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Repurpose a tablecloth into a banner / garland

You may have noticed from my baby shower photos that there was a garland hanging in the background. I always love the look of a banner draped across a room adding a pop of whimsy and beauty.

In preparation for the baby shower, I picked up some super cute spotty napkins and matching cupcake toppers. Because we still don’t know if its a girl or a boy, I didn’t want to go down a traditional blue or pink route, so the bright polka dots certainly hit the spot.

I had originally planned to make a garland out of scrapbook supplies, but then I spied a tablecloth in the same product range. It was a weird material to be honest – it wasn’t papery thin, but it wasn’t fabric either, but it lay somewhere in between. It had a linen texture on top and a soft, almost cottony feeling underneath. Suddenly it jumped into my shopping basket begging to be repurposed into something fun.

So today I am going to share with you a tutorial on how I converted this humble tablecloth into a fun and quirky banner. What’s more the tablecloth cost £2.99 and it converted into 13 metres of bunting. WOW!

This is the the tablecloth straight out of the packet, so you can see that it came folded up as you would expect.

I took a piece of scrap cardboard and cut out a triangular shape to act as my template. I then folded the tablecloth in a concertina style, making sure the folds were as tall as the triangular template. I have to say this bit was the trickiest part, because when the tablecloth was opened flat it seemed massive and I didn’t want to crease it more than necessary.

Starting at one end, I cut through all the layers of the paper using the triangle as a template. I could have used a pencil to mark the lines but i chose not to – i just cut it roughly not really worrying too much about them all being perfect.

Then I took my template, flipped it over and moved it along to cut out the next triangle of paper. I continued all the way along until I ran out of paper.

When I was finished all the cuts, some of the banner pieces were cut along a fold so they were joined in the middle creating a diamond shape, but other banner pieces were not cut along a fold, so they were simply a triangle.

I separated all the diamonds from the triangles and decided to work with the single, triangular pieces first. I lay each pair face to face (spotty sides together) and then ran one at a time through the sewing machine in one continuous line.

Then I folded the banner pieces the right way around. Because I had sewn them face to face, the stitching was hidden to they now look exactly the same as the other pieces (but just slightly smaller)

Then I ran the strip through the sewing machine one again, this time about 1cm from the top. My original plan was to thread a piece of string through the top section, but in the end the paper was so light that the banner could be held up with simply using the thread used to sew it all together.

Look how pretty they look all together. For the diamond pieces, I just folded them so they were the right way round and then ran them through the sewing machine in a long strip, once again about 1 cm from the edge.

I can’t tell you how super easy this was to do, and I can hardly believe that I got almost 13 meters of bunting out of one tablecloth. The final result was definitely worth the 10 minutes of play at my sewing machine, and i will always have the bunting to use over and over again. The only thing I need to remember is that although it looks like fabric, it really is paper, so best not hang it outside!

I hope you have fun trying this out for yourself.

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