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How to Make a Shibori Tablecloth (with vintage linen!)

Learn how to make a DIY Shibori tablecloth with this simple step-by-step tutorial. Set your table with an easy Shibori tablecloth made from vintage linen!

Freshen up your table for summer with a DIY Shibori tablecloth! The iconic indigo and white patterns are both organic and bold, perfect for a summery tablescape or your next barbecue.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to update vintage linens with shibori tie-dye. Perfect for those of you, like me, who love a mix of old and new. The delicate stitching on this vintage tablecloth is highlighted by the fresh, modern indigo dye.

shibori tablecloth diy vintage linen

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What is Shibori?

Are you familiar with Shibori? It’s an ancient Japanese tie-dye method that has made its way into modern design (ex: 12 gorgeous examples of Shibori fabrics). You’ve likely seen the blue and white prints on pillows, wallpaper, and more – even if you aren’t familiar with the term “shibori”. If you’re a fan of the look, you’ll be excited to know that it’s easy to recreate DIY Shibori projects at home!

As a busy working mom, I love it when the kids can help with DIY projects – and Shibori tie-dye is very kid-friendly!

shibori tablecloth diy vintage linen

How to Make a DIY Shibori Tablecloth

For this project, you’ll need a 100% cotton or natural linen white tablecloth. It’s best to skip polyester or synthetic fabrics because they will not absorb the dye as well. I chose a vintage linen tablecloth from a favorite local flea market vendor and it took the dye beautifully.

Psst: Love vintage linens? Make a few of these vintage linen wrapped bath bombs and give them away as gifts!


  • 3 Buckets or Glass Bowls
  • Mixing Spoon
  • Clothespins
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Water Faucet or Hose
  • 100% Cotton or Natural Linen White Tablecloth (vintage or new)
  • Shibori Dye (try this RIT dye recipe or buy an authentic indigo dye kit)
shibori tablecloth with vintage linen


1. Wash and dry the fabric.

First, pre-wash and dry the white tablecloth before dyeing the fabric.

2. Prepare the dye and soak bath.

In the first bowl or bucket, prepare the dye bath. I use an easy Shibori RIT dye recipe for a bold indigo color. If you prefer an all-natural DIY Shibori, you can use an authentic indigo dye kit.

Fill the second bowl or bucket with cool water for the soak bath.

indigo dye for shibori tablecloth

3. Pre-soak the fabric.

Once the dye and soak bath are ready, it is time to begin the dyeing process. To begin, place the tablecloth into the soak bath until fully wet. Once wet, squeeze the fabric to remove excess water.

4. Fold the fabric and attach the clothespins.

Using an accordion fold, fold the fabric. Once folded, attach clothespins along the length of the fabric, directly across from one another. The clothespins serve two purposes:

  1. to hold the fold in place and
  2. create resist points where the fabric will not be dyed.
folding technique for shibori tablecloth

Would you like to try another resist method for your shibori tablecloth? Here are 5 easy Shibori techniques to try with supplies you likely have at home!

5. Dye the fabric.

Next, while wearing rubber gloves, place the folded fabric into the dye bath for 3-5 minutes. The longer the fabric is left in the dye, the more the dye will penetrate the fabric into the folded and resist areas.

6. Remove excess dye and water.

Once dyed, remove the folded tablecloth from the dye bath and place it into the (empty) third bucket. Let the excess water and dye drip into the bucket for several minutes.

indigo dye for shibori tablecloth

7. Rinse and open the fabric.

Finally, run the folded fabric under a faucet or hose until the water runs clear. Then, remove the clothespins and open the folded tablecloth to reveal the design! Lay flat to dry.

vintage tablecloth tie dye shibori

DIY Shibori Tablecloth

When you’re all done, brew a hot cup of tea and enjoy your new tablecloth! Don’t need a tablecloth? Make cloth napkins, throw pillows, or hand towels. Of course, that’s just a few ideas… there is an array of options, from shibori home decor to shibori fashion and clothing ideas.

If you liked this craft for the home, you might also like:

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shibori tablecloth with vintage linen