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HOW TO SEW AN EASY DIY TABLE RUNNER HOLIDAY APPROVED

This table runner holiday idea is simple to sew and is made from a drop cloth.  No matter what the holiday, this runner will coordinate well with it, and the sewing project works for any fabric.  It only takes about an hour to make, the cost is super inexpensive, and it includes the simplest free table runner patterns.

DIY painters drop cloth ruffled table runner

If you are a beginner sewer then this is easy table runner holiday project is perfect. It is made from a dropcloth and pretty much has straight cuts and stitches.

So let's get starts on how to sew a table runner.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using the links below. All opinions are all my own.

TABLE RUNNER HOLIDAY

Now it's time to start the step by step tutorial on how to sew a table runner with a ruffle.

WHAT SUPPLIES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE A TABLE RUNNER

To begin, it is always good to arrange all the supplies you will need to make this beautiful painter's drop cloth ruffled table runner.  I simply grabbed the supplies I needed from my sewing supplies drawer and closet. Here is where I share how to organize sewing supplies on a budget.

Learn from me and gather all your supplies. I have started many projects to then realized I was missing something I needed and had to run to the store.

DIY painters canvas drop cloth ruffled table runner supplies

I use a sewing drawer

WHAT IS A DROP CLOTH?

Just in case you weren't exactly sure what a drop cloth is, a painter's drop cloth is simply a cloth material that a painter “drops” on the floor or uses to cover other items such as a table or chair to prevent paint from dripping on them.

MEASURE AND CUT FABRIC

Let's start with determining how long to cut your drop cloth runner.  Of all the free table runner patterns in the world, you might find this to be the easiest of them all!

DIY painters canvas drop cloth ruffled table runner holiday

CUT THE LONGEST LENGTH

Fold your fabric in half  length-wise and place it on the table.

DIY painters canvas drop cloth ruffled table runner holiday

Now pull it to one end so that the overhang on the other end is just about the length you want to hang over the edge.

DIY painters canvas drop cloth ruffled table runner holiday. Lay cloth on table

Does a table runner have to hang over?

There is no rule for how long a table runner should hang over the edge of a table or if it has to hang over at all. There are some table runners that hang all the way down the sides and touch the floor and others that just sit on the top of a table.

Now let's get back to making your table runner. Next, lay something heavy like a book on the table to keep the fabric from sliding and fold the end carefully until it hangs over the same length as the other end. 

The hanging cloth doesn't have to be perfect but make sure it is just a little longer than you think you need. It is always good to have a little extra rather than not enough fabric.

Now cut the long end off with scissors and lay the fabric out on the table again.  Your table runner length is now determined.

Stand back and evaluate it again, just to make sure you like the length.  If it is too long you may cut some more off of one end.  Then back away again and re-assess.

CUT THE WIDTH

This next part is easy, too.

Fold the painter's drop cloth over and see if you like the width.  It just so happened that the fold was the perfect size for my table, so it was a keeper!

DIY painters canvas drop cloth ruffled table runner holiday cut cloth

How wide should table runners be?

You might be asking how wide should table runners be? Well, there is no rule for the width. It all depends on the table setting design. But generally, when you buy one in the store they are about 18″ to 20″.

Now, let's cut the width of your table runner. All you have to do is cut the fold.  Make sure you are cutting a fold that leaves you another fold on the other side.  That way you only have to sew one side.

DIY painters canvas drop cloth ruffled table runner holiday. Make sure to use the side with a fold.

CUT THE RUFFLES

This next part is also super easy! Simply use a 2″ wide ruler, or you can use a short piece of a 2 x 4 board.

Now,  measure the width of your runner and add that number plus 1/2 of it  to get your width.  For example, if your runner is 18″ wide it would be 18 plus 9 for a total of 27″.  That is the width of each runner piece.

Lay the wood or ruler on the extra fabric you cut using a piece that has the finished edge.  This way you don't have to hem the edge later.

DIY painters canvas drop cloth ruffled table runner holiday. Place ruler on end of finished edge to cut runner

Now position the wood or ruler in an extra 1/2″ for the seam allowance.  Mark it with the chalk and cut.

