Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
It can be stressful discovering after purchasing the picture-perfect table linen; it is too short. What do you do when your tablecloth isn't large enough to cover the table? We researched some helpful solutions to work with a tablecloth that misses its mark. Learn how to hide flaws, work with your tablecloth, and manage to wow dinner guests with your style.
If you find that your tablecloth is too short for the dining table, there are a few solutions you can try.
- Move table to one side of a wall
- Change the table
- Layer tablecloths
- Artfully position tablecloth and add a skirt or runner
Don't let the length of a tablecloth stop you from creating a beautiful table setting. Keep reading to learn more about each solution.
Adjusting For Tablecloth Length
It might seem like an impossible home decor task, working with a tablecloth that is too short for the table. However, getting a little creative with your problem-solving can help you troubleshoot and decorate your table with panache. Don't get frustrated, and be open to various options to make your tablecloth work visually and practically. Let's take a look at some great ideas to dress a table when the length of a tablecloth is a little amiss.
1. Move Table Against A Wall
If you have a small number of guests, or the table doesn't need to be positioned in the center of a room, move it against a wall. Especially if you have a square or rectangle table, this solution works best visually, and no one will be the wiser. You can position the tablecloth, so it overhangs and covers up the sides and front of the table and the legs.
Distract the eye with a beautiful decorative centerpiece. Create visual balance on the table with candles, flowers, or elegant, heavy serving ware at opposing sides. Another alternative is to move a table against a wall with a large window with a great view, provided the window doesn't reflect the too-short side of the tablecloth.
2. Change The Table
If you can change the table you were going to use for a meal because of the tablecloth length, go for it. When possible, choose a dining table that is convertible and has drop leaf panels or can be extended to change its shape. You might be able to get a better visual result when a table is smaller, goes from round to square, or you elongate it by adding additional panels.
Outright switching a table or rearranging a table's structure can make it easier to work with a short tablecloth. Get creative and reposition the tablecloth creatively to hide any perceived flaws with the table shape.
3. Layer Tablecloths
Layering works visual magic when it comes to dressing a table. Choose a larger tablecloth to go under a tablecloth that is too short. Add a table runner that dramatically overhangs the table's edges while the main tablecloth is positioned sideways or in a diamond orientation.
Balance things out by mixing and matching different textures, colors, or patterns that work together among your choice of tablecloths and other linens. Make bold visual moves and choose two short tablecloths placed horizontally side by side, rather than choosing one tablecloth with a vertical orientation.
4. Add A Skirt Or Runner
You don't have to wait for a formal event to break out a table skirt or runner. Plus, the eyes love a visual feast to match the equally mouthwatering entrees on the table. Play up the drama on your table in a good way, and add a lace, tulle, or sheer polyester table skirt that is long and airy under a shorter tablecloth. Choose a long runner that is wider than average to complement a tablecloth that is not as long as desired. Go bold and add a skirt and runner, and layer up your table for stunning results.
How Long Should A Tablecloth Drop Be?
Reduce the chances of ending up with a tablecloth that is shorter than you'd like for the table by taking down some measurements. Jot down the length and width of your table, and then add twice the amount of inches for your desired drop length.
Keep in mind; casual table settings call for a drop between 6 to 8 inches from the edges of the table to the bottom hem of the tablecloth. Formal tables have a more dramatic drop, with a tablecloth overhanging as much as 15 inches from the edge of the table.
How Do You Keep Your Tablecloth From Slipping?
Don't struggle throughout the dining service to keep a tablecloth in its place. Take proactive measures to keep the focus on the beautifully dressed table and fine food. You can choose from the following to keep a tablecloth from slipping.
- Attach weights to the tablecloth in strategic points so it won't move easily.
- Add a tablecloth protector or mat before placing your tablecloth down for added friction and absorption of spills.
- Tie the tablecloth at the corners to the table's legs, or bind the corners with decorative cording, ribbons, or use Velcro.
- Apply double-sided tape to the table and underside of the tablecloth, so it doesn't shift about.
- Weight down your table cloth with heavy visual displays placed decoratively on the table.
No matter what option you choose, it is possible to stop a shifty tablecloth when seated. You can easily elevate the look of your dining table using creative methods of keeping your tablecloth in its place.
When Should You Use A Table Skirt?
A table for a formal event such as a baby shower, wedding, or gala calls for the addition of a table skirt. When a tablecloth or table runner used by itself will not suffice, a table skirt is an added layer that instantly elevates the space. Throw a table skirt over a table to hide the legs and anything stored under a table. Multiple layers of linens atop a table coupled with floral arrangements, candles, or other accessories create a chic, visual display.
Add a table skit to a gift table, buffet table, or table that is a central point of interest for a dinner or gathering. Consider a table skirt that is polyester, tulle, or lace and complements the tablecloth. Most table skirts come with Velcro or use clips to keep them in place. If you are curious about how to skirt a table, check out the following.
We hope you have a more in-depth understanding of what you can do when your tablecloth is shorter than desired. You can visually distract the eye from noticing flaws with a tablecloth via the table placement or decor. Surprise yourself and make a short tablecloth work for your table setting.
Use the power of mixing and matching table linen patterns, textures, material, or color for a chic put-together look. Tap into your creativity, utilize layering, positioning, accessories, and lighting to play off a short tablecloth like a boss.
Before you go, don't miss out on the following articles of interest: