Sheron Cardin's Input...: Decorating Tip #9: The Custom Table Skirt!

I have been an interior designer for over 27 years and I have always taught my clients the principles I used while decorating their home so they may enjoy decorating too. The home staging trend in residential real estate is a great way to reach more people every day and what I enjoy the most is they are learning the basics of good design through staging. It is my dream for every person to know the joy and pride of living in a decorated home.

Decorating Tip #9: The Custom Table Skirt!

The best look for staged bedroom lamp tables are instant tables with custom table skirts. They are easy to make and so much better than using sheets. No more lugging heavy lamp tables...who needs that headache! 

You can buy 3 legged round tables in 18" to 30" in diameter. I use the smaller sized tables for night stands. I use the 30" tables for sitting areas in master bedrooms in place of heavy dressers. They are also beautiful as a table in a family room or living room for any vignette setting. The legs unscrew and the table lays flat. (The chair cover in this photo is ugly so don't copy that unless your chair is uglier)

 

  custom table skirt with welt

Decorator fabric usually comes in 54" widths (2" of these inches are salvage edges). To make a custom table round, measure your tabletop plus drop plus drop. Here is a chart for your fabric:

The diagrams below are not drawn to scale... 

Table skirt for a 30" table with a 30" drop (no topper):

  • Solid fabric - 5 yards
  • Cut your fabric at 90" and then split the remaining fabric in half lengthwise

Round table skirt 2     

Sew the split fabric to the sides of the solid piece

    table skirt 4

  • Fold your fabric in half and then half again. The corner without edges is your center - mark it with chalk or a pin, then lay your fabric out flat
  • With a 45 inch string, put one end of the string at the center of the wrong side of the fabric and swing your string around in a circle marking your fabric with a chalk.
  • Cut fabric at the chalk line and now you have a 90 inch circle
  • Sew a half inch hem all the way around
  • to add trim such as fringe or a large welt you need 8.50 yards.
  • You can buy ready made 2" welt's in solid fabrics. Just stitch it on per instructions
  • For a 3" or 4" fringe, lay it on the edge with the bottom of the fringe hanging at the edge of the skirt and top stitch it on.

   cutlines

Table skirt for a 30" table with a 30" drop and square topper:

skirt with topper

  • Cut at 2 1/2 yards as seen above
  • Then sew them side by side seen below
skirt sewn
  • Then make your circle with chalk as shown before and cut at the chalk line. The seam will be down the middle of the table skirt but will be hidden with a 52 inch square topper.
  • To make a square topper - simply buy 54" of fabric at 54" width and hem.

For a 20 inch table with a 24 inch drop in a solid fabric - 3.8 yards - follow either of the cutting and sewing instructions above. The topper for a 20" table will be 36" square.

square table overlay

Now you have instructions how to make your own custom table skirts with toppers, your own headboards, instant beds

Next I will cover how to make your own folding partitions. Happy staging! 

 

Namaste

Comment balloon 39 commentsSheron Cardin • March 27 2007 11:57AM

Comments

Thanks Sheron...I have long wondered how to get this without folding under excess fabric. Now all I need is a course in becoming a seam-person (notice the politically correct version) Seamstress/ Seamster???
Posted by James Frazier (James Frazier Personal Development Coach) over 11 years ago
James - you can be a stitch-witchery person as well. It is a tape that you lay between the fabrics and it melts like glue. All you need are scissors and an iron. I am pretty sure you can handle that eh? Go for it!
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 11 years ago
Stitch witchery!  The only sewing I know how to do!  Thanks Sheron for the instructions.  Custom looks even better than the standard tablecloths from the store.
Posted by Judy Heinrich (Judy Heinrich Home Staging) over 11 years ago
Hi Judy - the instructions are exactly how professional workrooms make their table skirts except for the welt. They make their own welts but you need a lot of patience and it is much to much work for home staging. You can put these table skirts in million plus homes. You can use stitch witchery for the seams if you use the topper. The topper hides everything and you can makes those in a flash out of expensive fabric and used an inexpensive chintz or cotton as the skirt.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 11 years ago
Why didnt you post this- this weekend!  I needed it then!  smile!  I am printing this off and giving to my seamtress~!  LOL
Posted by Marci Toliver, Anderson SC, Spartanburg,Greenville SC, Home Staging (438-4642) over 11 years ago

OK, I am probably the only guy responding to this but I want to say that is great information as I am always sharing ideas with my Sellers on showing their property. Just one thing though....Wouldnt' the table look better if you had a framed photo of Al Gore on it..:)  (Just kidding, Just kidding)

Have a Great Day!

