Introduction: Waterproof Fitted Tablecloth
With our first baby due in a few months, we discovered we are short on things that babies need. We picked up a used crib for a good price, then decided to convert the Air Traffic Control Training Table into a changing table. The table is about the right height, and by covering it, we can keep it nice until she's old enough to start learning how to work a pattern.
Step 1: Materials
In addition to a sewing machine, I used a purchased waterproof mattress cover and some elastic. If you have material laying around (like an old bedsheet that you'd like to resize), that would work as a fitted tablecloth, but may not be waterproof.
I considered harvesting elastic from old pairs of shorts, but I think they would have been too worn out to be useful.
Step 2: Size the Sheet
The first thing to do is size the sheet to your table, and mark the corners for sewing.
Lay the sheet on the table with the edges of the fabric hanging over the edges of the table. In my case the sheet was just about the right length, but you may need to cut yours to fit. This ended up being about 3 inches over each edge, but 4 would have probably been better.
The top of the fabric here will become the inside of the tablecloth at the end.
Mark the corners as shown in the pictures below. Basically, just draw lines where the table edge would have gone, had it gone all the way to the edge of the cloth.
Leaving a 1/2 inch or so for sewing, cut off the corner square. In retrospect, you could probably save the cutting until after you sew, but I get scissor-happy.
Step 3: Sew the Corners
Next, we'll sew the corners, to make a box-like tablecloth.
Fold a corner so the lines you drew are now back-to-back. That lines you drew represent where the table will be, so you'll sew up the corners just outside of that line.
Trim excess fabric after sewing, and repeat for the other corners.
You could even stop after this step if you like, the tablecloth stayed pretty stable with just the boxed corners. The elastic adds a nice touch, though, and will stay on even if a strong breeze breaks through the room.
Step 4: Add the Elastic
To really make this sheet hug the table, we need to add the elastic.
Cut 4 pieces of elastic (I used the 1/4 inch variety). They should be about 6-10 inches long. I tried 6 inches, but I think a little longer would have been better.
Take a piece of the cut elastic, and fold it in half. Mark the crease, so you know where the middle of the elastic is. Using your sewing machine, sew the middle of the elastic onto one of our marked lines, close to the edge of the cloth.
Then, pull one end of the elastic as far as it will reach along the edge of the fabric, and sew. I used a close zig-zag stitch, which seemed to work okay.
Flip the fabric around and do the same for the other end of the elastic, along the edge of the fabric going the opposite way. Repeat for the other corners.
Step 5: Finished!
Once you get through the next few corners, that's it! Place it on your table, and feel free to turn on the nearest industrial-sized fan.
The baby changing table is now ready. Now I just have to figure out how to be a dad...