DIY painters canvas drop cloth ruffled table runner holiday. Cut ruffle

See what I mean about this being the easiest free table runner patterns ever?

SEW LONGEST SIDE

Okay, see how quick the cutting went for the painter's drop cloth table runner holiday project?  Well, now it's time to pull out your sewing machine and  move on to the next step.

Start by sewing the longest ends.

DIY painters canvas drop cloth ruffled table runner holiday. Sew longest edge

Line up your fabric carefully and place it on your machine.  I  recommend a longer stitch so raise your stitch length.

DIY painters canvas drop cloth ruffled table runner holiday

TURN THE FABRIC

Once you are finished sewing the longest edges, run your hand and arm through the fabric and grab the other side.

DIY painters canvas drop cloth ruffled table runner holiday. Turn runner

Pull it through so that the inside is now the outside.  Turning it inside out will give you a beautiful seam along the edge.

DIY painters canvas drop cloth ruffled table runner holiday

I didn't iron this runner during the whole project, mainly because the material has a loose weave and lays very nicely.  Plus, I didn't want to slow down the project, so I kept moving along to the next step.

DIY painters canvas drop cloth ruffled table runner holiday

GATHER THE RUFFLES

The next step is also easy.

Raise your stitch length to as high as it will go.  Mine is set to 5.0.

DIY painters canvas drop cloth ruffled table runner holiday

Run a stitch all the way down the longest unfinished edge of the fabric.

DIY painters canvas drop cloth ruffled table runner holiday. Sew ruffle with large stitch

Do not back stitch at the beginning or end.

Now grab one of those strings and give it a little pull.  You will start to see how the fabric is gathering.

As a side note,  sometimes your machine will gather the fabric for you.  This depends upon the type of fabric.  The machine happened to grab the fabric for me with this project.

However, I still needed to do some pulling on the thread.

Keep pulling your thread until the ruffle is about the length of the shortest width of the runner.

PIN RUNNER

Now match up the unfinished edge where your thread is and lay the ruffle down nicely.

DIY painters canvas drop cloth ruffled table runner holiday. Pin ruffle

Next, pin your ruffle into place.

DIY painters canvas drop cloth ruffled table runner holiday. Pin ruffle

SEW RUNNER

Just like before,  sew your edges together.  Make sure to put your stitch length back to a shorter stitch.

DIY painters canvas drop cloth ruffled table runner holiday

Now repeat the steps for the runner on the other end.

TOP STITCH RUNNER SEAM

This step is optional, but I like how it turned out.  Position your ruffle flat on the table and make sure the seam underneath is laying away from the ruffle.

DIY painters canvas drop cloth ruffled table runner holiday. Top stitch ruffle

Next, run a stitch close to the ditch, so it holds the seam down snugly.

LAY RUNNER ON THE TABLE

We are almost finished.  Lay your painters drop cloth ruffled table runner holiday project on the table.

DIY painters canvas drop cloth ruffled table runner holiday. Finished product

Position it to the perfect place on the table.  If everything looks great, then give your runner a pressing with an iron.

CONCLUSION

Now use those inspirational ideas I talked about at the beginning to style your holiday painter's drop cloth ruffled runner.

DIY painters drop cloth ruffled table runner

In case you are wondering why I chose a painter's drop cloth for my material, it is because of its imperfections and natural colors. 

I also love the loose weave which gives it a fantastic texture.  And lastly and very importantly is the cost.  The material is quite inexpensive.   

If you already have the sewing machine supplies, then all you will need to purchase is the drop cloth.

I hope this table runner holiday idea helps you enjoy loads of laughter and memories with friends and family this season using the painter's drop cloth ruffled table runner.

Now here are some ideas for tablescapes you can create to go with your beautiful dropcloth ruffled table runner.

Happy Decorating!

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Anne smith

Monday 12th of November 2018

Hi, The runner is gorgeous. Do you have any tips on making drapes made from drop clothes? I want to make a runner for my long table and one for the dining table, also. Thanks, Anne

Linda McDonald

Tuesday 13th of November 2018

I do not but if you have an instagram @bigfamilylittlefarm has made some and she has a highlight showing her curtains.