Table Linen Styling Tips

Read through for everyday tips, party tips and read to the end for a tried and tested wedding decor tip.

Here are more than 15 styling tips for using table linen as a statement piece or to enhance the decor. Of course there are tips here for events such as weddings; 21st Birthday Celebrations; Outdoor Table Dressing and more. Also included are the style faux pas not to make.

Table Linen adds a touch of class and there are many ways that you can style your table linen.

First are some top tips for all table linen dressing:

1. I always use a table cloth on my dining table, it adds a layer of protection to the wood or glass underneath and I just don’t feel the dining table is dressed without one. When I use a large rectangular table cloth on my round table, I use it carefully doubled over with all the seams aligned to make it small enough.

2. When dressing a rectangular table always make sure that the overhang is even at both ends. In fact the overhang should also be even along the long sides, unless the back is against a wall and not seen.

3. For the ultimate in style table cloths should be white or cream. Not only is that the highly sophisticated choice, but it also means that there is no need to match up with the colour when you redecorate.

4. For a sophisticated dinner party cloth napkins are essential and they should be white, cream or embroidered antique. Linen, cotton or polycotton are fine, but please not paper and certainly not ever kitchen roll.

5. A simply folded napkin placed in a ring or tied with lace or velvet is a timesaving easy touch of class. Otherwise, just a simple triangle shape is advisable.

6. Double up on table cloths for a quick way to add something a bit special, simply have the larger one at the bottom and the smaller one on top, then either carefully ensure that the gap is the same all the way around or have them at right angles to each other so that there are eight corners hanging down. Alternatively a round table cloth on a square or rectangular table works very well over a larger table cloth.

7. When using a single table cloth on a square table don’t try and match the corners or the table cloth up with the table, have the corners of a square table cloth hanging centrally along each edge.

8. For lunch or when the table is not in use, always have a vase of fresh flowers centrally placed.

9. For dinner candlesticks or candelabra with candles make a statement.



10. A Party Buffet table is only dressed when it is clothed up. If your table cloths are not long enough, use more than one with a small overlap and careful lining up for a seamless look.

11. Tape on the corners takes care of too much bulk and is an easy way to streamline a home function table. *see video on how professionals dress a table below.

12. For special events outdoors, such as parties, wedding receptions and so on, it is essential to dress the table with a cloth and the cloth with weights to keep everything in place and these should all be color-matched to the table cloth if you are using Pushp Linen table cloths with color stripe accents.

13. For a girly party the white table cloth can be sprinkled with glitter or unicorn shapes. For a boy use a dark triple border (from the Pushp Linen range) and decorate with a favourite superhero or with car silhouettes. This can be done by using a simple template and cutting out little models on coloured paper.

14. For a beach themed party or a party near the beach use washed stones on the corners to keep the table cloth in place and arrange a few in a pile as a centrepiece instead of flowers.

15. Plates with a single coloured band that matches the table cloth coloured band is an added touch of subtle decor, that guests will appreciate.

Never Do:

1. Table runners are naff and are out!

2. Square plates are so last century, classic round that can be antique or antique style plates are in. Or for a modern home those with a single coloured band give a nice contemporary style.

3. Never use candles during the day.

Wedding Tables:

1. Always White:

The happy couple will always decide on the color scheme for their wedding. However, the great news is that white is not only the sophisticated choice but is also the best base color for wedding receptions.

2. Flower Power:

Utilise plain white table linen and dress the tables with fresh flowers using the required color scheme. Another fabulous touch is to sprinkle the tables generously with rose petals.


3. Swag it up:

Some like swags on the tables and these are easy to do with the help of a staple gun and a suitably colored cloth. Simply gather the top cloth into the shapes you want and staple to hold.

4. Rose Effect:

Another DIY way to create swags is to have a contrasting table cloth or even a flat sheet and secure it either end using double sided tape or sellotape looped over to make it sticky both sides. Then add a weight to ensure that those two ends stay in place. Take up the centre of the cloth and pull it through your hand into a rose shape. Secure with a large elastic band and wrap some same or contrasting color ribbon around the “flower”.

Check that the flower decoration is central and check that the ends are not pulled off of the tape or out of shape. Reinforce at the back with more tape if required. This method can also be utilized as a double swag and two flowers if the table is shorter and the cloth suitably long.

5. Buy it Made:

Of course, it is also possible to buy easy fit swag kits that come with clips and ready shaped table linen swags.


Lyn Ddg is a writer currently based in United Kingdom. Freelance writer on a number of subjects including medical, sales, hospitality, music, equine, canine and manufacturing having a genuine flair for and love of writing, I enjoy etymology, neologisms and research. I also proofread and edit fiction and non-fiction. I love Yoga, Pilates, architecture and my pets! Various qualifications including aromatherapy, flower remedies, herbalism, angel messages, crystal therapies, card reader and florist.