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How to Keep Your Tablecloths From Blowing Off the Table

Kathy Adams

An outdoor meal, whether at the park, the beach or your own backyard, gives you a novel way to entertain or enjoy some fresh air with family and friends. While a breeze may feel good on a warm day, it becomes a bit of an annoyance when the tablecloth keeps blowing off the table.

Purchase tablecloth clips to hold the tablecloth in place, or make your own from binder clips or C clamps.

Keep the tablecloth in place, no matter how windy the day, using any of several extra supplies that keep that cloth from turning into a kite.

Tip

Use clear tablecloth clips if you don't want them to be obvious. Decorate them with paints if you prefer they match the color scheme of your outdoor event. Select a quality spray paint that requires no primer beforehand. Quality paints generally provide better coverage than bargain varieties. To use binder clips on the tablecloth, squeeze each clip open, and then slide its jaws over the edge of the table. For a C clamp, unwind the screw-style jaw enough to slide the jaw over the edge of the tablecloth and table. Tighten the jaw to secure the tablecloth.

Warning

Be sure to secure a square or rectangular tablecloth near its corners -- corners that lift may result in part of the tablecloth flapping up onto the table, landing in food dishes or knocking over lightweight items due to wind force between the tablecloth and the table.

Specialty Clip Control

  1. Smooth the tablecloth neatly over a clean table, centering the table beneath the cloth.

  2. Place a few heavy weights, temporarily, on top of the cloth along the perimeter or edges of the table. Bricks or nearby rocks will do, or enlist the help of several friends to hold the cloth in place instead of using weights.

  3. Place one tablecloth clip near each corner of the table so the clip snugs the tablecloth against the table. On a round table, use four clips at first, equally spaced around the table. Add more clips around any shape table if air still travels beneath the tablecloth, causing it to billow.

Homemade Tablecloth Clamps

  1. Gently sand the binder clips or C clamps using fine-grit sandpaper, just enough to scuff up the surface. Sanding makes the metal more receptive to paint. Wipe the dust away with a rag.

  2. Cover a work area outdoors or in a well-ventilated space with newspaper or scrap cardboard. Set the binder clips or C clamps atop the paper or cardboard, spacing them at least 1/2 inch apart.

  3. Shake the spray paint can for a minute or as recommended on the label. Hold the can 8 to 10 inches away from the clips or clamps, and then spray them all, overlapping the bursts of paint with each pass. Begin each spray burst before the first object and end it beyond the end of the final one to prevent paint splotches. Allow the paint to dry completely.

  4. Flip the painted clips or clamps over, and shake the spray can for a minute. Spray the remaining areas of each clip or clamp until every piece is completely covered with the desired paint color. Allow the items to dry completely.