How to Sew a Table Runner

Happy Monday! I am glad to share probably one of the easiest sewing projects EVER! As I was about to cut out the fabric for my dining chairs that I recovered here, I noticed that I had much more fabric than I was going to need. I realized that the measurements I needed to make new covers was half the width of the fabric so I decided to cut them out lengthwise in order to leave one long strip of fabric that I could use to make a matching table runner. It worked out perfectly and I even had enough fabric for an extra seat cover in case I ever stained a chair beyond the point of repair and had to recover it again.

I started researching online what the standard length and width of a table runner would be, but then I quickly realized, not all tables are the same width, not every table runner is the same length and in this case, since I leave my table extended for an 8 setting table, my table runner would be longer than your average one anyways so I kinda put everything I read together to come up with the perfect formula for me.

So let’s get to it!

How to Sew a Table Runner How to Sew a Table Runner

There is not much to it really. Basically, you need to make sure the runner is 1/3 of the width of your table. In my case I actually didn’t’ even measure. Since my fabric was in a geometric pattern I counted the squares that I wanted and made sure I had one complete one in the middle. I was lucky I was able to get three complete squares. Then, I wanted to take the borders of the next squares on either side so the runner would have a “frame” running along the length (that would be my end border). I included that measurement, plus an inch on either side for seam allowance. If you didn’t have a pattern, just measure out the 1/3 of the width and add one inch on either side.

Lengthwise (if you want it to hang over the edge of the table, instead of just sitting on top), you want to add 12 inches past the edge of your dining table, plus another inch for seam allowance – a total of 13 inches on either side.

How to Sew a Table Runner 3 How to Sew a Table Runner

I started by pinning the fabric where I wanted it to end. Then I actually pressed along the edge with my fingernail in order to make a quick crease.

I turned the fabric around and one by one, I removed each pin and double folded the edge along the back, then re-pinned. This might seem like double work, but it worked for me since I wanted to make sure I kept the line as straight as possible so it didn’t affect the pattern in the front (I’ll show you what I mean in a little bit).

How to Sew a Table Runner 1 How to Sew a Table Runner

Here you can see the extra fabric I tucked underneath. By doing this you don’t have to use a serger to prevent the edges from fraying. It also gives the underneath part of the runner a more finished look.

How to Sew a Table Runner 2 How to Sew a Table RunnerHere is the back pinned down. After you have done this on both sides, you just run the sewing machine down each end. You want to run the sewing machine closer to the inside seam, not the edge. This way, you can be sure that you get both the outer and inner fabric sewn in.

Once you are done with the lengths, do the same procedure to the end pieces.  Make sure you double tuck!

How to Sew a Table Runner 4 How to Sew a Table Runner

Here is what my ends look like. Make sure to then cut off any loose pieces of thread and you’re done. If you need to iron your fabric, go ahead and do so.

Here is what the stitching looks like from the finished side. This is what I was talking about earlier. I wanted to make sure the beige border was as straight as possible the whole way. How to Sew a Table Runner 5 How to Sew a Table Runner

I’m no “pro-sewer”, but this made the runner look great and I was really proud. How to Sew a Table Runner 7 How to Sew a Table RunnerI hope you enjoyed this quick little tutorial. Just remember your finished table runner should be 1/3 the width of your table and 12 inches longer for overhang on each end. You can also do this as a non-sewing version, but you may have to add more allowance for seams if you use seam tape because the tape is usually about an inch wide by itself.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Your Latina,


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