Posted by Robert McArtor, Top Listing Agent for Baltimore and Harford County (RE/MAX Components - Fallston Maryland) over 11 years ago
Hey Robert - what a great idea!!! How about a light bulb? BTW, you are the 2nd guy...Dr. Frazier was the first but keep you eyes open and jump on the next one :) Thanks for taking a peek.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 11 years ago
Marci - my bet is you will need plenty of tables and table skirts!
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 11 years ago

Thanks for the detailed instructions.  I am a pretty good seamster, seamstress, seamperson, but never really knew the best way to make those table covers.  I love those tables too as they can be taken apart and easily stored.  I also like Roberts idea for a picture of Al Gore on the table!  I may just do that at my next staging :-)

Terry Haugen - STAGE it RIGHT!

Posted by Terry Haugen STAGE it RIGHT! 321-956-2495 (Stage it Right!) over 11 years ago

This is a great look - custom!  In our area The Fabric Place is the place to get custom drapes and goodies like your table skirt!  Maybe we worked in the home dec dept together!  

Posted by Margaret Ann Innis, Real Estate Staging - MA & NH (Decorate To Sell - Merrimack Valley Real Estate Staging ) over 11 years ago

Al is going to wonder why this AR community blog thing keeps popping up in his Google alerts...maybe he will come over and join us? Give us more tips...

These table skirts always add so much to any room. You don't want them hanging on the floor or make them too short however. Try to use an actual table for your original dimensions and then you can just mass produce them in color ways. Even though it is tempting to use sheets or dining room tablecloths, the fabric is too thin. You will not get the luxury feel of high end homes.

Margaret - did you work in a decorating store?

Terry - I dare you! 

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 11 years ago

Sheron,

Thanks so much for the instructions.  I have been frequenting our local Hobby Lobby (great inexpensive source for designer fabrics) and have thought about making table skirts.  I can't wait to start creating!

Posted by Jo Potvin, Home Staging Cincinnati - Design To Market (Design To Market LLC) over 11 years ago
Have fun! Let us see what you come up with in colors and patterns. You know, of course, that if you use a print for the skirt, you have to allow for a pattern repeat. (fyi)
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 11 years ago
Good Evening Sheron! I'm just curious...is it better to just have a nice table that doesn't have a cover/ Also if the table isn't nice is it better to cover it with a nice cover as you show or just have no table at all?
Posted by Danny Smith (DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES) over 11 years ago

Hmmm, hi Danny...are you humoring me? I am going to answer your question anyway because it is a valid one...if you have a nice table, no need to change. The main purpose for table covers in staging is to replace bulky night stands next to beds. I have used these tables and table skirts in every model home I have ever decorated. If there is a large living room and a corner is vacant, then a 30" table with a skirt works beautifully to hold a large arrangement of flowers. If a table crowds a space then eliminate it. If a table serves no purpose then eliminate that one to. Have I answered your question? Thanks for stopping by. How does that martini taste?

 

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 11 years ago
I think this is just great and those table are so portable and yet can add just the right touch for an area.Thank you for sharing all this with AR.
Posted by Kathleen Lordbock, Keller Williams Realty Professionals (Keller Williams Realty Professionals) over 11 years ago

Helpful hint  number 23,648 from Sheron. Once again....

Do you have people that blog for you, or is this really you? Maybe you don't sleep at all?

Posted by Minnesota Home Staging Firm, Minnesota (Minnesota Home Staging Network~ MN's Top Home Staging Firm) over 11 years ago
Beth - didn't I tell you I am retired? I do what ever I want when I want and I want to blog in the rain...
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 11 years ago
Okay Sheron, now I have a head board and table cover to make!!!  Thank you I am going to do both projects!
Posted by Sandra Hughes, Redesigned Spaces - Fairfax County, Virginia (Redesigned Spaces - Northern Virginia) over 11 years ago
Sheron, I was being serious. I had a scholarship in Art and I'm not ignorant of design, colors, settings etc. I also realize the need and advantage of staging a home. But As a guy sometimes things like this table does not fit naturally in our minds. As a Realtor though I have to sell homes just like the Lady's and find these things let's say questionable sometimes.
Posted by Danny Smith (DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES) over 11 years ago
Ah, well Danny, I am very impressed and I like the fact that you want to know more about it so just come on over and ask anytime. You can send me a photo of a room and I can help your questionable areas anytime.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 11 years ago
Sheron, I love the look, thanks for the easy instructions. Or, I hope they're easy but I'll certainly let you know!  It looks SO much nicer with custom fabrics.  And I AM getting to the meme....honest :)
Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 11 years ago
Carol - as long as you buy fringe or a ready made welt...they are very easy to make. If you want to make the welt yourself, the difficult and time consuming part is turning it right side out and then pulling the 2" cord through it but if you can get the help to do it that way (I know you are going to be very busy with your new group "Feng Shiu Cafe) it is sooooo worth it.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 11 years ago

Sheron,

I love the look and I love YOURS!  I'm all thumbs when it comes to sewing...okay, the truth is that I have no patience for reading and following directions (e.g. patterns, etc) and let's face it - that's what sewing is about.

