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How to Make a Ruffled Burlap Tablecloth

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!

I 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!

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!!

Happy Celebrating!

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Category: Forex

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