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How to customise a tablecloth

Tablecloths don’t have to be plain — have a bit of fun learning how to decorate your own tablecloth and use it for any event from Christmas to your Big Lunch.

What you will need

  • One plain tablecloth or an old sheet
  • Selection of coloured fabric pens, scraps of fabric, sequins, glitter, paint…or whatever you can find!
  • Glue, stapler or a small sewing kit
  • Your imagination!

Once you have everything you need, just lay your table cloth out onto a sheet of newspaper or on an outdoor surface (if it’s not raining…) and get decorating!

Children painting on a tablecloth

Here are a few tablecloth design ideas to help you get inspired


Make it purposeful

Draw on place settings, name labels, jokes and icebreakers for your event.


Make it personal

Draw caricatures of yourselves — representing everyone on your street.


Make it practical

Design a map of where you live, including places and features which make it unique.

Teddybears sat on top of a decorated tablecloth


Make it abstract

Create a piece of art that symbolises something meaningful to your area.

Children's hands decorating a tablecloth with an abstract pattern


Make it representative

Use the tablecloth as your canvas for a scene or theme.


Make it collaborative

Give everyone a designated section so that together, there is a whole and connected piece of community art.

What next?

After you’ve used your tablecloth, you could display it in a local community centre, village hall or even cut it into pieces and hand it out as keepsakes for everyone involved. Or keep it for a future event and get everyone to add to it all over again.

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