Can't I just commission YOU to make them for me?!! :)  I'll pay!!!

VAL

Posted by Val Allocco, HSE; ASHSR - Home Stager, for Manhattan, Brooklyn & Long Island (Staged 2 Sell New York & Long Island) over 11 years ago
I would do that for you all day long if I could. Find a local workroom...they will be happy to let you pay them ;)
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 11 years ago

I love these tables and thankfully my daughter has made not only the custom skirts, but she and her husband built their own table, which is now sitting in a bedroom I staged. I cannot sew to save my life so she does it ALL for me, hee, hee...a mother's payback time.

Great job Phyllis Pafumi

Posted by Phyllis Pafumi, ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ (ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey) over 11 years ago
I am so surprised how many stagers can't or don't sew...btw Phyllis...my mother used to do all my custom work for years. She is still fabricating my sisters clients pillows and table skirts.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 11 years ago

I'm a drapery seamstress and I personally would strongly advise against using fabric pieces at 90 degree angles to each other. Why? Fabric stretches differently (you will have a headache sewing a flat, unbunched table skirt, especially if lining it), and some solid fabrics have a sheen that is different when railroaded.

 

And there is a much easier way to outline a round table skirt, but I'm not sharing my professional secrets. :) 

Posted by Erin over 10 years ago
Thank you for the tips Erin. I couldn't agree with you more about sheen changing the look of a fabric and ruining a beginners threshold of patience. I have not, however, had any trouble with stretching issues and have never had the need to line my table skirts...but then again...never say never.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 10 years ago
Thanks for the tablecloth instruction, it looks easy. Can you tell me where to get the 30inch tables? i've been everywhere and can't find one.
Posted by Donna Purvis over 10 years ago
Thanks for the helpful information.  I will bookmark this post.
Posted by Wanda Richards, ABR, ASP (Long & Foster Real Estate ) over 10 years ago

Great post, Sheron.  I too am going to bookmark this.

Kathy

Posted by Kathy Nielsen, Atlanta Georgia Home Stager (http://atlantahomestaging.net) over 10 years ago

Hi Donna - I used to get the 30 inch tables where I bought the 18 inch lamp tables (standard size) at fabric stores.

Wanda and Kathy - these table skirts really are easy to make...just watch your pattern repeats if you have any. I like to keep it simple and put the pattern on the overlay piece by just squaring off a full width and using a solid for the underlay skirt.

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 10 years ago

Donna -

If you are still looking for 30 inch tables we offer custom round decorator tables in 30 inch diameters, and also 18 inch diameters up to 40 inch diameters. 

Each table is handcut to the height you request as well. These aren't your typical particle board tables, they're made from birch plywood.

Hope it helps + again great article Sheron.

Posted by Ready to Cover about 10 years ago

You are just soo handy missy.  Great , want to make them and sell them on StagersLIST???  We got space for you???   Nice tutorial, as always.  Good to see you here. 

Posted by Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc. (Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com) about 10 years ago

Ryan - I promise I will make you the most fabulous skirt and topper for your round tables! FYI; Ready to Cover tables have storage under the skirts. It doesn't get better than that for a stager. Visit their site and order them. You can get as specific as you want. Ready to Cover

Terrylynn - you dont miis a thing girlfriend! It's scary...thank you for all you do!

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 10 years ago

Your instuctions are great!  I am making a silk tableskirt with a welt and lining it.  I am making the welt myself.  I was puzzled about the comment about the difficulty of pulling throught the welt.  Do I sew on the welt, then the lining and then turn inside out?  As for the welt, don't I cover with bias fabric, and then attach to the bottom of the skirt, before sewing on the lining?  Thanks for your help!

Posted by Sherry Santoro almost 10 years ago

Hi Sherry - sorry I missed your question and since it has been so long since you asked about the welt, you may have already resolved it yourself.

You can buy different welt sizes and I have always used the largest I can find at 1" to 1 1/2 " in diameter.

You want to cut your fabric on the diagonal. Using the welt rope as a template, wrap your fabric around and measure where the fabric will meet...this is your stitching line but be sure you add 1/4" to 1/2" allowance. Sew the srong sides of the fabric together.

Once you have sewn your seam, with a safety pin attached to the end of your cotton rope, pull it through. Finish off and attach the welt to the skirt hem.

If you want a shirred welt then double the lenght of your fabric. Feel free to email me the next time.

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 9 years ago

These are exactly the tables I'm looking for and I've been trying to find them everywhere... If you could tell me where to buy them, that would be awesome!

Posted by Lori about 8 years ago

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