TUTORIAL: Table Toppers

by Dana on July 6, 2008

My mom loves to cook, entertain, and throw parties. And so, dinner at our house growing up (on a small night) meant 12 people at the table……6 kids from our family, my cousins who lived next door, and a family friend or two. Dinner was, and still is, a very social event and one that my mom liked to spice up with decorations.
With one or two tables to decorate, however, sewing cute table cloths required yards and yards of fabric. So instead, my mom started making Table Toppers. These are large squares or swatches of fabric which are hemmed like a normal tablecloth, then thrown on top of a white or black tablecloth to give a color pop.
With a variety of Table Toppers in her closet, my mom was ready to decorate any number of dinner tables, table rounds, even a small classroom table. A spectrum of possibilities.
So for Mother’s Day a few weeks ago, I surprised my mom with a slew of new Table Toppers.
Every woman enjoys an updated look in her table wardrobe.
Table Toppers are easy to make, less expensive than making full tablecloths, and they make great gifts. Go rummage through your fabric stash and let’s get started!

* Decide how many Table Toppers you’d like to make. For a normal rectangular table, you may only need one or two. For table rounds, you’ll need one per table. And if you plan to use them for a party or wedding, make many!

The concept is simple: Cut a square of fabric, Hem it, Throw it on top of a tablecloth.

To maximize your fabric width, follow this info:
Since this was a gift for my mom (and she has a very long table) I made 3 Table Toppers from each of my fabrics.
* Lay out your fabric (folded in half, just as it is when you buy it).

* Measure 45 or 60 inches (depending on how wide your fabric is) and cut!
Most cotton prints come 45 inches wide. The flower and dot fabrics shown in this tutorial were purchased at Hobby Lobby. The striped fabrics are from IKEA.
Three little Table Topper piles, ready to be hemmed. Easiest project ever? Okay, pretty close.
* Serge around all 4 edges of your Topper. If you don’t have a serger, iron over each edge a 1/2 inch instead and continue to the next step. If you like the look of a serged edge, you can leave it as is and be done! Otherwise….
* Iron over each edge 1/2 inch to finish off your hem:
* Sew each side hem down, about 1/4 inch from the edge:
And you’re done! Three pretty Table Toppers, folded and ready to be wrapped up as a gift.
So that my mom can do this:
and this:
(Notice the white tablecloth underneath. You can easily make a tablecloth to go under your Toppers using the same steps in this tutorial. Just measure your table, decide how far you’d like it to hang over on the sides and then hem!)

I threw a polka dot set into the gift as well cause it was just too fun and colorful. I can picture my mom setting up her table right now.
Maybe she’ll throw a Wallflower on there too! (or tableflower in this case)
I know her mini disco balls would look great strewn about the plates and cups.
And if you’re tired of the diamond/angled look, you can can always overlap your Toppers with each other to create a long rectangular tablecloth! I guess the Table Topper is the gift that keeps giving, from party to party. Enjoy!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sadiyah JAUNOO July 29, 2012 at 5:48 am

Hello.
I wanted to know ALL the parts fo a tablecloth. i have to clearly label a tablecloth with its parts( like the Hem, etc..).
I don’t know the parts at all. i have tried to search on the net but in vain. Can you help please?
Thanking you.

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2 shelly December 13, 2012 at 7:30 pm

This is a fantastic idea. Even for a non-sewer like me. THANK YOU!

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3 Ann December 18, 2012 at 9:24 am

Have you made a heart shape table topper to go on a 60″ round table? Looking for ideas for a wedding – for the guests tables

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4 fozie March 14, 2013 at 8:53 am

What a fab idea Dana.I am ready to make some this evening.I have a stash of mix n match fabric metre each left over from other projects and will be simply great for these toppers.Thank you so much for sharing.

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