14 August 2013

Covering a Card Table

As I've been clearing out inventory in my storage unit, I've been coming across all sorts of things I forgot I owned, like this adorable child's card table. Sweet little vintage piece, and just the perfect thing when the two little ones come to visit.

folding card table
vintage card table
Such a fun piece, I couldn't wait to give it a fresh look. It went from dingy + worn to fresh + new in a matter of 30 minutes.

card table cover

Isn't it so cute? I considered painting the base as well, but I like how the original color matches up to the new fabric. So I sealed it instead with a clear spray enamel before I recoverd the top. Sealing it protects the little ones from harm while allowing me to enjoy its vintage patina.

vinyl covered cloth

I ordered a piece of oilcloth (vinyl covered cloth) from Laminated on Etsy. It goes by the name "Algae" if you're curious. She was so very kind and let me special order this small piece from a remnant she had.

*As a note, it came folded, but they do not recommend ironing oilcloth. Instead, lay your cloth flat out in the sun for an hour or so and this will remove the creases. It worked divinely!

removing a card table base

On the back of your table you'll find something like this holding the top to the base.

removing a card table top from base

Simply release them so the top can be unattached.

covering a card table cloth

Next, get out your handy staple gun and be prepared to staple your way to instant happiness!

I used 5/8" staples and I had a couple of staples come through. Nothing too drastic; but I recommend you check the thickness of your board before determining which size staples to use.

staple gun for recovering a table

Start by stapling one side directly in its center point. Next, go to the opposite side, pull your fabric taut, and again staple in the center. Do this on the other two sides so that all four centers are stapled.

After that, staple one side completely, go to the opposite side and do the same - being sure to pull your fabric taut but not so much so that it distorts the fabric's print. (Oilcloth is a bit stretchier than regular fabric, so pull with slight caution.)

Save the four corners for last.

Lastly, pleat the corners, staple, then trim off any excess fabric. For my pleat, I simply used the pattern of the original cloth as my guide.

how to pleat a fabric corner

And here she is! Fresh + modern without being overly cute. The perfect pattern will give the girls to get many years of use from this table.

card table tablecloths

Tea is a must when the girls come to visit.

how to cover a card table

This little set was their mother's when she was their age. I remember the years of tea parties I attended with her and her sister. As much as I dislike plastic toys, I couldn't bear to toss this set - just too many memories!

vintage child's tea set

The cups used to turn colors when warm "tea" was inside. And when you put "jam" on the crackers, they would turn the color of grapes. This set no longer turns colors, but no matter.

how to recover a card table



  1. Well! That's pretty inspiring and it seems do-able enough! Thanks for the idea.

  2. LOVE that you kept the chippy base :) And now I feel I can do this! Stop by our Wonderful Wednesdays linky party, this is a great one to post! here is the link, see you there!

  3. How would you work with the glued on fabric/vinyl that would have been on the matching chair backs? The chair seats would be just like the table top, but the glued on part of the chair back seems to be harder to figure out. Is there a product that can get the old dried glue off? Then would you glue on more of similar material? Would you consider powder coating the pieces? I am not sure that I like the patina. Mine table and chairs is identical to this one, only with red vinyl. Thanks for any comments.

    1. jo, i'm not sure about the chairs since i haven't had experience with them. one possible alternative might be to attach new fabric over the old with fabric glue and perhaps use a decorative ric rac to hide the seams. As far as the base, i would simply spray paint with a paint made for metal then seal with a clear enamel for added protection. of course, a professional powder coat is ideal, but very costly. you would need to compare the expense to the value of your piece. if it were a family piece that i wanted to keep, that might be a consideration.

  4. Oh this is soooo CUTE!!!



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