Do you need a quick gift for someone? This quick table runner is a super quick and easy sewing project you can make. This would also be a great beginner sewing project. This project can be completed in less than an hour. It could be as little as a half-hour or even 15 minutes depending on what embellishments you select. This table runner does not require a pattern.
This table runner is also known as the ten minute table runner. This really is a FAST table runner to make. The first one I made took me 15 minutes (without the buttons or sewing embellishments) because I took extra time to center the feature fabric and ironing it. I call my version the half-hour table runner because when you add sewing on the buttons and sewing the decorative stitches down each side, it adds another 15 minutes or so.
Click below to watch our free video tutorial or keep reading for a photo tutorial on how to make this super easy table runner. Also, look below after the tutorial for links to purchase supplies for this project. By purchasing supplies through our affiliate links below, we receive a small commission and you help us to keep making more project tutorials.
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What you need for this Quick Table Runner
- Feature Fabric (ex. snowman)
- Background fabric (ex. red snowflakes)
- Two Buttons, bows, yo-yo, or other decoration (optional)
- Color-coordinated thread
These are the fabrics selected for our sample table runner. The Snowman fabric will be the feature fabric on the front of the table runner. The red snowflakes will be the sides and back.
Instructions for the 15 minute Table Runner
STEP 1: CUTTING FABRIC
Cut the back fabric 18" wide by the width of fabric (WOF). Later you can adjust the length of your table runner by cutting some off or leaving it as is.
Cut the feature fabric 9" - 12" wide by the width of the fabric. I cut mine at 9" wide because I wanted to see more of the background fabric along the sides. If you cut it wider, there will be less background fabric showing. So, choose a size anywhere between 9" - 12" and cut your fabric.
STEP 2: SEWING FABRICS TOGETHER
Next, lay the two fabrics right sides together with the long edges matching (see video for details). Pin one long edge together and sew it with a 1/4" seam allowance.
Continue by matching the other long edge together, pin and sew at 1/4" seam. The fabrics will now be a tube.
At the cutting mat, trim off the selvages on each end of your table runner. The selvages are on the ends not sewn. At this time, make the runner shorter by cutting more off. The points of the finished table runner will be about as long as the fabric (minus about 1/2" for the seam allowances).
What is a fabric selvage?
Selvages on the fabric are the edges of the fabric opposite the fold when the fabric is on the bolt. These edges are finished in the factory to keep the fabric from fraying. There may be print along the selvage which identifies the manufacturer and line of fabric. Not all fabric has printing on the selvage. When sewing, the selvage is normally cut off as it can be harder to sew through. The selvage can be left on the fabric if your seam allowance is wider than the selvage area so then the edge will be finished inside the seam.
STEP 3: PRESSING & TURNING
At your ironing board, lay the runner flat and iron the seams open. They can also be ironed to one side.
Next, turn the fabric so the right side is on the outside (right side out). Center the feature fabric on the front and iron it flat (see more instructions on centering in the video).
To center the feature fabric, use a ruler to measure each side fabric and make sure it's centered properly and adjust as necessary. Measure at intervals all the way down the runner to make sure it says centered all the way.
STEP 4: FINISHING STITCH
Next, decide what type of finishing stitch to add to the runner. This step can be skipped, but I think it adds a nice finishing touch and also will help hold the table runner together once it is washed. It will be easier to get it back into shape if there are stitches holding it together.
This is a great project to use some of those decorative stitches built into your machine. If you don't have decorative stitches, don't worry, a straight stitch can be used also. Some options for the stitching are:
- Straight stitch along one or both sides of the seams
- Add a decorative stitch along the side of the seams
- Add a decorative stitch in the middle of the border
- Add an edge stitch along the edges of the table runner.
This is a close up of the decorative stitch I used on this table runner.
STEP 5: SEWING ENDS
Now for finishing the ends. Take the table runner and fold it with the back side together as shown. The feature fabric should be facing out. Match the edge of the runner and pin to hold in place. Also, match and pin at the seam to make sure it doesn't shift.
Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance to finish the ends. Do this on both ends of your table runner.
STEP 6: PRESS AND FLIP
At your ironing board, iron the end seams open as shown in the photo above.
Next, flip the seam under to make a point. Use a pencil or turning stick to push the point out nicely.
Iron the point flat. Do the same on the other end of your table runner.
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Now you have the finished ends of your table runner and it's almost finished!
Step 7: Embelishments
Finish your table runner by hand sewing a button, bow, yo-yo or other embellishments to hold down the ends. If you don't want to add an embellishment, just put a few stitches in the seam to tack the ends down. This will help when you wash the runner to keep it in shape.
For the snowman themed table runner, I added two bells. See below for cute buttons I added to my springtime table runner.
Now the table runner is finished. Wasn't that quick and easy?
Above are the two table runners I made. The orange runner has a wider feature fabric, so notice that the border is not as large. I also used some cute bee buttons on mine.
This is the full finished table runner.
This is a close up of the stitching on the first orange table runner.
Make these table runners for Christmas, birthday or other holidays. These table runners would make great teacher gifts too!
This would be a great project for teaching kids to sew. We recently used this project for a 4-H sewing project. It was an easy project that the kids could make after our monthly meeting. The kids came with their own fabrics and we supplied sewing machines, irons, and other supplies. We also had some fun 4-H fabrics available for any kids who forgot fabrics. They were each able to finish their table runners that evening and they looked great!
We hope you enjoyed this project! We have lots of other sewing project ideas and tutorials available. Please look at the links below for some supplies you could use to make this project.
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