Choosing the Perfect Tablecloth

A guide for calculating the right size tablecloth for every table shape and size. Choosing the perfect tablecloth is easy! Every meal deserves a pretty tablecloth, and choosing one is fun. I’m sharing a few guidelines on sizes to help you figure out what size cloth to buy for your favorite tables today.

{ and in the meantime showing off some of our beautiful spring linens! }


Choosing the Perfect Tablecloth

My love for tablecloths goes back to my childhood in Europe. We lived in a three story grand home with my grandparents, and grandmama set her table for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a variety of tablecloths and napkins. Each and every day.  That she had live in help as well as a “daily” probably made this easy for her, she didn’t wash nor iron them herself.  Hers were of the heavy linen and silk damask variety, these days we are so lucky with wash and smooth linens! A table set with a pretty cloth is charming, and a lovely way to add to memories of lunches, dinners and teas with people you love.

If you’re on the hunt for new linens to add to your own collection, It’s important to know which size to purchase, which of course more often than not depends on the size and shape of your table.

Choosing the Perfect Tablecloth

How to Know What Size Tablecloth You Need


Depending on the size and shape of your table, I’ll give you a chart that works perfectly below. If you want a certain length of ‘drop’ {the part of the tablecloth that hangs over the sides of your table} you’ll have to add that in. A drop is usually about 8″ off the side of the table, all the way to floor length.

When your  drop is too short, your cloth will look a little wonky and out of proportion with your table, or show off part of the table you don’t want to see. If using plastic folding tables for a larger party, it’s nice to have the cloth be a little longer to hide those legs! If you bought an antique French table that has legs you WANT to show off, then the 8 ” is fabulous, and that also allows guests to tuck their chairs under the table easier.

Of course, you know me. There are no fast and furious rules about this, setting a pretty table should be creative and fun! In a pinch, {or just for fun!} you can layer two tablecloths over each other. At times I’ve even used sheets for the under-layer.

Pink floral cloth
Choosing the Perfect Tablecloth


Calculator for your Tablecloth Size


This is the ‘formal’ calculation for measuring your tablecloth sizes. If your table is square, rectangular, or oval – double the length of the drop and add that number to the width of the table {that’s your tablecloth width} and then add the same number to the length of the table {for your tablecloth length.}

For round tables,  you add the diameter of the table and double the drop length for the ideal tablecloth size.


Or, if you are like me, just use this handy dandy chart!

Choosing the Perfect Tablecloth

I hope you take a peek at our new selection of bright, colorful tablecloths in a variety of sizes. Each one is sure to make for a memorable meal with people you love gathered around your table. These are selling out fast, so if you see one you can’t live without grab it now. Our shipping team will return from their Easter holiday and will be refreshed and ready to ship to you on Tuesday, April 18th.

Charming French garden tablecloth

French country floral spring tablecloth

Choosing the Perfect Tablecloth

I hope you thought this little guide for Choosing the Perfect Tablecloth was helpful!



Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and above all uniquely yours. Visit our shop

12 thoughts on “Choosing the Perfect Tablecloth”

  1. Barbara Klyce

    Loved the necklace I purchased from you!
    Barbara Klyce

  2. Thank you so much Barbara! I hope you wear it happily many, many times! I’m sure it looks beautiful on you!

  3. Alice Genzlinger

    What a gift. Have often needed this guide. But as usual I just winged it and sometimes had to return the cloth or to use it on a different table. Thanks again for a very informative post.

  4. Mary Anna Bailer

    Thanks, Lidy! I needed this …. badly! And that pink tablecloth ….. wow!

  5. Linda Hovgaard

    Gorgeous tableclothes! You had a post in the past (that I just stumbled on) that featured a white, purple and green tablecloth. It had florals and what looked like hot air balloons on it. I do not see it on your website for sale but I was hoping you could order more so I could purchase one from you. If not I was hoping you had a contact for me. Thank you Lidy for keeping us in touch with beautiful French decor!

  6. Marion

    Al of your tablecloths are beautiful. Couldn’t choose a favorite.

  7. Sharon Crigger-Stokan

    Thank you for the tablecloth guide! As always you are so kind and helpful in making our lives easier! I’ve saved it to my Pinterest. All of the tablecloths in this post are just so beautiful!

  8. Linda, I’m so sorry! That French tablecloth is no longer being made or available, I hate when the manufacturer just stops beautiful designs!!

  9. LIdy, I have a wonderful collection of linens which I love to use, especially alfresco. Our dining room table is oval, so not as easy for using a cloth. I also love the natural wood and often just use a runner down the middle or place mats at each place setting. Linen napkins are a given. I decided early in nesting days that I would only use linen and cloth napkins, except for cocktails when I have a larger group. I always use linen cocktail napkins for dinner guests.
    Thanks for sharing this post complete with helpful chart.

  10. Stephanie Cooley

    I have a one-hundred-year-old armoire filled with tablecloths and napkins that were used by my mother and each of my grandmothers. My favorites are the white damask cloth/napkins my mother would use every Christmas, and a gold set used for the fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration of my paternal grandparents. Memories of those occasions somehow make their use so special.

  11. Linda Hovgaard

    In regards to finding the purple, green and white French tablecloth….no worries Lidy. Thank you for letting me know it is no longer available. Yes it is sad when they discontinue something so beautiful. Maybe they will bring it back again someday. In the meantime I enjoy all the other beautiful French decor you bring to our table.

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