Heirloom Draw-On Tablecloth: A Holiday Tradition Idea For Your Family

This tablecloth that we draw on is a family tradition my mom started last year, and it’s been a huge hit!

At holidays, my mom brings out her white tablecloth, along with a baggie of sharpie markers, and everyone adds a little bit to the tablecloth, along with their name and the year. It’s really fun to add to, and also fun to see the pictures from holidays past!

Updated To Answer Questios…

  • Our tablecloth is from Goodwill and seems to be some kind of poly blend. I think this would work with most fabrics, but not with actual plastic. You can test the sharpie on the edge to see how it works on your fabric.
  • We used sharpies rather than fabric markers because they’re cheaper and we had more colors. They work just fine.
  • Sharpies for sure can bleed through the fabric to your table, so put down a cheap plastic tablecloth first- the kind they sell for kid birthday parties. You can literally get them for $1 at the Dollar Tree.
  • Keep the questions coming! This is a really fun tradition and worth the planning! 🙂

We have found that it’s best to bring the tablecloth out only for dessert. It does fade when we wash it, so we try to not have to. If we bring it out at dessert, everyone can enjoy it and add to it as long as they like. Sometimes people draw for a long time. Sometimes they’re finished quickly. Kids and adults alike love it!

We add to the tablecloth at Thanksgiving…

We add to the tablecloth at Christmas…

We add to the tablecloth at Easter…

We add to the tablecloth at the 4th of July…

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We add to the tablecloth for triple birthday celebrations…

We add to the tablecloth for New Years…

We add to the tablecloth whenever!

Right hand… left hand… whatever!

Sometimes kids draw the cutest and most relevant stuff… and sometimes you get a multi-teared ice cream cone for Thanksgiving. You just never know. 🙂

My family is nothing if not a bit odd, but totally creative. 😉

We really enjoy our heirloom tablecloth tradition!

I hope your family enjoys starting one of your own!

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  1. I love this idea! The sharpies don’t bleed through to the table? I’m afraid I’d have a decorated table, too.

    • Lol!!! Good point! I just asked my mom and she said that yes, she puts a plastic tablecloth underneath. So I just updated the post to say so. 🙂

  2. Does your mom remember where she got the tablecloth? Or, if not, can you share what it’s made of? I wonder if a vinyl one would work…

    • Good question! Hers actually came from Goodwill. It seems like a poly blend. I’m not sure about vinyl… seems like the sharpies would smear off over time.

      • Thank you! I had to get a vinyl one because I couldn’t find a good cloth one, so we’ll see what happens. At least with vinyl, I know it won’t bleed through…and I might get a clear one to go over it too.

  3. As old school as it sounds you could always put a clear plastic table cloth over it so you could see it but wouldn’t get it dirty and then wouldn’t need to wash as much.

    • And often the simplest solution is the easiest! Great idea! In fact… you could put it under the tablecloth while people write on it and the meal is being prepared to keep the markers from bleeding through to the table, and then on top of the tablecloth before eating to keep it clean!

  4. Susan Maddox says

    We have a Thanksgiving tablecloth that is used every year. We have a marker that will not wash off and everyone at the table writes down what they are thankful for. It’s fun to look over past years and see what we have been grateful for.