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.
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.
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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.
- Painter's drop cloth (long enough for the longest length of your table plus an extra 12″ or more)
- Sewing Machine
- 72″ metal ruler (optional)
- Sewing pins
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!
CUT THE LONGEST LENGTH
Fold your fabric in half length-wise and place it on the table.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Now position the wood or ruler in an extra 1/2″ for the seam allowance. Mark it with the chalk and cut.
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.
Line up your fabric carefully and place it on your machine. I recommend a longer stitch so raise your stitch length.
TURN THE FABRIC
Once you are finished sewing the longest edges, run your hand and arm through the fabric and grab the other side.
Pull it through so that the inside is now the outside. Turning it inside out will give you a beautiful seam along the edge.
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.
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.
Run a stitch all the way down the longest unfinished edge of the fabric.
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.
Now match up the unfinished edge where your thread is and lay the ruffle down nicely.
Next, pin your ruffle into place.
Just like before, sew your edges together. Make sure to put your stitch length back to a shorter stitch.
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.
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.
Position it to the perfect place on the table. If everything looks great, then give your runner a pressing with an iron.
Now use those inspirational ideas I talked about at the beginning to style your holiday painter's drop cloth ruffled 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.
- Thanksgiving dinner table ideas
- Hawaiian luau party ideas
- Garden party decoration ideas
- Dollar Tree fall decorating ideas for your table
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