Vinyl Tablecloth Picks for Easy Cleanup of Homeschool Crafts Without Sacrificing Style

Today I present to you, courtesy of COVID-19, a roundup I never thought would be relevant in my life, yet one I imagine I’m not the only one needing…

…brace yourselves…

sunflower vinyl tablecloth in dining room with black shaker chairs

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…a curated selection of vinyl tablecloths that are good enough to leave out as long you need to without hating your dining room! Because you’re homeschooling and sometimes don’t have the mental or physical energy to scrub glue and glitter off of your furniture before it ruins your formal table.

Let’s just say vinyl tablecloths up there on the list of things I sanctimoniously thought I’d never buy before I had kids.

Like crocs (for my children, not me. I’m not there yet). Or a Nose Frida (don’t click it if you’re not in the infant parenting stage of life). Or a leash for my children – KIDDING, but I no longer judge parents who use them. Most of the time, anyway.

I mentioned in my last post that our office/craft room is now a dedicated home office for my husband, so we’ve moved our craft time into our formal dining room. And I’m simply a better, happier mom when I’m not stressed about cleanup.

And so began the great vinyl tablecloth search of 2020 in our household.

Though I cringed as I pushed the search button on Amazon, I was actually very pleasantly surprised.

Convenience and design are finally converging on some practical staples. The humble vinyl tablecloth is one of the lucky basics that have come a longgg way since my childhood.

There are lots of classic ginghams, checks and plaids to be had. I particularly love the edging that makes some of the picks I have for you below more passable as a daily table covering. Faux lace trims and scalloped edges really take some of these to an acceptable, if not somewhat charming level.

I decided for our first purchase to go with a cheery sunflower print (number 15 on the colorful roundup below) that feels good for a transition into Fall, and adds both literal and metaphoric brightness to the dark table in our fairly restrained dining room that I haven’t done much with yet.

sunflower tablecloth in gray dining room cross in window with grids

I did do a quick pass in the dryer with a damp napkin and got the creases from shipping out, but the wrinkles are clearly still a problem. I’m hoping a second pass will do the trick if I’m a little faster – our table is very long, so it’s tricky to get it from the dryer onto the table and smoothed quickly enough. If you have any tips, I’d be grateful!

Our table is a sort-of-rustic, highly textured wooden table (the retired Arcadia from World Market) with abundant nooks and crannies for beads with glue residue to sink into, nestle down for winter and inevitably lay dormant only to later be mistaken for candy by our toddler. This makes it a really inferior table for wipeability, writing and drawing, so I’ve been using my favorite mom-hack for corralling projects: baking half sheets as craft trays.

vinyl tray craft trick vinyl tablecloth
half sheet | metal scissors | scalloped scissors | sunflower tablecloth | mason jar | paint brushes

Classic Vinyl Tablecloth Roundups

Without further ado, here’s a selection of vinyl tablecloths I came across in my exhaustive search for presentable craft surfaces, some with the unmistakable sheen of plastic coating, others more subtle, but all with the peace of mind of an easily wipeable craft surface.

neutral classic vinyl tablecloths roundup

1. Polka Dots | 2. Tan Gingham | 3. Cream Windowpane | 4. Peach Lace | 5. Brown Buffalo | 6. Scalloped Floral Tonal | 7. Gray Vines | 8. Black Windowpane Check | 9. White Windowpane Check | 10. Tan Medallions | 11. Cream

colorful classic vinyl tablecloths roundup

1. Botanical Wildflower | 2. Sage Basketweave | 3. Rose Chintz | 4. Green Grid Check | 5. Green Olive | 6. Lemons | 7. Vine Bordered Green Gingham| 8. Blue Windowpane Check | 9. Blue Rose Chintz | 10. Blue Buffalo Plaid | 11. Red Poppies | 12. Blue Basketweave | 13. Lemon Stripe | 14. Lace Trim Plaid | 15. Sunflower | 16. Yellow Olive | 17. Strawberry Garden

C’est tout for today. I hope you’re hanging in there, and maybe this help picking a vinyl tablecloth helps you craft a little less stressfully. Stay safe, and have fun with your projects!

– Maura

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