Here I am to tackle my first DIY project for the wedding reception, table squares! When I started browsing Pinterest and the web for centerpiece ideas, I saw a few “tablescapes” that really jumped out at me. What I liked about them was the contrast between the table cloth and the table square underneath the centerpiece.
I own a sewing machine and can pretty much sew a straight line (well, relatively straight anyway), so I figured this was something I could take on myself! The image above is the actual fabric I ended up purchasing, but in black instead of navy. I’ll be using this fabric to make table squares for the round dinner tables at our reception. Dependent on how much left over fabric I have, I will probably make a runner for some of the other long rectangle tables.
I purchased the fabric from fabric.com, I chose this site because I have ordered from them before and I have always been pleased. In addition, they accept returns within 30 days and pay the return shipping as well. The prices are also pretty good when you shop around.
There are varying sizes of table squares online, I looked at Etsy to get an idea of some dimensions, they vary from 18-24″ so I started with the 18″ and will probably also make a 20″ square and then test them on our tables next time we visit the site. When we met with our catering manager, she let us know that often brides will use dinner napkins as a table square and we saw some photos of that in her albums, a dinner napkin is about 18″ square.
Here is the tutorial if you plan to make your own table squares, you only need a few items to do this project:
- Sewing machine
- Matching thread
- Pins (not really necessary if you have the iron)
- Iron (makes sewing the edge a little easier and can replace pins and help you create a straighter line)
I purchased 6 yards of fabric (note: the fabric I purchased is 54″ wide because it’s a home decor fabric) and that will be MORE than enough. The fabric was $7.50 per yard and I found a discount code on retailmenot.com, so it was even less than that. For me, I’d much rather order extra than not have enough. I knew that there were other ways I could use the fabric (runners, and other decor, gifts, etc.). I could probably have purchased about 3 yards of fabric and been just fine with that amount.
To start, I marked my fabric to be cut. The first table square I made was 18″ square, so I cut the fabric to 19″ square giving me a 1/2 inch seam allowance. You can see the faint green line on the fabric above.
Then I cut the fabric into the 19″ square. Tip: I’ve heard that scissors used on fabric should not be used on paper because it will dull the blades.
Once the fabric was cut, I used my ruler and iron to create a 1/2 inch seam. I clearly made some errors in measuring, because my seams ended up being uneven, but you can only tell on the other side. Originally, I pinned the seam allowance, but realized I wasn’t getting as straight of an edge using the pins, so I opted to iron my seams instead.
Once I had the edge ironed, I did a straight stitch down the side with the seam about 1/4 inch in. I repeated this on all 4 sides. I backstitched on the edges so that the stitch would hold. Once I completed all the sides, I burned the excess threads. Flipped to the right side an voila – table square done!
To give you a better idea of how I plan to use it, I scoured the house for some centerpiece stand-ins just to see what the scale looked like and I’m pretty happy with it. However, I’m still going to make a 20″ version so I can see them on the table. I figured I saved myself about $50 by making these myself. The Etsy seller I linked to sells a 24″ table square for $8 each. I’d need 8-10 of them for my reception tables. I can make 10 table squares from about 3 yards of fabric, so that’s about $20 worth of fabric. So I saved myself at least the difference! Woo hoo! If you don’t own a sewing machine, I imagine you could use hem tape and end up with a similar result!