By Diane Ellis
We're all cutting back our spending to just the necessities, but that doesn't mean your house has to be boring and uninviting this Halloween, with these cheap and simple to make home decorations.
Below I give you instructions for making a Halloween tablecloth and trick or treat bags with pumpkin face cut outs and the word "BOO", but use your imagination – the templates can be used on all sorts of things, like cushion covers, curtains, placemats, napkins – the list is endless!
Fabrics and Notions
For the tablecloth, first you need to measure the length and width of your table. If you have a table that extends, extend it first before measuring. You then need to add on an allowance for draping over the side.
Now this is a purely personal preference. Some people like tablecloths that drape almost to the floor, other like theirs much shorter. My general rule of thumb is to add on the amount of the drop to your chair seat.
You measure that by placing the top of your measuring tape level with the top of your table, and then measure down until you hit the seat of the chair. For me, it’s 10½” (or 27cm).
Now don’t forget, you need to add that on for each side, plus a seam allowance. Although a normal seam allowance is 5/8", I usually allow for a larger seam for a tablecloth as we are going to machine stitch it. I always allow ¾".
So, if your table is 5ft by 4ft then you’ll need:
Length: 60” PLUS 21” (drop at each end) PLUS 1½“ (2 seam allowances) – 82½”
Width: 48” PLUS 21” (drop at each end) PLUS 1½“ (2 seam allowances) – 70½”
Or, in metric
Length: 160cm PLUS 54cm (drop at each end) PLUS 4cm (2 seam allowances) – 218cm
Width: 122cm PLUS 54cm (drop at each end) PLUS 4cm (2 seam allowances) – 180cm
For each trick or treat bag, you will need 2 pieces of fabric 10" by 12" (or 26cm by 31cm). So if you have 3 children, you'll need 30" by 24" (or 78cm by 62cm).
You'll also need some drawstring for the trick or treat bags – say 30" (or 76cm) per bag.
As it's Halloween, try to find a nice bright orange fabric for the tablecloth and bags and black for the cut outs! Or you could go gothic, and buy black (but make sure your cut outs are then in bright orange or white).
The Cut Outs
For the cut outs, the amount of fabric depends on how many you want to place on your tablecloth. Each pumpkin cut out measures 7" by 7½" (17cm by 19cm) – so if you want to put 8 pumpkins on your tablecloth, you'll need 28" by 15" (or 68cm by 38cm). The BOO cut outs measure 2" by 5½" (13½cm by 5cm) so if you want to put 16 BOOs on your tablecloth you'll need 22" by 8" (or 54cm by 20cm). And I'd recommend one pumpkin and one BOO for each side of the bag. Or you could just buy a yard of fabric and cut out as many as you can!
To download the cutouts, just click on the links below and choose Save Target As:
To Make up
Mark out your tablecloth using tailors chalk or pins, and cut out. Mark out the rectangles for your trick or treat bags and cut out.
Now pin a ¾" hem around the entire border of your tablecloth and sew.
Place the two pieces of bag with right sides together, and pin the two side seams and the bottom. Sew around in one continuous line. Now turn over half an inch on the top and sew. (Note: if you plan to machine stitch the Halloween cut outs on, then do these before doing the side seams). We now need to turn over the sewn top hem another inch – make sure to leave enough room for the drawstring to be threaded through. Sew in place, but remember to leave a small opening to thread through the drawstring. Thread through and knot each end to secure.
Now pin and cut out the number of Halloween cut outs that you need.
These can be attached a number of ways – with iron on hemming tape, craft glue suitable for fabrics, hand stitching, or machine stitching.
So that's it – two very simple, but cheap, Halloween decorations to brighten up your home.
Diane Ellis is the owner of www.Sewing4Dummies.com. Learn more about her on our About Us page.
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