry, The Glamorous Housewife, Funky Junk Interiors, The Tablescaper, and Home Stories A to Z!

Happy Celebrating!

Jennifer Carroll. Celebrating Everyday Life blog

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29 Responses to “How to Make a Ruffled Burlap Tablecloth {Easy Sewing DIY}”

  1. October 10, 2012 at 9:43 am, Jill Flory said:

    Great tutorial Jennifer! Link this one up over at Home Stories A-Z if you haven’t yet! And Congats on the features! I’ve seen your link up featured at least a couple places I think!


    • October 10, 2012 at 8:20 pm, Jennifer said:

      > Thank you Jill! I looked over at Homestories but didn’t see the new link party but I’ll keep checking :-) Thanks so much for the tip!! It’s been exciting getting new visitors with this post!! :-)


  2. October 10, 2012 at 10:32 am, Jeannine said:

    You make me want to buy a sewing machine! I’ve been afraid of them for a long time, but know my craftiness would dramatically improve if I learned the basics.

    Thanks for the tutorial!


  3. October 10, 2012 at 11:02 am, Jacque @theDIYvillage said:

    LOVE this! Great tutorial, I cannot wait to try this myself maybe over our coffee table!


    • October 10, 2012 at 8:21 pm, Jennifer said:

      > Thanks for visiting Jacque! What a fabulous cover for a coffee table this would make! Please share a photo when you create it!!!


  4. October 11, 2012 at 12:28 am, Debi @ Adorned From Above said:

    I love this tablecloth. You did a great job, and did a great tutorial. I have a link party on Wednesdays, and I would love it if you would link this and any other posts. It is called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party. It runs from Wednesday to Sundays.
    I hope to see you there. I am your newest follower, and I would love for your to follow me also. Have a great Day.
    Debi Bolocofsky
    Adorned From Above


  5. October 12, 2012 at 7:01 pm, raggygirlvintage said:

    Love it Jennifer, I know how challenging sewing with burlap can be, itchy eyes and all, hats off to you for taking on this big project!


    • October 12, 2012 at 8:32 pm, Jennifer said:

      Tracey, you are so right! Burlap is the most itchy and messy fabric ever – it sheds more than a cat!! Burlap “fluff” or whatever you want to call it was all over my sewing room and me!! But I’m so happy with the result that it was totally worth it!! :-) Thanks so much for visiting!!


  6. October 14, 2012 at 9:25 am, Jenna said:

    OH, that is soooo cute! I definitely want to try this! What a super great idea, thx for sharing


    • October 14, 2012 at 9:31 am, Jennifer said:

      > You’re so welcome Jenna! I hope you make one!! Thank you for visiting!!


  7. October 16, 2012 at 9:08 am, Jami @ freckled laundry said:

    Beautiful, Jennifer! How on earth did you do a narrow hem on burlap? Is the fold wider on the backside? That looks so great and polished.


    • October 16, 2012 at 9:20 am, Jennifer said:

      > Hi Jami! Thank you so much for the compliment! From a seamstress as talented as you, that’s high praise! :-) I’m not a super-experienced sewer so all I can tell you is I folded the burlap over about 1/2″ and just sewed… not a very scientific answer is it?! But hey, it worked for me! 😀


  8. October 18, 2012 at 10:21 pm, (air your laundry friday) textile party said:

    […] Back to pretty ruffles. The talented Jennifer at Celebrating Everyday Life shared her tutorial for this gorgeous Ruffled Burlap Tablecloth. […]


  9. October 20, 2012 at 9:31 pm, LilMsDiy said:

    That look so gorgeous! I’m new to sewing and trying to find nice projects that are do-able. This is something i definitely have to try. You made it look simple yet the product is so pretty! Totally heart this :)


    • October 22, 2012 at 7:52 pm, Jennifer said:

      Hooray!! I’m so glad that you like it! It takes time to do all the pinning (that was the most “intense” part to me) but if you take the time to do that, the actual sewing part is a snap. Just be patient with yourself and I think it’s a project you can surely do! Good luck!!


  10. October 26, 2012 at 2:17 pm, Sandy said:

    I just finished the Ruffled Tablecloth. I might add, with my husband’s help. It took 2 full days; he helped on the 2nd day. I used red burlap, that I had, and realized I wasn’t going to have enough, so used vanilla for the bottom ruffle and added leftover red for trim. It is fabulous. I plan on using it on a table in my brand new studio. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial!


    • November 02, 2012 at 10:54 am, Jennifer said:

      Congratulations Sandy!! I’d love to see your finished ruffled tablecloth – if you get a chance please upload a photo to my facebook page!!! It sounds beautiful!!! How sweet of your husband to help :-) My little one kept trying to “help” me – it wasn’t the same :-)


  11. November 01, 2012 at 2:03 am, Pamela said:

    Just Gorgeous! Your whole site is gorgeous! I love looking at your images. I am inspired! I would love to make a tablecloth like this so I just re-read your directions. I’m unsure what you did where the ruffled sides come together on the drop. Did you sew together the ends or leave an opening? If so, did you leave a seam allowance so the ruffles don’t get caught into the seam? Also If it is sewn together, when did you sew this part together, before you add the top or after?
    Thank you so much!


