This rather over-the-top table was designed as a stand for this golden tree that will be in my Christmas Tree Shop.
There are many tutorials on the web for making such tables, so I won't go into great detail here. However, here are some of my rather haphazard methods.
I have used everything from styrofoam and plastic cups to cut-down orange juice cans to make skirted tables, depending on what I had available at the time.
This cut down juice can base, slightly over 2 1/2 inches tall, is years old and has gone through many skirt incarnations, which explains its rough appearance. I cut a cardboard circle to fit the top and used an emery board to smooth away old dried glue left on the edges. If you are using a cup with an indentation in the bottom, cut a circle to fit the open space to provide a smooth surface. If your fabric is fairly light, it's a good idea to paint the base a matching color. Also, if anyone is likely to pick up your table to look underneath (and shame on them, but they are legion), I suggest covering the bottom with matching fabric before you add your skirt, bringing it up an inch or so above the bottom edge.
I sometimes lay a string from the bottom of the table base up and over the top down to the "floor" on the other side. This length becomes the diameter of your fabric. Of course, you can always measure with a tape, as well.
That measurement is used to make a paper pattern, folding and cutting.
It is easier to add trims before draping, with the circle flat. On the other hand, I have been known to add trims afterward, too, pushing the glue-on-the-back trims or laces into the folds. In this case, the cording is heavy, as is the overskirt, so I decided it would be best to have it firmly in place before I started making the folds in the skirt.
For some reason the cording looks to be a different color than the fabric, but it's really not.
I left this to dry thoroughly, then used very sharp scissors to cut away the excess right against the cording.
And, here again, the overskirt fabric also looks to be a different color, although it is actually very dark green. Here I have added another heavy cord to bind this piece, starting in the middle of one side. This way the join can be turned to the back, or hidden in a fold. Normally, I would not use anything that heavy, but I wanted a dramatic look for the Christmas tree table. When it was thoroughly dry, I trimmed very close to the cord with sharp scissors.
Don't put glue on the top of the table. I usually put a wide strip all around it just under the top, and another wide strip at the bottom. Press one bottom edge into the glue, then do the opposite side. Depending on the type of fabric you use, sometimes it's advisable to put a line of glue just above the bottom edge of the fabric circle, as well.
Continue alternating this way, first the half, then the fourth, then the eighth, etc., until you get the number of pleats you want.
If you coat the entire piece of fabric with glue, spreading it with an old credit card or piece of thin cardboard, and let it dry, then you don't have to worry about raveling or hemming. This also works if your fabric has some degree of synthetic in it; once the glue has dried, you are glueing to glue, which allows for easier draping. Cut your circle AFTER the glue has dried.
I also find when I have done this pre-gluing, I can then use my scissors to trim any excess or even up the hem when the draped skirt is dry.
In this case, I want the skirt to "puddle" on the floor so have deliberately left it a little long and because of the pre-attached cording, tried very carefully to keep it even.
This is an example of using unconventional fabrics and trims for a special effect; standard natural fabrics are much easier to manipulate, of course.