Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fitted Buffet Table Cloth

Introducing my first item for sale on my Etsy shop!  I have wanted to do something like this for a long time, but I have pushed it aside.  There are always too many other things to do.  This idea came about last summer.  Here in Oakley we joke about the 11 am wind that comes up the valley, the 1 pm wind, and then the 4 pm wind that goes back the other way.  I am not kidding.  This is without fail.  We love to spend time outside in the summer.  Can you blame us when there is a 6 month winter?  Anyway, one afternoon we were grilling outside on the BBQer.  I had pieced together some table cloths, because they were not long enough to cover our buffet table, and then I had placed every condiment, plate, pitcher, etc. on top so that, hopefully, the table cloths would not blow to who knows where!  I decided this was too much work. 

In light conversation with my husband, I said that we needed an outdoor table cloth that would do its job.  We created the ideal one as we talked.  Later the thought didn't go away.  I determined to make this one a reality. My mother-in-law offered 2 pieces of heavy outdoor fabric she had picked up a year or two ago with the intention to make some decorative pillows for her patio, but had never gotten around to it.

The ideal table cloth, I thought, needed to STAY ON the table even with the wind blowing; NOT look like it was PIECED TOGETHER; be MACHINE WASHABLE and hand wipeable; and be very FUNCTIONAL. I was tired of trying to find the napkins, plates, and silverware among the menagerie of food dishes.  And, our table cloths weren't the only things blowing away (plates, napkins.....), so I decided to sew pockets on the ends to hold the napkins, silverware and cups.  I just had a startling revelation.  I should make one end have a larger pocket for plates (duh)!. 

Anyway, the mad creative scientist came out.  At first I made a simple cloth from the exact dimensions of our buffet table and card table (I made 2 matching cloths). These had pockets on the sides, a 6" overhang on all sides, and ribbon ties.  Basically what you see above.  We put these on and I felt pretty good.  They looked great.  My napkins and silverware were easy to find. They stayed on better than the others, but when the wind REALLY picked up, off they went.  So, not one to get discouraged, I thought, "I need something to tie these down."  That is exactly what I did!  I attached wide ribbons to both ends of the bottom of the tablecloths and sewed velcro to these.  When I put the table cloths on and secured the ribbons below, it was a perfect solution!

I loved them so much that I left the tablecloths on ALL summer.  I wiped them off with a clean rag when they were not in need of a wash.  The colors held up, and I was in heaven.

One night late in the summer my husband said, "You should sell these."  Thus the idea was born.  I made and donated 2 to the local youth football organization.  One is for their concession condiments and is a smaller buffet table.  The other one is a standard buffet table they use for their coach/team/referee check-in area.  They put pencils, calculators, etc. in the pockets.  I made these in the teams' colors and put their initials on the front. 

I have since realized that these would be great for catering, weddings, events, parties, etc.  If you'd like one, you can visit my Etsy shop and pick one up.  You can order one that is already finished, or you can order a customized one (color choice, print style and size).  These aren't just for outdoors.  They can be used inside as well.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!