How To Make A Repurposed Table Skirt For Arts and Crafts Vendors

Re-purposed Cardboard Makes A Great Table Skirt For Outdoor Vendors

A solid table skirt, made from re-purposed cardboard, adds a finished look and provides protection from the harsh elements
A solid table skirt, made from re-purposed cardboard, adds a finished look and provides protection from the harsh elements

A Table Skirt To Dress Up Your Vendor Display

Making a display when selling arts and crafts often begins with a table. The table can be any size or shape available but most vendors use some kind of folding table. It is a good idea to put a skirt around the table to give the display a professional and finished appearance. What better thing to do than to make a table skirt out of re-purposed material? This saves money out of pocket and also helps recycle materials that might otherwise end up in the trash. Use the list of materials and tools that follow. It will take an hour or two to make this table skirt out of some re-purposed material. The finished display table will have a skirt that adds professional quality to any vendor's sales area.

Tools For Making A Table Skirt With Repurposed Materials

Gather together the tools needed for the table skirt project.
Gather together the tools needed for the table skirt project.

Tools To Make A Sturdy Table Skirt

Tools List


  • Box knife
  • Scissors
  • Yardstick
  • Punch to make holes
  • Pencil





Repurposed Cardboard Makes A Sturdy Table Skirt Base

Along with cardboard, tape, twine and a cover will be used to make this table skirt for a professional looking arts and crafts vending table.
Along with cardboard, tape, twine and a cover will be used to make this table skirt for a professional looking arts and crafts vending table.

Basic Materials For Table Skirt Project

Materials List

  • Large pieces of cardboard
  • Packaging tape
  • Vinyl tablecloth
  • Twine or heavy cord

These are the basic materials needed for the table skirt. It may also be necessary to use additional items to secure the skirt to the table. A bungie cord attached to the skirt ties makes attachment and removal a snap but it is not actually necessary.

It is also possible to use a different kind of covering for the cardboard base. Some suggestions would be cloth or paper. These materials may also require a different method for attachment to the cardboard base. Some suggestions would be to try glue and staples. A cloth cover could be sewn in the fashion of a sleeve that slipped over the cardboard. This all depends on personal needs and personal abilities.

The vinyl table cloth works great and is very inexpensive. There is still the chance that one's creative desire wants to take the idea a step further. By all means do so, make the table skirt that best serves the purpose at hand. Individualizing the table skirt is up to individual need.

Measure To See How Much Cardboard Is Needed

Measure the distance from the floor to the under side of the table top. This will be the length of the table skirt.
Measure the distance from the floor to the under side of the table top. This will be the length of the table skirt.
Measure the width of the table top, the length of the table top. For a three sided table skirt like the one in this project, add the width X 2, plus the length. This will give you the width of the table skirt.
Measure the width of the table top, the length of the table top. For a three sided table skirt like the one in this project, add the width X 2, plus the length. This will give you the width of the table skirt.

Making The Table Skirt

This table skirt is made from sturdy cardboard sheeting and a vinyl table cloth. The table cloth can be purchased for a dollar or two at most discount stores. These vinyl clothes are available in a multitude of colors so matching a color up to any display theme colors should be a snap. Several different colors could be combined, with a little modification, when attaching the vinyl to the cardboard. Keep in mind that this project is only the basics of an idea and putting your imagination to work allows for personal self expression.

Getting The Measurements For The Finished Table Skirt

First measure the length and width of the table. The skirt will wrap around both sides and across the ends of the table when finished. The length of the table plus the width x 2 is how long the skirt should be made. The finished table skirt will cover three sides of the table. This will give a professional look to the finished table skirt. It will also allow for storage space under the table. It will serve to hide the legs of anyone who may be sitting at the table facing out toward the crowd.

Let's say the table is 60" long and 30" wide. That would mean that the width of the finished skirt will be 120".

Now measure the distance from the bottom of the table surface to the floor. This measurement is how high or long the finished table skirt will be.

