I love the geometric shapes that we see in home decor these days. Clean lines and basic circles make for easy DIYs, like this watercolor-inspired diamond tablecloth.
The key to this whole piece is fabric dye. You could, of course, use regular paints and get the same diamond shapes, but what makes this special is the soft, worn, watercolor look of it, achieved by using dye instead of paint. Droplets and imperfections are welcome here, which is a good thing since I chose to leave the edges unhemmed and frayed.
Because I had a large piece of white fabric, this entire project cost me less than $2.00! I can see doing this again with other basic shapes and colors. Wouldn’t orange circles, reminiscent of festive pumpkins, be lovely for fall?
- White tablecloth (Keep it inexpensive and buy white fabric or go with a drop cloth!)
- Cardstock paper to create the stencil
- Powdered Rit Dye in Pearl Grey (found in most craft stores)
- Medium size paint brush
- Basic tools: measuring tape, ruler, pencil, calculator (makes the math easier!)
Step 1: Measure the length of your tablecloth. Decide how many diamonds you want (I chose five), and divide the length of the tablecloth by that number to find the length of each diamond. For example, if your tablecloth is 60 inches in length and you want 5 diamonds, each diamond will be 12 inches long. Tip: Go with odd numbers (it looks best to have a central diamond) and keep the diamonds no smaller than 12 inches if possible.
Step 2: Find the center of your tablecloth (A). Do this by folding your tablecloth lengthwise and then widthwise. Crease it well. Where the folds cross is the center. (You can also do it more precisely with measuring tape.)
Step 3: Using a pencil, draw a line down the middle of the tablecloth running the length of the cloth (B). Your painting will cover up the line, so don’t worry about it. This will help you make your diamonds straight.
Step 4: Create your diamond stencil. I knew my diamonds had to be 12 inches in length, but besides that I just decided the width based on how it looked to me. Use a ruler to keep the sides nice and straight, then cut.
Step 5: Start in the middle of the tablecloth. If you have decided on an odd number of diamonds (which I recommend–it gives a nice central place for a centerpiece), place the center of your diamond stencil at the center point (C). In other words, the center of the diamond and the center of the tablecloth should be the same spot. Line up the points of the diamond with your central line you already drew. Trace.
Step 6: Once your center diamond is traced, then work your way out, tracing the diamonds as you go (D). If you get to the end and find the last one doesn’t line up perfectly, you can adjust the size to make it work.
Step 7: Create your dye. I used the powder dye because it’s cheaper, but I would guess you can use the liquid dye in the same way. Pour about 1/4 of the box into a cup. Add a tablespoon or two of hot water, a bit of salt, and a drop of soap. Mix well.
Step 8: Set up a painting station, preferably outside. I laid my cloth on a plastic tarp since the dye does bleed through. Start painting! Do a number of coats to get it nice and dark. It will fade a ton.
Step 9: Don’t worry about splattering. In fact, I added a few splatters on purpose because I liked the look of it. Let it sit for at least an hour so the dye soaks in.
Step 10: Rinse! Carefully place the tablecloth over a large tub or bucket and rinse with cold water. Fill the tub up with water and swoosh it around. Drain and refill the tub as needed. Once the water is clear, you’re good to go; however, I would hand wash and air dry this item separately from others since there’s always a chance that dyed fabrics will bleed. Note: The white cloth WILL take some of the dye. That’s okay! It creates a cool handmade look, which is exactly what it is. I even have some tie-dyed spots on mine that I really love.
It’s funny how simple things can spruce up a space. My kitchen feels so fresh and bright thanks to this handmade tablecloth. Could your kitchen table use a bit of love? If so, try this project! And, as always, share a photo or a link with us. We’d love to see how it turns out.