How to Make a Short Table Runner | i should be mopping the floor
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How to Make a Short Table Runner

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This fun short table runner is unique because of its's a miniature version of a normal table runner. I designed it to use the "wrong" way on the table, instead of up the center of a table. And then I used three runners all together to add some fun interest to a simple tablescape. See how to make your own short custom table runner below.
Short Table Runner

This sweet little short table runner is a quick sewing project. I did a bit of light quilting on mine, but nothing fancy. And the quilting part is totally optional and done on your sewing machine. If you need a quick way to dress up your table, this is your ticket.'ll never guess what my color palette inspiration for these was!

How to Make a Short Table Runner
Is it just me, or does this whole color combination just scream summer? Can you guess what the inspiration behind this custom table runner was? Paper plates, y'all. Paper plates that I picked up at the dollar store. The colors were so pretty that I found some fabric at Hobby Lobby to match my plates perfectly.

How to Sew a Short Table Runner
Aren't they so pretty? It's fun to match things to the unexpected. Plus, paper plates are my go-to outside dinnerware. I am a die-hard real plate or even china user on the inside of our home. But, if we're taking things to the backyard, it's paper plates all the way. 
Summer Table Runner

How to Make a Short Table Runner

To make this short table runner outdoor-friendly, I used a heavier cotton duck fabric so it wouldn't blow right off the table. I also sprayed it with outdoor fabric spray after I had finished sewing it together. The length of your fabric will completely depend on the width of your table. Our patio table, (which is actually a table made from a door), is wider than most standard table tops. I also didn't want a pool of fabric in everyone's laps while they were seated at the table, so I just did a couple of inches more than the actual table. And honestly, this worked out fabric was 45" wide and my table was 40". I only had to cut off the selvage and I was good to go with the length. I did the width in a standard 12" table runner size.

Short Table Runner Supplies:

  • cotton duck fabric (for outdoor use, feel free to use a lighter weight fabric for indoor use)
    • Refer to my above instructions for the amount of fabric you'll need. I used this same fabric on both the top and bottom of my custom table runner.
    • In case you're wondering, the fabric I used in this post is "Marble Multi" from Mellisa De Pasquale. I purchased it at Hobby Lobby.
  • Heat n' Bond Fusible Fleece (I prefer the high loft)
    • I just use one piece of fusible fleece inside my custom table runner. If you'd like a thicker runner, you can use two pieces.
    • I purchase this big bolt of Heat n' Bond Fusible Fleece here on Amazon a couple of times a year. Y'all, the price on this bolt is AMAZING compared to buying it by the yard in the fabric shop. Do yourself a favor and grab one. 
  • coordinating thread
  • straight pins or Wonder Clips
  • standard sewing supplies: sewing machine, scissors, etc.
  • clear, acrylic quilting ruler
  • water soluble pen or marker
  • optional: zipper foot for your sewing machine
    • I like to use a zipper foot when I work with fusible fleece. It allows me to get as close as I possibly can to the fleece when I'm sewing up against it.
  • optional: Scotch-Gard to protect your fabric from spills and such (and the elements, if you're using outside)
Sewing a Short Table Runner

Sewing Your Short Table Runner

  • Start by cutting your fabric to the dimensions I talked about earlier. I desired a finished piece that measured 12"x43". So I cut two pieces of my cotton duck fabric in 13"x45" sizes. I use pretty liberal seam allowances in this project, which gives me a little wiggle room if I don't adhere my fusible fleece perfectly the whole way down the piece. 
  • Cut your fusible fleece to your end specifications: mine was 12"x43".
  • Iron your fusible fleece on to the wrong side of one of your pieces according to its package directions. You need a larger seam at one end of the table runner (for my cheater binding). So your ironed-on fusible fleece should look something like the following diagram: 
Table Runner Diagram
Wonder Clips

  • After your fusible fleece is adhered, place your two fabric pieces right sides of fabric together (so your fusible fleece will now be on the outside). 
  • Pin or clip your fabrics together (as pictured above).

Sewing with Fusible Fleece

  • You will now sew around three ends of your custom table runner pieces. Leave the shorter side with the large seam allowance open (I usually put a few pins on that side as a reminder to stop sewing when I get there). 
  • Use a basic stitch and stitch right against your fusible fleece. A great little trick is to use your zipper foot on your sewing machine. It allows you to get as close as possible to that fleece.