Let's say the table is 32" from floor to the under side of the table top. This is how long the table skirt will be.

Using the above example the finished table skirt will be 120" wide and 32" long.

Laying Out The Repurposed Cardboard

Now that the measurements for the table skirt have been taken it is time to lay the cardboard out and cut it to size. The material used for the table skirt will depend on what is available. Large boxes that furniture and appliances come in work well for this size project. The boxes will be opened and flattened in order to measure them for the table skirt. It may be necessary to work on the floor if a large table top is not available.

One very important suggestion here is to use the corrugated strength of the cardboard as support. That means that it is best to run the ridges within the cardboard from floor to table top. The corrugation makes the cardboard sturdy and running the lines up and down will make the finished table top much stronger and more durable.

Using the yard stick measure the length and width of enough cardboard to cut out the skirt. If there is not enough it will have to be pieced together. Try to get enough width to cross the entire front width of the table. Then piece the end caps to cover both ends of the table. Again make sure to run the corrugation from floor to table top for added strength.

Open and Flatten Large Cardboard Boxes

Lay the cardboard out on a flat surface and remove excess flaps from the flattened boxes you plan to re-purpose.
Lay the cardboard out on a flat surface and remove excess flaps from the flattened boxes you plan to re-purpose.

Cut Out The Best Pieces Of Cardboard To Be Re-purposed For The Table Skirt

Use a yard stick and a sharp box knife to measure, as a guide to cut straight lines and mark the cardboard to be re-purposed.
Use a yard stick and a sharp box knife to measure, as a guide to cut straight lines and mark the cardboard to be re-purposed.
Remove the flaps and any staples that are on the flattened boxes and keep the largest flat pieces to make the table skirt.
Remove the flaps and any staples that are on the flattened boxes and keep the largest flat pieces to make the table skirt.
Measure the pieces that are kept for the table skirt and cut them to the dimensions needed for the table to be skirted.
Measure the pieces that are kept for the table skirt and cut them to the dimensions needed for the table to be skirted.

Transforming The Re-purposed Cardboard

Measure the good pieces of cardboard that will be used to make the table skirt. It may be necessary to piece the cardboard together. If this is necessary always allow a couple inches to overlap the joined edges. This will make the join strong. Also remember to run the corrugation from floor to table top to add strength to the finished table skirt. Some cardboard is double thick with corrugation running one way in one layer and the opposite direction in the other layer.

Heavy duty, double thick cardboard is best, and makes the sturdiest table skirt. It is a little harder to cut so have a good sharp box knife.

Piece the cardboard together and secure it with several layers of packaging tape. Tape around the edges and both sides several times. For added strength it is also good to add some glue to the join overlap but it is not necessary. The glue is optional.

It is good to have a sturdy table, large enough to work on. Be extra careful when cutting the cardboard and always make the cuts drawing the knife away from yourself. This helps avoid accidents.

A wise choice is to cut very large sheets on a cement floor such as the basement floor, a garage floor or the driveway. Where ever the cutting is done make sure the knife will not damage the surface beneath the cut. The knife could push through the cardboard and cut or scratch carpet, wood, vinyl or other soft surfaces.

Join The Measured Pieces Of Re-purposed Cardboard

Tape the overlapped join with several layers of tape all around the join on both sides and around the edges.
Tape the overlapped join with several layers of tape all around the join on both sides and around the edges.
Score the cardboard where it needs to fold and wrap the corners. Be careful not to cut through the cardboard.
Score the cardboard where it needs to fold and wrap the corners. Be careful not to cut through the cardboard.
Tape all the pieces together using plenty of packaging tape to secure the re-purposed cardboard.
Tape all the pieces together using plenty of packaging tape to secure the re-purposed cardboard.

Cardboard To Table Skirt

When all the re-purposed cardboard is cut and ready to fit for the table skirt it is a good idea to hold the pieces up and make sure the size is good. Do this before attaching the pieces together because it is easiest to handle in smaller pieces. When you are sure all the pieces are the correct size begin joining the cardboard sections.

