This Lace and Drop Cloth Table Runner is an easy beginner sewing project that can be completed in a couple of hours (or less!). It's a great way to add some texture and dimension down the middle of a dining table.
I'm also sharing our favorite Lipton Iced Tea in nifty ready-to-drink bottles, below, too.
As the holidays are rapidly approaching (wasn't it just August, y'all?), I'm turning my attention to our dining room. Since this is our first year to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners in our new home with my entire side of the family (there are LOTS of us), I'd like to make this space a little more "us" and customize it as much as I can in what limited time I have left. One thing that's been on my list forever has been a new table runner. Our dining table is a family heirloom and I love it...but it presents its own set of issues due to its massive size. To accommodate only half of us, (we're a big "auxillary" kiddie table family...only because we need the space at the regular dining table), it has to have all of its leaves in place...making it nine feet long. It's also a very wide table...almost four feet across. So, traditional table runners are always super wimpy in here. I've tried to make them work, but no bueno.
If you recall, last year, I tried to add some fun to the middle of the table with the large centerpiece box I built (see that post here). It's a fabulous box, but in our new dining room, it looked out of place. AND, it was truly a bit tall when filled with decorations...making it difficult to visit with (or even see) the person across from you at the table (hindsight is a real thing, y'all). I have big plans for it elsewhere, but it wasn't destined for the dining room in this new house. In all honestly, I want our mealtimes in here (holiday or not) to focus on the people...and having a large, invasive centerpiece just seemed to block out a lot of the conversation and memory-making. Sometimes, I need to reimagine the dinner experience...keeping the people in mind, instead of just the decor and food.
So, I decided to keep it simple this year. I created a runner that would be plenty long and wide for this crazy table of ours. I'm really happy with how it turned out, y'all! Check out the tutorial below.
To keep the budget in check, I used a canvas drop cloth from the hardware store for this. I knew I needed a lot of length, so purchasing fabric by the yard could really add up. I wanted the runner as long as the table without any drape-over (so the people in the host and hostess chairs didn't end up with a puddle of table runner in their laps at meals). Lucky for me, drop cloths come in nine-foot lengths (they're six feet wide in that dimension).
Besides the canvas drop cloth, the other supplies I used for my lace and drop cloth table runner were: lace edging, scissors, straight pins, a measuring tape, thread, and my sewing machine (not pictured).
I started by pre-washing my drop cloth and then ironing the entire thing.
Canvas drop cloths tend to shrink a bit, so washing it first is a must.
Having a table runner made out of canvas drop cloth means I can wash it after every meal, too...which is a must for a table runner, right? Nobody wants last week's spaghetti sauce and this week's dinner party, y'all.
Since the drop cloth already had the length I needed, I used three of the hems that were already in place, so then I only had to cut and hem one side (made this project super easy and fast!). I wanted a broad table runner since my table is so wide, so I cut it to 18" across. I ironed a double hem: first folding it about an inch, then ironing that down. Then folding that ironed hem in half underneath itself to create a clean 1/2" hem. Then I ironed and pinned that hem in place all the way down the nine foot length of the runner.
Then I just used my basic stitch to sew that hem in place.
I used the already-edged side of my lace and pinned it to the underside of the table runner...right along the hem lines (both the one that was already in place on the runner and the one that I sewed). I did not put the lace on the ends of the runner...again, I worried it would interfere with the people sitting at the heads of the table.
Since my lace had a nice, clean, pre-finished edge to it, it sewed onto my hems easily.
I clipped all of my threads and it was done!
It's super simple and has that casual farmhouse look to it.
I also think the white lace really pops against my dark table once it's in place.
And my little dough bowl full of pumpkins looks perfect atop of it.
This will be soooo much better for conversations across the table!
Which honestly...isn't that what it's all about?
For the holidays, I do like to layer my table with a charger and a couple of plates, too.
These plates are super special to me and have a long story behind them. I love mixing my old table, special plates, and then fun new things like this lace and drop cloth table runner all together for a really special look during the holiday season and beyond.
When we do have our holiday meals together, we always serve iced tea (we're southern...of course we do, y'all!). This is a tradition whether we're in my home or at another family member's home. There's always iced tea. Whenever someone stops by for a visit (unexpected or not), they're not just offered a drink...they're offered iced tea.
This holiday season, we'll be using the Lipton Iced Tea in these ready-to-drink bottles. My husband is a peach tea guy, but my brother will only entertain lemon in his. And I would be in trouble if I didn't have plenty on hand.
Good conversation (without a big centerpiece blocking the way this year) and good tea...these are truly cornerstones of southern entertaining in our home. Truly, I could forget everything else...as long as these are in place, we'll be good to go.
Not only is my new lace and drop cloth table runner super purrrrty on my table, it also serves as a little barrier (fancy coaster, if you will) to drink rings. My husband has always put coasters in here for guests to use...so happy to have something a little more attractive now.
In our house, we pour the tea as we set the table...it's a part of set up and preparation. Usually, folks grab their glass and stand around drinking their tea as the meal is getting finished up.
I'll be able to leave the bottles of the Lipton Iced Tea on the counter in the kitchen so guests can get a refill whenever they need it.
For more fun entertaining and meal ideas from Lipton and The Food Network, click here.
Happy Season of Entertaining, Y'all!