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Fast & Frugal DIY: Make a Table Runner
It doesn’t take much time, talent or money to make a table runner for your kitchen or dining room table. The total cost for my supplies was less than $6, and total time from start to finish was less than 30 minutes. No sewing skills necessary!
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- 1/2-yard of fabric, 45" or 54" long
- 5/8-inch fusible bonding web
- Measuring tape or long ruler
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Step 1: Gather Your Materials
Tips on Choosing Fabric
Fabric typically runs in a standard length of 45 or 54-inches, which works perfectly on a standard-sized 48 or 60-inch table. Measure your table to see what would work best for you. If in doubt, go longer. You can always trim the length to fit.
One-half yard of fabric should give you the perfect width to create a 15 to 16-inch wide table runner. No trimming needed!
A thicker fabric, such as a home decor fabric, will hold up to washings better, but any fabric that will... withstand the highest setting of your iron will work. Since I was planning to paint my table runner, I chose a thick white duck cloth, also known as sailcloth or canvas.Continue to 3 of 8 below.
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Step 2: Create Your First Hem
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- Make sure your fabric is the approximate size of your finished table runner, but you'll want enough extra to create a hem. (See Step 1 for choosing your fabric.)
- Iron the entire length of your fabric flat to create a smooth prep surface.
- Lie your fabric face down on your ironing board. Starting with your longest length, fold over one edge of your fabric to create a hem, ironing as you go along.
- Aim for a folded hem width of 1-inch or less, but be sure to allow yourself enough of a fold to... completely cover your fusible bonding web. You may measure if you like, but this side doesn't have to be perfect. If you get off track, don't panic. Just iron your fabric flat and start over.
- After completion, one edge of the entire length of your fabric should be folded over with the hem ironed flat.
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Step 3: Set Your Width
- Still working on the long edge of your fabric, now you'll measure from your ironed side to your unironed side to set the width of your table runner. Aim for your runner to be between 15 to 16-inches wide.
- Fold over the other edge of your fabric and iron flat to your chosen width. Now is when you'll want to measure so your table runner will have a consistent width. I simply slide the measuring tape down the length of my fabric as I fold and iron. If this makes you nervous, you can measure... and pin your hem before you iron it flat.
- After you've finished, both of the long sides of your fabric should have a hem that is ironed flat, with the short edges still unfolded.
Remember that sewing is not rocket science - especially when creating home decor. You can be a fraction of an inch off, and no one will ever know. Just have fun! If something looks off while you are ironing, measure to see if you are staying on track. If your runner gets too crooked - you'll notice this more on printed fabrics than on solids - just iron flat and begin again. Very simple!Continue to 5 of 8 below.
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Step 4: Fuse Your Existing Hems
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- Cut a length of fusible bonding web about an inch shorter than the length of the table runner. Place the web in the fabric fold between your hem and the table runner.
- Preheat your iron to its highest, or wool, setting. Set your iron to steam. (If you don't have a steam iron, you can use a spray bottle to lightly mist the area to be ironed, or use a thin, damp press cloth.)
- With the hot iron, press each length of the hem and bond together for approximately 10 seconds, traveling the entire... length of the runner.
- Allow to cool and check to make sure your bond is secure. Press again, if needed.
- Repeat all of the above on the other side (or length) of your runner.
- After ironing, if your hem (or the fold of your fabric) is wider than one-inch, you may carefully trim off any extra fabric.
- Now each full length of your runner should be bonded and finished. Way to go!
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Step 5: Iron Your Final Edges
Once you've taken the time to get a straight width and fused each length, finishing off the ends of your runner shouldn't take long.
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- Decide on the length of your runner. This is simply a personal preference. Some like a short runner and some like the runner to flow over the length of the table. Whatever length you choose is fine, and the length can always be shortened at a later date.
- Trim the length of your runner, if needed.
- Just as you did on each side of your runner, fold over the edge... of the runner approximately one-inch to form a hem. Iron, and repeat on the other end. Warning: Do not fuse just yet!
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Step 6: Finish & Fuse Your Final Edges
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- As if you were wrapping a package, tuck each tip of the hem under and iron.
- Just as you did on each side of your table runner, cut a length of bonding web a bit shorter than the edge of your table runner. Place your bonding web in the fold and iron until bonded.
- And that's it - your table runner is finished. Now stand back and enjoy your handiwork!
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