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How to Make Your Own Watercolor Tablecloth

While everyone loves the personalized home decor, it can be difficult and time-consuming to create. For an easy and enjoyable DIY project to brighten up your dining table this spring and summer, try making your own watercolor tablecloth!

If you are worried that the colors will fade after the first wash, use fabric paints for dyes that permanently stain. Follow the instructions below for a custom masterpiece suitable for dinners, parties, and everything festive in-between.


There are several different techniques to implement when painting your tablecloth. You can create a checkerboard design, floral blooms, or abstract patterns. To create a checkerboard, section your cloth into 10-inch squares and paint each block in a different color while letting the colors bleed into one another. The best checkerboard patterns use three or four different colors that repeat in a pattern throughout the cloth.

Watercolor Tablecloth

Image Source: Deviantart

You can also create floral bloom patterns by dribbling a drop of paint onto the cloth from a few inches away. As the paint splatters, it will begin to fan out into a blossom. For more optimal results, paint the base of your tablecloth first and let the floral blooms be the finishing touch.

Another fun way to design patterns on the tablecloth is to lay a dark base layer of paint and let it dry. From there, set stencils over the cloth and add water to certain areas. For example, if you want to create an animal pattern, lay the animal stencil on the cloth and add water along the inside of the stencil and watch as the paint progressively lightens.

It may be beneficial to plan your design ahead of time to avoid mistakes. However, if you accidentally make a mistake, adding more water will help blend any colors together.


In order to create your tablecloth, you’ll need several items. While visiting your local craft store is a viable option, purchasing art supplies online can often be time and cost efficient. For this project, you will need the following materials:
     Fabric paint
     Plastic drop cloth
     Cardboard sheet
     Paint brushes in different sizes
     Foam brush
     Paper towels
     Foil pan


After you have gathered your materials, begin to construct your workspace. To protect your home from paint and water, cover your work table with the cardboard sheet and place the plastic drop cloth over it.
On that flat surface, steam iron your tablecloth to remove any wrinkles. Once you’ve ironed your cloth, decide your color scheme and pour a small amount of each color into the foil pan, separated by several inches. Then, add a little bit of water to each color so that the paint is fluid.


Image Source: Public Domain


Soak your foam brush in water and lightly wet your cloth. Once your tablecloth is damp, begin to paint your colors by lightly skimming the brush over the cloth. The paint will naturally spread and begin to bleed.

Once you’ve painted the entire tablecloth, allow the paint to dry for at least an hour. You can soak your foam brush in water and run it over the cloth once again. The more water you add, the lighter the colors will be.

If you are happy with the way the fabric looks, you can use the tablecloth for your next dinner party or at a picnic. If you wish, you can create a whole set by painting linen napkins or table runners.

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Author Bio: Carolyn Clarke is a freelance writer and DIY enthusiast from Denver, Colorado. She has over 15 years of experience teaching arts and crafts at an elementary school and has spread her passion for art to her many students. When she isn’t busy teaching or crafting, she enjoys writing and experimenting with new design concepts her next project.

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