How I Got Two Chic and Durable Tablecloths for $24.99

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I love a nice tablecloth, the perfect way to brighten up a table, protect it from scratches and cover those mismatched leaves I use to make my tables big enough for a crowd. My tablecloths have to be durable, because the children aren't the only ones who are messy eaters, and I have to wash them often (the tablecloths, not the children, who wash themselves, with varying degrees of success). The more stylish the linens, the greater the cost, in my experience, but I recently found a great inexpensive option.

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At IKEA one day, I thought I'd look for tablecloths. I love the clean aesthetic, modern patterns and the price. Alas, they didn't have any. But I found a set of KAJSAMIA curtains, two of them, just $24.99 for the pair. Checking the measurements, I realized each one could be hemmed to fit my two tables. Though I hadn't considered wanting matching tablecloths, it could be fun every now and then. Besides, $24.99 is a great price for one. The backup would be a bonus!

I'm lazy, so I pinned them myself and dropped them at the cleaners, where they trimmed and hemmed them to size for a few dollars, returning the strips with rings on them, in case I wanted to do something with those. (Any fun ideas? I kept them.)

I've washed and dried the curtains several times. The poly cotton blend is stain resistant and thick, so it lies flat on the table. They don't even require ironing, another bonus for a lazy housekeeper. I have a lot of table linens, and these are the best. Why are curtains so much cheaper than tablecloths? I have no idea.

These days, I keep my eye out everywhere for curtains that might make great tablecloths. On my next trip to Ikea, I'll probably pick up another pair, like the EMMIE KVIST, for a more traditional look, or BJĂ–RNLOKA for a nautical theme. Or BOLLKAKTUS for a 60s vibe! At those prices, why not have options?

Do you ever repurpose things to save money? And...can anyone explain why cute curtains cost so much less than tablecloths?

(Images: Anne Postic)