Zipper Foot Attachment
You can see in the above photo how close the zipper foot allows you to get to the fleece. Zipper feet come standard with most sewing machines. You'll have to get the kind for your machine, but in case you can't find your zipper foot, check out the ones here on Amazon (I bought one here for my machine and it worked perfectly; read carefully that it is a zipper presser foot).

How to Clip Corners

  • Once your three sides are stitched up, clip off your corners on the sewn side of the short end. Be careful not to clip into the stitching (you'll be super sad if you do that!). This will allow you to have nice, crisp points once you turn your piece right-side out. (See the above photo for how this looks.)

Easy Quilt-Binding

  • You can use a pointy-ish object to gently push those points out. The above is that sewn side. Below, we'll address how to close up the open side.

Cheater Quilt Binding

  • Take the open side of your custom table runner and tuck it inside itself, until you've met the edge of the fusible fleece. Give it a nice press. 
  • Then, using a basic stitch on your machine, sew about a half of an inch into the piece, closing that side (see below).
Drawing Quilting Lines

  • The far right line of the table runner (above) is the stitch to close that end of the fabric. 
  • Using your quilter's ruler and water-soluble or erasable sewing pen, mark lines every two inches on your runner. These are perfect to do an easy quilting on top add some extra dimension to your custom table runner. If you'd like to just skip this step, I recommend doing a duplicate stitch on the other short end of your table runner so it matches this one...then press your whole piece and call it good. 

Sewing Quilt Lines

  • I don't do much actual quilting, but if it's simple, straight stitches, I go for it. I just sew right on top of my lines. I use the tiniest little backstitch at each end to tack the lines...but not enough that it would show.
  • After sewing these lines, all that's left is a nice ironing. 
  • I also gave my custom table runner a couple of coats of outdoor-grade Scotch Guard to protect it from the elements and make spills easy to clean.

Mini Table Runner

Using Your Short Table Runner

I just love how this miniature table runner came out. I refinished our patio table just a bit from last's now a lot darker (but more weather-resistant...long story). These gorgeous little mini table runners give it a nice brightness and pop of color that I think it needs. I created three of these table runners, in all. 

Outdoor Tablescape
I dressed up plastic flatware by rolling it in my linen napkins. Even though I prefer paper plates and plasticware outside, nothing beats a cloth napkin. I added a purple polka-dotted bow for one more pattern.

Table Runner Placemat
This short table runner placed in this particular direction easily acts as a placemat, too. They're easy to just throw in the wash if they get any spills or food on them.

Patio Table Runners
Our back patio is really coming together for the season. We love eating our meals out here as often as we can. See the  transformation of this space in the video below.

Summer Table Runners
The perfect lil' summer picnic, no?

Looking for More Table Runner Ideas?

Free Sewing Patterns


  1. Love the colors.......where did you find that fabric? Great summer table!!

    1. Thank you so much, Jana! The fabric is from Hobby Lobby. It's called "Marble Multi" from Mellisa De Pasquale. Hope this helps!

  2. Why have I never thought of mini table runners like this before?! I think this is pretty genius how they serve as placemats, and leave spots between the runners for the centerpieces, or things like butter and bread, etc. Love so much. Pinned. Found you at the Nifty Thrifty Sunday link up.
    I recently started a new link up on my EyeLoveKnots blog, and this month, I am sponsoring the giveaway of a pair of peacock earrings if you'd like to stop by the party.

    Alexandra of EyeLoveKnots
    Super Crafty Sunday Link Up #5:

    1. Thank you so much, Alexandra! Appreciate you stopping by. I'll head to your place in a bit! ;)

  3. I saw your post on Wow me Wednesday. This is a gorgeous project, gorgeous post, gorgeous photos! I'm still struggling with the photography on my blog. So I appreciate great photos when I see them.

    1. Oh, thank you so much, Mary Beth. This was a struggle for me, too, years ago. I have taken a few classes that helped me in this area...that may be helpful? Appreciate your kind words.

  4. Very cute color combo! Love the marbly fabric! Pinned! Thank you for sharing on Merry Monday! We hope you will join us again next week!

    1. Thank you so much, Kim! It's always fun linking up with you! <3

  5. Your tablescape looks divine! I really like the mix of colors and textures there. Thank you for sharing these pics!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing such kind words! I truly appreciate it! <3