Make a traycloth

How to make a dollshouse needlepoint traycloth

These tray cloths have been specifically designed to co-ordinate with the teacosies – both types of kit contain 32 count silk gauze.


They are quick and easy to do, and each kit comes with a mahogany tea tray kit which is very easy to assemble, and which the tray cloth will fit into perfectly.

This tutorial features the ‘Summer Roses’ doll’s house tray cloth design in the step-by-step photos. This is one of the range of tray cloths that we offer. See our Needlepoint Kit Store for details.

Miniature needlepoint tutorial - contents of a traycloth kit

These Janet Granger tray cloth kits are to be worked on 32 count silk gauze, using tent stitch for the detail, and basketweave stitch for the background. See the NEEDLEPOINT STITCHES Tutorial if you have not done these stitches before – they are very simple to do.

Mount the silk gauze into a card mount, as described in the SILK GAUZE Tutorial. This will make it much easier to work stitches with an even tension, and also makes your miniature stitching quicker to do!

Start stitching from the centre of the design, as described in the tutorial NEEDLEPOINT STITCHES mentioned above, working outwards. When all the detail is complete, fill in the background.

A ‘Mahogany Wax Wood Finishing Kit’ is available separately, if required. These Janet Granger miniature tray cloth kits contain a piece of 32 count silk gauze, Anchor stranded cotton (use one strand), clear instructions, a colour block chart to count the design from, a mahogany tray kit, and a suitable needle.
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When all the stitching is complete, press your work with an iron on medium setting with the stitching face down on a soft cloth, pulling the gauze if necessary to get it dead square.

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Then trim the unworked gauze to a quarter of an inch all the way round.

The tray cloth now needs hemming with a slip stitch to finish it. Start by holding the work with the right side of the stitching facing you. As you fold back the quarter inch seam allowance of bare gauze along the top edge of the tray cloth,

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make sure that no bare silk gauze is left showing from the front. Finger press the fold to set the crease.


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Then turn the work a quarter turn to the left, and fold the adjacent edge down. Make sure that the corners are folded tightly, and straight, so that the finished tray cloth will be neat. Continue in this way around all four sides.

Take a length of leftover stranded cotton, in the same shade as the background of the tray cloth, so that the stitches will blend in as much as possible (please note that for clarity in the step-by step photos, I have used a contrasting colour).

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Using a single strand, secure the end of a length about 12 inches long by knotting the cotton and making two back stitches near to a corner, taking the thread through the backs of previously worked stitches only. Make one or two slip stitches near the corner, to hold down what will be the last of the four sides that you hem,

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then fold down the adjacent edge and catch that down neatly with two stitches made very close to the edge.

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Then work your way along the hem, making a slip stitch into every third or fourth gauze hole, at least two holes in from the raw edge. Do not pull the thread too tightly – just slip stitch the hem edge lightly to the reverse of the needlepoint stitches, making sure that you do not pierce the front of your work while you do this. Finish off with two small back stitches. Press your work again, for a really neat look.

Making up the tray

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To complete the tray, first lightly sand the mahogany pieces with fine sandpaper.

Sand the side pieces to fit the tray base exactly, if necessary. Trial fit before gluing.

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Then, using wood glue sparingly along the sides of the base piece,

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fix the handles into position against the short sides of the tray first,

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then the long side pieces against the long sides.

When the glue is completely dry, sand the joints until flush. Smooth the tray all over with fine wire wool, then polish with wax polish, applied with wire wool. Allow the wax to dry for at least 20 minutes, then buff to a shine with a soft cloth. Two coats of wax will give a good finish. See the tutorial on how to do this. A ‘Mahogany Wax Wood Finishing Pack ‘ is available separately, if required.


Dollhouse needlepoint tutorial - the completed traycloth in a tray

Your doll’s house tray cloth is now finished, and ready to be placed on its tea tray (possibly with the matching tea cosy and a tea pot to complete the look?) in your doll’s house or room setting.

Now that you have seen how easy it is to make one of our super miniature tray cloth designs, why not visit our Needlepoint Kit Store ? We have several different designs of miniature tray cloth to choose from, to make your doll’s house really special.

Traycloth kit "Willow Pattern"

“Willow Pattern”


Traycloth kit "Flower Ring (pink)"

“Flower Ring (pink)”


Traycloth kit "Summer Roses"

“Summer Roses”