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When October arrives I look forward to changing our home’s décor for the upcoming season and holidays. I want it to look festive, warm and inviting for family and friends. I have an abundance of Halloween decorations, but need to spruce up my other fall décor and wanted to create more handmade accents this year. I like that in making a home décor piece myself, I can make the project reflect my own style and tastes.
In particular, I thought a simple table runner for a sideboard in my dining room would be a great project to start with. Why a table runner? Surprisingly, it’s actually a simple sewing project even for a beginner. It’s one that can be easily adapted to be as basic or complex as you like.
Unlike a table cloth, a table runner covers the center area of a table or piece of furniture. If you have a beautiful table, you may not want to cover it completely as you would with a table cloth. Instead, you can cover the middle area for practical use – vases or other heavy décor - and leave the rest of the surface exposed. And depending on what material you choose to use, a table runner can compliment and enhance the table’s natural beauty. So a runner is both decorative and functional.
And although I’m calling it a table runner, the possibilities aren’t limited to just tables. My runner is to cover a side board, but a runner can also cover any table, dresser, long shelf or even a fireplace mantel. Take a look around you and see what pieces of furniture in your home have potential. Size and shape of a runner will depend on the furniture piece you wish to cover. It can drape over the ends or can fit just within the surface dimensions. If you do want the runner to hang over the edge of the table, be sure to adjust the material length to about 12 inches longer than the table’s actual length. Another benefit to making your own table runner is the savings you might find depending on your choice of material. I used inexpensive, basic brown cotton broadcloth along with several coordinated fabric scraps so my project in the end cost just a few dollars to make.
To make this table runner, I started by first measuring my sideboard to determine the length of my runner. Then I coordinated some fabric scraps that went well together. I cut 2- 6 inch leaf squares and 3- 6 inch cream squares as well as 2.5 inch by 12 inch strips of 3 other fabrics – 2 of each pattern.
I stitched the 3 different pattern strips together and then cut those in half to make 4 panels. This was much easier to do than stitching 4 separate panels. I then stitched together the solid squares as well as the 4 striped panels to form a long strip of squares. I pressed the seams flat on the back. This piece is the center of the runner.
I measured the brown fabric to the same length as the center piece and cut 2 – 3.5 inch strips. I stitch one strip to each side of the length of the center piece and again pressed the seams flat with an iron.
At this point, I traced and cut out simple hand drawn leaves from fabric that I’d ironed adhesive bond to the back. I ironed the leaves to the cream squares, layering some and stitched around each one with a straight stitch.
I measured and cut another piece of brown fabric to the same size as the front and sewed front and back together with right side facing. I left a 4 inch opening along the side, turned out the runner and pushed out the corners with the Stuffer Tool from the Sewing Taxi. I folded in the opening and pressed it flat. I stitched along the sides of the center piece and then around the entire runner to complete. I also found that I could use my runner with its reverse side. The simple brown could be used for any occasion.
Tip: Add batting to quilt or if you wanted a quilted look without the added work, purchase quilted fabric.