Give your old antique linens a refresh! Learn how I made two beautiful dish towels from a vintage tablecloth within just a few moments in this easy sewing tutorial.
Repurposed Project Using Vintage Linen
Just four years ago, I was busy planning our wedding. The big day was to take place in our community church with the reception held at my parents farm inside their big red barn. The theme was vintage with a splash of rustic country thrown in.
While I was busy sending off invitations and picking out a cake flavor, I was frequently visiting any garage sale or auction in the area to see if they had any wedding decor I could use. Much of what I wanted to decorate with wasn’t your typical wedding style. I didn’t want dozens of matching items that I would never use again. I wanted to repurpose, reuse and refashion. For instance, the dress I wore was my mother’s wedding dress. I had the design slightly altered to reflect my style and the current era. I also used an old wooden trunk as a bench with activities for kids. And now that very same trunk sits in our living room as a coffee table.
For the bridal shower, my grandmother gave me a huge box of vintage tablecloths. Everything from large cobalt blue flowers and stripes to light purple pastels and bright red roses. I used them to cover the tables at both the shower and the wedding reception. They added such a beautiful, vintage touch to the wooden tables and meant so much to me because they were from Grandma.
Flash forward to today where many of the tablecloths sit stacked up in a basket on the top of my kitchen cabinet. Again, they add that antique feel to our home that I love so much. I like to add one to our dining room table when we have company over. But that still leaves a few dozen on our shelf without a purpose. So I recently started thinking of ways to repurpose a tablecloth. Should I use them to create a vintage pillow? Perhaps sew a quilt using an old table cloth? Frame them? Create curtain using table cloths? There were so many wonderful ideas to choose from.
In the hopes of not destroying any table cloths that were in perfect shape, I dug through my stash and picked out two that had seen better days. Tattered with a bit of holes, these linens could be given new life as an upcycled dish towel.
To create a dish towel from a vintage tablecloth, I cut out one 27 inch square. I then added a few strips of colored bias tape to the edging to prevent the towel from fraying. The tape gave the towel a lovely pop of color. I purchased the extra wide bias tape from Hobby Lobby but Joann Fabrics and Amazon also have a nice selection.
The DIY dish towel is now being used as a cover when I bake my bread. I think they’d also make a nice addition to my kitchen decor if hung up the pantry door, draped over some decorative hooks or even folded over the handle of the oven door.
How to Repurpose a Tablecloth
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If you have some old tablecloths, flour sack material or vintage linens, turn them into a beautiful dish towel. This sewing project is great for beginners and only takes a matter of moments to complete.
Vintage tablecloth cut into one piece – 27 inches by 27 inches
3 yards extra wide double fold bias tape (such as this)
Cut tablecloth into one 27 inch x 27 inch square, avoiding any rips, tears or holes the vintage material may have.
Cut bias tape into four 27 inch strips. Sandwich the edge of table cloth in between the bias tape. Secure with straight pins. Repeat the process for the other three sides.
Sew a narrow seam along all four sides being sure you forward and backward stitch at the beginning and end of the seam.
Your vintage dish towel is complete! Optionally, if your towel has any creases or wrinkles you can use an iron to give it a more polished look. Mine were a bit wrinkly from storage.
- Vintage tablecloth cut into one piece - 27 inches by 27 inches
- 3 yards extra wide double fold bias tape (such as this)
- Coordinating thread
- Straight pins
- Cut tablecloth into one 27 inch x 27 inch square, avoiding any rips, tears or holes the vintage material may have.
- Cut bias tape into four 27 inch strips. Sandwich the edge of table cloth in between the bias tape. Secure with straight pins. Repeat the process for the other three sides.
- Sew a narrow seam along all four sides being sure you forward and backward stitch at the beginning and end of the seam.
- Your vintage dish towel is complete! Optionally, if your towel has any creases or wrinkles you can use an iron to give it a more polished look. Mine were a bit wrinkly from storage.