Hi! Mandi here! White cotton tablecloths are easy to find in stores, and sometimes you can even find one for just a couple of dollars at a thrift shop. But when you want a tablecloth with a little more personality, your options are pretty limited. I decided to make my own party tablecloth using a plain white tablecloth and a whole lot of color. Check out how I did it below!
-white cotton tablecloth (cotton dyes the best)
-fabric dye (I used a combination of these colors to achieve chartreuse yellow)
-salt (amount depends on fabric yardage)
-acrylic paint textile medium
-round foam dabber
-plastic gloves (not shown)
Step Two: Fill a washing machine or large basin with enough hot water to completely cover the tablecloth. Add the dye you wish to use plus the amount of salt called for on the dye packaging. I used one pack of salt with two packs of yellow (one golden and one lemon yellow) plus a little shake of green dye to achieve this color. The more dye you use, the more vivid the color will be. Stir to dissolve the dye.
Make sure your fabric isn't folded when you return it to the water. Follow the dye package instructions for soak time. I let mine sit in there for about a half hour, stirring with a gloved hand every now and then, before letting the machine agitate and run through a normal cycle.
Step Three: Remove the dyed fabric from the empty washing machine, and fill the machine with hot water and dye fixative. Put the tablecloth back into the machine and allow it to go through a normal cycle.
Step Four: Combine two parts of acrylic paint to one part of textile medium to make it safe for washable fabrics.
I haven't washed my tablecloth since painting it, but I did run the dyed cloth through the normal wash after using the fixative, and the color stayed fast. Just to be safe, when you wash a newly dyed fabric, make sure to not use hot water and to wash it with like colors. Nylon fabric likes to soak up any stray dye, so if you have nylon clothing that needs cleaned, I wouldn't throw it in with your freshly dyed tablecloth.
This tablecloth is perfectly party-ready now, and in fact, it's still sitting on my dining room table because it's so festive—I don't want the polka-dotted fun to end! -Mandi