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Upcycling Project - Tablecloth into a blind

This project is written in association with Argos, who sell a range of venetian blinds and black out roller blinds.  However knowing that us stitchers like to be creative they challenged us to turn one of their other products into a blind.   I called on the queen of upcycling, Jenni Taylor from series 2 of The Great British Sewing Bee and she has written up a full guide below to how she turned a tablecloth into a blind.

Upcycling project from Jeni Taylor - Tablecloth to blind


For this challenge I decided to use the lovely Allium Table Set from Argos. The set included a tablecloth (L228cm, W178cm), runner and napkins. The table set matched my oriental dinner set perfectly with it’s monochrome printed flower head and black edges.

As I like things to match, in true #sewingrevoultion style I decided to transform and upcycle the tablecloth into a matching blind for the kitchen.  If you want to make a blind to match your kitchen decor or have an old unused tablecloth you want to put to use follow the simple instructions below.

You will need:
Allium tablecloth, runner and napkin set from Argos
1 table cloth
Matching thread
Basic sewing kit (sewing machine, scissors, pins etc)
A decorative curtain rod with finials (11mm diameter which should include fixings and instructions)
Wooden Lath or stripwood 3cm shorter than the finished width of your blind (4mm thick)
Nylon cord 4 times the length of your blind
7mm eyelets with washers (a pack of 20 will be more than enough)
2 acorn blind pull’s
2 large buttons


Firstly measure your window recess or the wall area around your window depending on how you want it to look. My window is 120cm by 120cm. You will need to add 10cm for side seams and overlap. Add 20 cm to the drop or length of the window. This is for the rod and lath castings.

Measuring fabric to make a blind


Taking your tablecloth measure out your blind and mark with tailors chalk. Working on the floor will make this part easier. Before cutting out think about the pattern of your tablecloth, is the pattern in the centre and in line? My table cloth has an off centred print therefore I want to make sure that it still balances before I cut this out. When you are happy with your marked outline cut out the blind.

Hemming blinds


Fold over your side seam by approximately 1 cm and press. Fold over again, press, pin and stitch giving you a double hem along both side seams.

How to make your own blind

Take the bottom of your tablecloth which already has a hem fold over ensuring it is big enough to cover your wooden lath or stripwood. Pin in place, remove the lath and stitch in place. The weight of the lath will make sure your blind hangs properly.

How to turn a table cloth into a blind

Taking the top of your tablecloth measure and mark 10 cm down. Fold the fabric over at this mark and press the full width to give you a straight crease line. Taking the raw edge again fold over approximately 1cm the full width of the tablecloth and press. Bring this folded edge to your marked crease line and pin in place. Stitch to create your rod casing.

Making blinds with eyelets

Now to mark where your eyelet washers will be placed. Right sides together, folding your fabric in half length ways once, press and then twice to give you a quarter mark and press. This will give you a soft pleat when the cords are drawn up the blind. At the quarter crease mark is where your eyelet washers will be positioned.

Learn how to make your own blinds

The distance between the washers will determine how deep you want your pleats. The closer you are the smaller the pleat. I have used a 20cm distance for my pleats. Starting at the bottom hem, place your tape measure along the quarter crease and mark at your desired intervals until you reach the top hem.

So that both sides match, keep the fabric folded in half. Place a pin through the marked spot so it comes out the other side. Turn over fabric and mark where the pins are. All marks should be on the wrong side of the fabric.

Upcycling sewing project from Jenniffer Taylor

Taking your eyelet washers, we are going to use these as the guides for your blind cord. Hand sew the eyelet washers in place at the marked intervals.

Sewing a blind with eyelets


Do not sew a eyelet washer to the top mark as we are going to punch the eyelet to the fabric so that we can pull the blind cord through the eyelet to the other side. Use the packet instructions to do this.

Kitchen blinds project

Thread your blind cord from the front to the back of the blind and then through all the eyelet washers to the bottom hem. Repeat on the other cord. Your cord should be double the length of your blind.

Sewing blinds with cords

Unpick a little of the bottom hem at the quarter point and thread your nylon cord into the hem. Re-stitch over this point several times to secure in place. Repeat with the other cord.

upcycling projects

With the front of the blind facing you, thread a button onto the cord. The button will act as a stopper to adjust your blind length. Repeat with the other cord.  Now add your acorn blind pull’s to both of your cord ends, ensuring that your acorns hang in line with your hem. Knot securely and trim.

Tutorial for making a blind

Insert your Wooden Lath to the bottom hem and your decorative rod to the top hem. Install your blind to the wall or window as your decorative rod instructions will advise.

Customise your blinds with embroidery


To go that extra step, why not try some additional detail to the napkins and the blind by adding some simple embroidery stitches. I chose to use a matching coloured thread to link in my coloured buttons to give it that personal and unique touch.

Refashion an old tablecloth into a blind

Upcycling sewing project from Jenniffer Taylor
Let me know how you get on by taking a photo and posting on twitter with #sewingrevolution. I’ll be looking out for you.

Follow Jenni @jennibobtaylor or visit

Jenni is a self taught seamstress who appeared in Series 2 of The Great British Sewing Bee.  She now teaches upcycling workshops in various locations.  You can find details of her forthcoming workshops here.