    • November 01, 2012 at 9:21 am, Jennifer said:

      > Hi Pamela! Thank you so much for visiting and your sweet compliments!! This is all a labor of love and I get so excited when what I do inspires others too! Thanks for pointing out a part that I didn’t clarify in the tutorial! Yes, I left the side open because I wanted it to be easier to access under the table for possible storage and for there to be a little give when you sit at the table. During the pinning process my ruffled side pieces ended up being longer than the “finished” width of the base fabric but I left it hanging on and didn’t trim it (in case I needed it later. I figure you can always cut later but it’s harder to add it back!). When I sewed the top to the ruffles I kept that bit of overlap by sewing it to the top. This ended up “hidding the gap” that would be seen by the open side. I had quite a bit of extra so my overlap is about 6″+ on each side. The amount of leftover ruffle that you have will depend on the width of your ruffle pinning. Since I’m not a more experienced seamstress I may not be doing a very good job of explaining this – which I must apologize for! :-) But hopefully this is helpful! I hope you make one!!! Please share a pic on my FB page when you! I’d love to see it!!!! And please feel free to ask more questions if you have them. I will do my best to answer. Thanks again!!!


  12. December 04, 2012 at 4:18 pm, A Tally-Ho tete-a-tete {a Ralph Lauren inspired Romantic dinner for two} - Celebrating everyday life with Jennifer Carroll | Celebrating everyday life with Jennifer Carroll said:

    […] horse barn – which burlap does perfectly – but that was also feminine. Hello, ruffles! (Click here to read my tutorial on making a Ruffled Burlap […]


  13. February 08, 2013 at 7:58 am, Sheri Deindoerfer said:

    I love your tablecloth and tutorial…great job! I wanted to share what I did when making a burlap tablecloth…I wanted to use them over and over so the first thing I did was wash the fabric…ya, it actually fit into my washer…gentle cycle and cold water. When I dried the fabric I had to check the lint catcher screen since all those fibers built up quickly! Washing ahead of sewing let any shrinkage happen then instead of later…hopefully no more as I haven’t washed them yet after using them. Then I used my serger and finished ALL edges. This would help keep raveling at a minimum when washed…and looks good too! My tablecloths were gathered skirts from the top – so my next ones will be tiered ruffles similar to yours! You know, I saw some for sale on Etsy for $150 – after about $30 worth of burlap, I figure they are charging big time for the labor!


  14. March 12, 2013 at 4:48 pm, DIY Decorating Ideas: Thrifty Thursday #4 said:

    […] 2. A ruffled burlap tablecloth is casual elegance at its best. This tablecloth is so easy to make. If you can sew a straight line, you can make this tablecloth. Ruffled Burlap Tablecloth Tutorial […]


  15. May 08, 2013 at 1:40 pm, 11 Burlap projects for your home with Tutorials | Simply Swider said:

    […] And if a tablecloth is more your style here is a ruffled burlap floor length tablecloth. […]


  16. June 20, 2013 at 8:01 am, Burlap and Milk Glass Tablescape - Uncommon Designs... said:

    […] I drove home I began pondering ways to play with my new milk glass finds and suddenly my ruffled burlap tablecloth popped into my mind and I knew the first project I wanted to do was create a simple but lovely […]


  17. June 25, 2013 at 5:33 am, Sarah said:

    Hi, i love this tutorial, could you please inform me on the measuremeants i would need in metres and centimetre as i am in Australia and we do not use feet, inches and yards. Thank you very much


  18. September 17, 2013 at 12:40 am, Kate said:

    I know this was posted a while ago, but just wanted to say thanks for the tutorial! It was one of the easier I’ve found to follow –I’m not too experienced yet with my sewing but getting practice, and I loved my outcome here. Ivactually didn’t end up making a tablecloth, but a set of curtains instead. I really do think it looks straight out of a nice store. thanks!


  19. November 13, 2013 at 5:56 am, {DIY Gift} A Burlap & Lace Paperweight with Martha Stewart Crafts | Celebrating everyday life with Jennifer Carroll said:

    […] show off the beauty and well, you know how much I love burlap right? I mean, you’ve seen my ruffled burlap tablecloth, haven’t you?! Well, it turns out that burlap and lace are positively perfect paired […]


  20. May 13, 2014 at 8:51 am, Chris K said:

    I use your pattern to make a child’s wagon cover for a wedding. The splits in the front of the ruffles was perfect for the handle


  21. September 28, 2014 at 12:12 pm, Johnadean said:

    Was yours full enough to sit comfortable under it. I worry if the chair are full the shirt might be tight. Yours is beautiful. Very inspiring. I am making two for a wedding in April. I hope mine look as truly beautiful as yours.


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