Lace and Drop Cloth Table Runner | i should be mopping the floor
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Lace and Drop Cloth Table Runner

This Lace and Drop Cloth Table Runner is a 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. Plus, it's a table runner that not only looks lovely, but is also budget-friendly.

Easy Sew Table Runner

Lace and Drop Cloth Table Runner

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 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. 

So, I decided to keep it simple this year. I created a table 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.

Drop Cloth Project

Table Runner Supplies

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). 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 table runner were: lace edging, scissors, straight pins, a measuring tape, thread, and my sewing machine (not pictured).

Ironing Fabric
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 this material 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 at this week's dinner party, y'all.

Pinning Drop Cloth

Sewing Your Table Runner

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 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.

Quarter Inch Hem
Then I just used my basic stitch to sew that hem in place. 

Pinning Lace
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. 

Sewing Lace
Since my lace had a nice, clean, pre-finished edge to it, it sewed onto my hems easily.

Drop Cloth Sewing
I clipped all of my threads and called it done! This table runner is super simple and has a nice, casual look to it.

Pretty Table Runner
I also think the white lace really pops against my dark table once it's in place.

Table Setting
For the holidays, I 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. 

Pumpkin Centerpiece

More DIY Table Runner Ideas

Easy Sew Runner
Happy Season of Entertaining, Y'all!


  1. What a beautiful runner for the Thanksgiving table. I love to set something up that looks pretty in preparation for a full meal. I will be bookmarking this for the holidays.

  2. Your table runner came out amazing! If I didn't know any better, I would have thought that came straight from a designer boutique or something. I wouldn't have thought you would be able to make something so elegant from canvas drop cloth. I would be proud to have something like that on my dining room table, although I wouldn't need one quite as long, lol

  3. You have a real knack for making lovely table settings. The table runner is gorgeous, but I really like the tumblers you used. Everything looks so festive and welcoming.

  4. This is really cool and creative. I am definitely gonna try to make one for the upcoming Holiday season. My friends and family would love it for sure. Simple yet elegant looking. two thumbs up for this.

  5. I am seriously in love with your table runner! It is absolutely gorgeous! Thank you for the tutorial! It will look perfect on my dining room table the holiday season. I just might be able to make one for my mother in law and sister in laws.

  6. That table runner looks so pretty! This is the first year in several that I won't be celebrating Thanksgiving. My inlaws usually come over to Denmark from England, but we're in the middle of buying and selling apartments, so I simply don't have the time to host this year. And I'd LOVE some of that Lipton iced tea... they only sell a horrible generic peach flavor over here and I miss lemon flavored Lipton iced tea almost as much as I miss Taco Bell.

  7. I love that iced tea! I want to sew a table runner but I have a feeling that it isn't as easy as you make it look. I struggle with sewing in a straight line.

  8. This table cloth would spruce up a table of mine. I'm a cheater, though. I'm taking the directions to my momma to make it for me. Yeah, I'm 40, but so what.

  9. I love love love your ideas! Enjoy your newsletter and look forward to it every week! I've told a friend about you and hope she subscribes to your newsletter. You are a blessing and inspiration to all of us! Thank you.

  10. I love the contrast of the lace and the more rustic canvas. Your thanksgiving table is gorgeous! Thank you for linking up to Funtastic Friday!