Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Oilcloth Projects: Part 1

Oilcloth! It’s hip, it’s durable, it’s fun to work with, and it’s loaded with nostalgia! What’s not to love about this versatile fabric? 

What is Oilcloth?
If you aren't familiar, oilcloth is a laminated fabric that's been fused to a durable vinyl backing. Cotton laminate has a similar smooth finish, but it's lighter weight and a little less durable than oilcloth. Vinyl is another fabric option with a similar consistency. You can find these fabrics online and at some fabric shops. 

What's it Used For?
With it's smooth finish, oilcloth is great for outdoor decor, tablecloths, lunch bags...anything that runs the risk of getting wet or messy.

I used both oilcloth and cotton laminate to create today! Most of my supplies were purchased at Material Girls Quilts in South Jordan, UT. 

It totally reminds me of my grandma, as she used to have oilcloth tablecloths on her kitchen table. Believe it or not, this was the affordable option for her low-income family, at only $0.05-$0.15 a yard. Now adays, oilcloth averages about $15-$20 a yard. It’s worth every penny, if you ask me. Just look at all you can do with this sassy crafting supply!

Create a Cloth Banner
I’m super excited at how this one turned out. You see, the black pieces of the banner are actually made from chalkboard vinyl, which has similar durable properties to oilcloth.   I purchased this fantastic fabric at Bolt, an amazing fabric shop in Portland, OR. I love it, because it allows me to personalize my banner over and over again for different ocassions. Since I’m sharing this on Studio 5 this morning at 11:00 MT, I thought I’d dress it up accordingly using a bistro marker (chalkboard marker). 
Make your own banner in 4 easy steps:
  1. Cut fabric pieces to desired size.
  2. Sew two pieces of fabric back to back to create a double-sided banner. 
  3. Cut out around banner pieces with pinking shears or a decorative blade.
  4. Punch holes in top of each banner piece and thread onto twine. 

Banner Supplies
  1. Oilcloth and/or cotton laminate
  2. Chalkboard vinyl 
  3. Sewing machine
  4. Pinking shears
  5. Hole punch
  6. Twine
  7. Bistro marker or chalk
Try a Table Runner
Inspired by my sweet grandma’s tablecloths of yesteryear, I decided to create a modern take on an oilcloth table covering. To make this runner, simply measuer and cut the fabric to the length of your table, only covering a portion of the table’s width. Dress up the edges by sewing on some jumbo poms. Simple and cute!

  1. Oilcloth or cotton laminate
  2. Jumbo pom pom trim
  3. Sewing machine

Cover a Tray
Transform a basic tray into a durable serving/storage piece by inserting a piece of oilcloth or laminate in the bottom. You can either glue it in place with a sturdy fabric glue (such as Fabritac by Beacon’s) or hot glue. Or, for a more finished look, try sealing the edges with book binding tape, as I’ve done here.
  1. Oilcloth or cotton laminate
  2. Tray
  3. Book binding tape (mine is from Paper Source)
Cut Coasters
Oilcloth is water resistant, making it an excellent coaster option. Simply cut squares from fabric, and sew two squares back to back. Note: I used two different fabrics, making my coasters double-sided. Hey, you can also skip the sewing and use a single square for a slightly thinner coaster option. 
  1. Oilcloth or cotton laminate
  2. Sewing machine
Add Oilcloth Details
Finish your party decor with oilcloth-wrapped bottles. It’s as easy as cutting your cloth to fit a bottle or vase (I used coke bottles that I’ve been saving for such a fun project), and secure it in place with fabric glue or hot glue. Wrap an oilcloth bow around in a different pattern to finish your design.
  1. Oilcloth or cotton laminate
  2. Recycled bottles or vases
  3. Fabric glue (I used Fabric-tac by Beacon’s)
Play with Posies
In place of traditional flowers, try oilcloth creations. I made pinwheels following these instructions and cut a butterfly using my Slice Fabrique tool. For the stems, I simply punched the top of spoon strawes, and tied the buttons on my shapes through the holes. I added some glue to keep things extra secure. 
  1. Oilcloth or cotton laminate
  2. Buttons and twine
  3. Hole punch
  4. Spoon strawes (snowcone straws)
For more oilcloth ideas, check out the baby bibs I made from this happy fabric here

And check my blog again later this week for part 2 of working with oilcloth, as well as my Studio 5 segment. Thanks for your visit! I hope these projects inspire you to create with oilcloth. You’ll make your grandma proud, and add a cool vintage vibe to your next celebration.