A suggested option is to put some glue on the overlap before taping. This is an optional step but it will help to secure the join with more strength. This step is totally up to your discretion.

Lay the pieces to be joined out flat and mark the cardboard with a pencil to give yourself guide lines. This will insure that the finished table skirt is straight. Now with the joined ends overlapped for strength, tape the join. Use a good packaging tape to fix the join. First you might want to put just a couple small pieces of tape to hold the join in place until it is lined up exactly where you made your marks. Tape all around the edges and both sides of the join with several layers of packaging tape.

Attach all sections of the re-purposed cardboard until the proper finished width of the table skirt is achieved. The photos show a three piece table skirt. One piece went on each end and a single piece was used to cover the front of the table.

The ends were folded to make the skirt turn and wrap the corners covering the ends. The folds can be marked with the pencil. Lay the table skirt out on the floor or a table and carefully apply pressure to make the folds where they are marked. It may be necessary to score the fold line with the box knife to get the cardboard to fold with a nice clean line.

Scoring the cardboard can be done by gently scratching through the first paper layer along the fold edge. Use the yardstick as a guide and score the fold line. Be careful not to cut through the cardboard. All that is needed is to scratch the paper so that the fold will give easier as you apply pressure.

Lay the finished cardboard base out on a large sheet of material. Here we used a vinyl table cloth that was purchased for .99.
Lay the finished cardboard base out on a large sheet of material. Here we used a vinyl table cloth that was purchased for .99.
Tape it all down. Wrap the material to the inside and fold it as if you were wrapping a gift. Try to keep the vinyl straight and tight so that there are no wrinkles or irregularities on the finished front side of the table skirt.
Tape it all down. Wrap the material to the inside and fold it as if you were wrapping a gift. Try to keep the vinyl straight and tight so that there are no wrinkles or irregularities on the finished front side of the table skirt.
The finished table skirt should fit snugly under the table edge and wrap the corners and around the ends of the vendor table.
The finished table skirt should fit snugly under the table edge and wrap the corners and around the ends of the vendor table.

Cover The Cardboard Table Skirt Base

The base is ready to cover. Be smart and check to make sure the table skirt fits the table exactly the way it is intended. Make any necessary adjustments needed. Now lay the cardboard base out on the vinyl table cloth. Open the cloth and spread it out on the floor. Place the cardboard base in the middle of the vinyl. Now begin to wrap the cardboard with the vinyl cloth as if to wrap a package.

Try to keep the vinyl tight and straight as you begin to secure the vinyl to the cardboard. Use packaging tape to secure the vinyl to the cardboard. Use several layers of tape and secure all loose edges of the vinyl with the tape.

The taped side will be the inside of the table skirt.

The corners of the finished table skirt can be tied down by adding a length of cord or a bungee. Use a punch to make holes at the top corners on either end of the table skirt. Put some extra tape on the corners to help avoid tears. The tape will reinforce the holes punched. Now the cord can be wrapped around and tied off at the back of the vendor table.

This table skirt is solid and will allow the vendor a great place to store bins, personal belongings and other things that are best kept out of view from the customers. That is an added plus but one of the best things about this solid table skirt is that it will block the wind when the market is set up outside. The weather is a huge factor when vendors take to the outdoors. A solid table skirt, made from re-purposed cardboard, is an inexpensive and functional way to make a professional appearance.


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Comments 4 comments

C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 6 years ago from NW Indiana Author

feltingirl,

Have to laugh! Sorry I let my sister handle all the money! But we do most everything out of a front poch, belt. Makes it easy to see the cash right in front of you and is attached to the body. Best of luck.


feltingirl 6 years ago

how can i use the cash box at my stand? i stash it under the table in a storage tub ,i think there must be a better way.


GojiJuiceGoodness profile image

GojiJuiceGoodness 6 years ago from Roanoke, Virginia

Great hub! You've got step-by-step directions that are very detailed. I like the photos you've included.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

This is jusrt great. Thank you for such a super tip.

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