How To: An Easy Solution to Prevent Fly-Away Tablecloths

How To: An Easy Solution to Prevent Fly-Away Tablecloths

I was at an event recently where the pretty outdoor tablecloths were blowing every which way in the wind, knocking over table settings and just being outright annoying.  The solution the hosts used was to tie the tablecloths onto the table, ruining the table staging.  Let's face it, even those tablecloth clips break up the beauty.  I knew there had to be a solution!  So, with a few scrap pieces of fabric, I came up with a rockin' remedy.  

created at: 06/28/2011

Since my sewing machine is practically another appendage, I turned to some basic sewing skills for this project.  

Materials and Tools:

  • Tablecloth with square corners (ironing optional heh heh)
  • 1/4 yard coordinating fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread

created at: 06/27/2011

Note: If you don't have a sewing machine, hand-stitching and using something that won't fray like knit, fleece, or even felt would make this an easy, non-sewing machine project.  Or fusible webbing for hems (found in thin rolls in the notions section of fabric stores) would work, too. Go for it!


1. Begin by cutting four 5" squares from your coordinating fabric:

created at: 06/27/2011

2. Next, iron your squares at a diagonal, matching opposite corners.

created at: 06/27/2011

3. Now you will want to "finish" those raw edges so they don't fray.  I used my serger, but using a zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine (or a non-fraying fabric, mentioned above) will accomplish the same goal.

created at: 06/27/2011
created at: 06/27/2011

(Zig-Zag edge on the Left, Serged edge on the Right )

4. When all four squares are finished you'll begin pinning them to your tablecloth, about 1/4" from the edge of your tablecloth.  This will make the fabric invisible from the outside.

created at: 06/27/2011

5. Now for the final touches. Sew the triangle to the tablecloth using the existing tablecloth stitching as a guide:

created at: 06/28/2011

6. See the stitching from the top side?  Me neither.  That is a good thing!

created at: 06/28/2011

7. After doing this on all four corners, you are ready to throw this baby on a picnic table.  Toss a few rocks, washers, marbles, or any other smallish-yet-heavy objects into your corner pockets and that tabecloth won't be bothering anyone.  The corners have a surprising amount of influence on the sides, so those might move a little but won't be in anyone's way.

created at: 06/28/2011

No one will ever know the secret behind your non-flying tablecloth.  And if they ask, they'll never believe it took you 15 minutes and a few rocks.

created at: 06/28/2011

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Anonymous on Sep 04, 2015:

great idea!! but how do you keep the cups from blowing over??? just kidding!

Susan on Oct 14, 2012:

this is a great idea.. and i am going to do this with one small change; i think I would use matching cloth napkins if they were available.. they are square, and already hemmed. Fold them on the diagonal and sew as above.

Doris on Oct 14, 2012:

Excellent.  I need to do this to 6 table clothes for an Open House.......So much cheaper than buying clips......thanks for the tip!'



Christine on Aug 23, 2011:

Brilliant for an outdoor wedding reception! : )

Lois B on Jul 08, 2011:

I am impressed.......at 62 yrs old I think I have been truly impressed!

beckysews on Jul 05, 2011:

You are a genius indeed!  Another "Doh, why didn't I think of that?" moment

Jeanie Robinson on Jul 05, 2011:

Oh my...what a great idea! I like this for indoor table cloths as well! You are a GENIUS!!

Jenniffier on Jun 29, 2011:

That is a great idea

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