Home Green DIY Guide Go the DIY route and make a rug out of your old tablecloth

Go the DIY route and make a rug out of your old tablecloth

by DrPrem Jagyasi

Most of us have a few colorful tablecloths lying around the house that we simply don’t have the heart to dispose. Well, here’s a simple project that can help you transform these useless tablecloth into useful and really beautiful rugs you can spread out on the floor. Take a look at the DIY steps below for the same purpose.

Things you will need for the project

old tablecloth rug (3)

  • An old tablecloth, preferably cotton for more durability. Size: Approximately 50×70 inches.
  • A sturdy rug backer or rug pad. Size: Approximately 55×80 inches.
  • Water based polyurethane (possibly one that come with a satin finish).
  • Double sided carpet tape
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Foam Roller
  • A plastic drop cloth

DIY Steps Explained

old tablecloth rug (4)

Step #1:

Start by spreading the plastic drop cloth evenly on the floor. This will be the background on which you would work on. This will eliminate any accidental spills which would otherwise damage the floor beneath.

While you may want to do this work outdoors, we recommend a place like the garage which is relatively silent and undisturbed by sudden breezes and the debris that comes with it.

Step #2:

Iron the tablecloth nicely to remove any wrinkles. This will help offer a smooth, even finish. Since you will be working with a cotton tablecloth, it pays to iron it out nicely in order to avoid uneven surfaces later on.

Step #3:

old tablecloth rug (2)

Place the tablecloth evenly on the drop cloth and smooth out any bumps or wrinkles. Now apply a small amount of polyurethane on the cloth and spread it around evenly with the help of a foam roller.

Need for polyurethane: Polyurethane gives a satin like finish to the cotton tablecloth, thus enhancing its durability as a rug. Applying polyurethane would enable you to clean the rug easily by simply wiping off dirt and stains.

Apply a coat of polyurethane all over the tablecloth and allow it to dry. After about 10 minutes, lift the tablecloth from the drop cloth to ensure that it does not stick to the floor. Reposition the tablecloth on the drop cloth and apply a second coat of polyurethane.

Wait for another 30 minutes and reposition the tablecloth again. Follow the same process for the third coat as well before allowing the tablecloth to dry completely. Lift the tablecloth from the drop cloth and lay it on a flat surface to dry nicely overnight.

Note: In case you plan to use the tablecloth turned rug outdoors, you need to give the polyurethane coating to its underside as well.

Step #4:

Place the rug backer or pad over the dried tablecloth. Cut the rug pad to size by following the tablecloth’s outline underneath. Ensure to cut an inch shorter than the tablecloth on all sides. This will give you a proper fit without any loose ends sticking out in the end.

Step #5:


Bring the tablecloth indoors and flip it upside down. Lay it on the floor and use a good amount of double sided tape to cover the sides as well as the center of the tablecloth. Choose the locations correctly to ensure that no part of the tablecloth is left unattended to. After applying the tape, peel off the top layer of the tape.

Note: You can also use spray adhesive if you don’t prefer double sided tape.

Step #6:

old tablecloth rug (1)

Slowly start sticking the rug backer on the double sided tape. Start from the bottom up for a better and smoother finish. Ensure to press nicely to secure the rug back firmly to the tablecloth.

Step #7:

Once you have attached the rug back to all the tape on the tablecloth’s underside, give it a nice patting through to eliminate any loose ends. Now simply flip over the tablecloth and spread it on the floor. Your DIY tablecloth floor rug is ready.

There is no need to throw out old but beautiful tablecloths. With a few simple steps, you can transform these tablecloths into striking rugs for your home.