4 Clever Recycling Projects Using Vinyl Tablecloths

The table is set with the dishes, napkins, and silverware. Then it happens. One hot item touches a small area melting the tablecloth. It’s useless now, or is it? Here are 4 clever projects that turn your ruined tablecloth into useful items.

Place Mats and Pet Food Mats

Cut around any damaged area of the tablecloth for all projects.

Cut rectangles that are any size you like. 13″ x 17″ is an average size for a place mat. Cut as many pieces as you need. Sew a 1/2″ hem around all edges. Fabric glue or a hot glue gun may be used instead. For a frilly touch, sew lace to the underside on one edge or all four.

Finished mats may be used under your dinner plates or any size or shape may be used under pet food and water dishes as well.

Car Seat/Booster Seat Liner

Spills happen. Cereal, juice, melted things, and other liquids manage to make their way out of little hands and all over the seat. Cut mats that are 6″-8′ inches longer and wider that the base of the car seat. Hem or trim the edges as desired. Place the mat on the seat and properly install the car seat or booster seat on top of it. Mats may be machine washed and line dried or discarded as needed.


Measure a rectangle about 10″ x 12″. Cut out a 4″ half circle from the center of one side for the neck opening. Fold up two inches from bottom and sew down the sides. Leave the top open to create a pouch to catch falling bits of food. Sew a 1/2″ hem around the sides and top. Cut a strip about 20″ long to tie around the neck. Find the middle of the strip and pin to the center of bid. Then sew.
Make several to keep at home, in the car, or just to have while on the go.

Reusable Tote Bag

Make a bag that can be used for a picnic, pool, beach, or shopping bag. Cut two rectangles that are 16″ x 34″. Sew wrong sides together. Fold in half and sew a 1/2″ hem down both sides leaving the top open.

Turn down the top 2″ and sew to make thicker hem to attach the handles.

Squarely box the corners by turning the bag inside out. Open the bag, fold and center the seam, then sew a 5″ line perpendicular to the seam. This will be the finished width of the bag. Repeat on the other corner and turn right-side out.

The corner can be boxed from the outside, folded up, and attached with a fun button, rhinestone, or bow for a decorative finishing touch.

For the handles, cut 2 pieces 4″ x 26″. Sew right sides together and turn inside out. Place ends 5″ inches apart. Pin and sew one handle on each side of the bag.

These 4 projects are a fun and easy way to recycle your old vinyl tablecloths!