Did you know you can make plastic tablecloth streamers?! When my kids were younger, I used to LOVE throwing big parties! I would get crazy with decorations and DIY tons of projects.
I loved my parties to have a big visual impact but I also wanted things to be inexpensive. For one party, I wanted lots of ruffley garlands. I looked online and everything was so pricey. And then I figured out that I could make ruffled plastic streamers from inexpensive disposable tablecloths! Updated May, 2019 | I always write about stuff I love and think you’ll like too. This post contains affiliate partnerships so I may get a share of the revenue from your purchase. I’m saving that revenue to put my kids through college. But sometimes I go to Starbucks…
It’s just a meeting if there aren’t party streamers, am I right?! This tutorial is YEARS old and the photography is not super great, so just bear with me. The photo above is a newer photo of the tablecloth streamers. I used them for a party I styled and they looked so cute! I love simple (but cute!) party decor ideas! Don’t you?
How cute are these ruffled streamers?! I’m not even sure how this idea came to me but I started thinking about how sometimes when you stretch plastic it warps it and creates a sort of lettuce edge.
I gave it a try and they turned out super cute. So with just a cheap plastic tablecloth, you can create bunches of darling ruffled party streamers!
Watch this Ruffled Streamers Tutorial again over on YouTube!
Your Party Needs Plastic Tablecloth Streamers!
I LOVE using these streamers to decorate. These are really light and easy to hang with a little bit of washi or masking tape. They are a great way to make a party look festive without much effort which is awesome!
I used mostly white on the wall above with just pops of bright orange. Because plastic tablecloths come in so many colors and patterns, you can make these work for any party color scheme.
These plastic party streamers add a little bit of texture which I love. And they don’t show flaws!
If you tear one a little too much, no one can see it! Unless they were inspecting each inch of each streamer. Which would be odd. And you should probably ask them to leave your party.
I have a small bin of party supplies that I keep in the garage and there are always a few plastic tablecloths in there. These ruffles can be made quickly so they’re great for last-minute celebrations (like when they spring teacher appreciation decorating on you the night before…)
The cost for making tablecloth streamers is really low. Each plastic tablecloth costs around $2.50 . I’m not sure exactly how many garlands you can get out of one tablecloth. Here is my estimate: a bunch, ok I’d guess about 15 depending on the width you cut them.
How to Make Party Streamers from Plastic Tablecloths
Ok, you don’t HAVE to have a rotary cutter I guess but it sure makes it super easy. In the video above, I used scissors and it worked fine. There’s no need to make a super straight line since the edges will be ruffled.
But if you are super type-A, especially when it comes to crafts, use the rotary cutter.
- Do not unfold the tablecloth once you take it out of the package.
- Find the side with the free ends of the tablecloth, not the fold, and cut a strip approximately 2″ wide.
- Cut as many strips as you want/need.
By leaving the tablecloth folded up, you are able to cut through multiple layers at once. This means you will cut more ruffle strips at one time and be able to keep the edges relatively straight.
You should get a strip with two free edges but depending on how the tablecloth is folded, you may end up with a super wide strip with a fold in the middle. Just cut down the fold to make two separate strips.
- Separate the strips that you cut so you’re working with 1-2 strips at a time.
- Fold the strip/s in half so you have several layers of plastic to warp at once.
- Start at one end of the strip and hold the side edge of the plastic in both hands, between your thumb and pointer fingers
- The warping motion is kind of two motions in one, you’ll pull your thumbs gently away from each other while at the same time rolling your pointer fingers toward your body and up. (see video)
- Continue down the length of the plastic strips until the whole side is ruffled.
- Then flip it over and do the other side.
You can make the ruffles with a single piece of plastic but it is much easier to rip through. But it also doesn’t require quite as much effort to make the plastic warp.
I tried this with 4 layers of plastic and you have to pull pretty hard. I wouldn’t do more than 4 layers at once. I prefer to do 2 layers, but you still can tear it pretty easily.
If you do several layers of plastic at once, it works best to keep the strip close to a table so it stays in line and you don’t have to stop and keep readjusting it. When I made the video, I was hovering above a table and it was hard to keep it controlled.
But this might just be the world’s most forgiving DIY party decoration so you really don’t’ need to worry about doing anything wrong.
If you make a ton of these, just know you may give yourself a blister…
But they go away pretty quickly. And what is a little pain for the cutest party streamers ever? ;)
I made these plastic tablecloth streamers when my husband was out of the house. When he got home he thought they were really cool but commented on how they must have been too time-consuming. While they did take a few minutes, they were SO easy to make that I didn’t mind the time at all.
And this is one of those party projects you could easily do while watching TV.
I hung a few of the finished plastic party streamers up, along with my easy knotted yarn garland, for a quick party look so you can see how fun they are.
Because these are made from plastic tablecloths, they are perfect for outdoor parties! And they absolutely won’t fall apart in a little moisture like paper streamers would.
When I used this outside, I put them up with a staple gun. Inside, just a little tape is all you need!
Decorating with Plastic Tablecloth Streamers
While it does take some of your time to make them, they make a huge impact. That’s a win in my book.
I’ve had people email me and tell me they used the plastic streamers as a seaweed garland for an underwater theme. And I’ve seen people use them as vines in a jungle party.
Need 243 more ideas for using plastic tablecloths to decorate your party? Check out this awesome pinterest board! There are so many amazing things you can make for parties!
This ruffle technique also works on the edge of a full tablecloth creating a super girly, ruffly look.
More easy party DIYs
Pin These Plastic Streamers for Later
Making plastic tablecloth streamers is SUCH a good idea! They’re super easy, totally inexpensive and can make a huge impact on your party decor! And I guarantee your party guests will ask you about them!