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How to Make a Table Runner

Learn how to make a table runner. This table runner DIY is an easy way to dress up an outdoor dining space!

How to Make a Table Runner

I decided one night I wanted to make a table runner for the new outdoor table I built, and by 11 AM the next morning, I’d finished it. Because I’m a bit impulsive with projects sometimes. And it was bad weather and I knew I needed something to work on inside while Ramona napped.

DIY Table Runner on an outdoor table

So I packed R up and we went out to Jo-Ann bright and early. I usually take forever picking out a fabric, but since we were running up against nap time, I chose quickly. This was good and bad. Good because I didn’t waste time being indecisive, bad because I bought the wrong size.

But it was a clearance fabric that I had eyed before—I just didn’t have a project for it. I ended up having to cut the fabric into two pieces to make a runner long enough for my table. If your fabric is long enough for your runner, go ahead and skip to step 3 🙂

  • Fabric
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins, scissors
  • Iron, ironing board, starch

And here’s how to make a table runner.

Step 1: Lay out the fabric and mark cuts

First I laid the fabric out and marked where to cut my two pieces out. This was based on the pattern. Since I wanted to pattern to line up when I sewed these two pieces together, I had to be careful.

Cutting the pieces
cutting fabric for a DIY table runner

Step 2: Sew two pieces together

Next I sewed the two pieces together and then pressed the seam to one side so the fabric would lay nice and flat. (The second pic below is before pressing.)

I laid the entire piece out on the floor and used a tape measure to lay out how long my table is. Then I trimmed the ends down based on how much of an overhang I wanted for the runner—I decided on about 8 inches.

sewing fabric for a DIY table runner
sewing fabric for a DIY table runner
measuring pieces on the floor

Step 3: Hem the edges of the runner

This is a fray-riffic fabric, so I folded the edges down using an iron and pinned in place. Then I just used a straight seam to sew in place, removing the pins as I went. Repeat for both long sides.

If you use a fabric that doesn’t fray, you can skip this step. But you’ll need to cut super straight! See the difference between the fraying side and the side I folded down and sewed? Much cleaner!

sewing fabric for a DIY table runner
sewing fabric for a DIY table runner
hemming the edges

Step 4: Hem the ends

Once both long sides were done, I folded the ends over and repeated the same process. The only difference here is that I folded the ends over twice and them sewed them shut. I wanted to create a thicker finished edge here for the hanging ends.

Give all of the seams a quick press, trim any loose threads, and you’re done!

hemming the ends
hemming the ends of the DIY table runner

Here’s the finished piece on the table. I bought the fabric and made the runner before I chose the rug (big mistake) and now think they don’t look that great together. Too busy. I’m still keeping it around, though. Who knows. I might have to get a new rug in the future? (I hope not because I love this one!)

For more easy sewing projects, check out my DIY zippered throw pillow covers, my easy baby blanket tutorial, and how to hem curtains.

DIY table runner on an outdoor table
DIY table runner on an outdoor table

See my full backyard post from May here & a July update here!

pinnable graphic with text that says make a DIY table runner a simple home sewing project including an image collage

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