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

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

How to Make a Custom Table Runner

This Custom Table Runner Post is sponsored by Acorn.
All opinions are mine.

This fun custom table runner is unique because of its's a miniature version. I designed it to use the "wrong" way on the table. And then I used three of them together to add some fun interest to a simple tablescape. See how to make your own mini custom table runner below.

Table Runner
This sweet little custom 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. 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!

Easy Tablescape
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? It was these gorgeous paper plates from Dixie. I mean...gorgeous.

Dixie Plates
These lovely chevron and watercolor dot patterns are so pretty. They're available exclusively right now at your local Dollar General. Dollar General is one of my secret treasure spots...I find the BEST stuff there. I started being a loyal DG shopper when we lived up in Muleshoe, Texas over ten years ago. Shopping was limited in that area, but my Dollar General never treated me wrong. 

This particular line of Dixie plates is available in the picnic area, in the middle of the store...not where the traditional paper wares are kept. These plates have five layers and are 50% stronger than the leading store brand, so you can double up on servings, not plates! Their Soak Proof Shield™ that can handle anything from salad dressing to burger grease. They're also cut-resistant and microwavable to make reheating leftovers a breeze. But, I truly think my favorite thing about them was that they coordinate so well with this funky new marble fabric I found. In my summery tablescape, I use both the Dixie® Everyday 10.5-inch Plate topped with a Dixie® Everyday 9-inch Plate.

Summer Table Ideas

How to Make a Custom Table Runner

To make this custom 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 we actually made from an old door last spring), is wider than most. 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.

Custom 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.
  • 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.
  • coordinating thread
  • straight pins or Wonder Clips
  • standard sewing supplies: sewing machine, scissors, etc.
  • clear, acrylic quilting ruler
  • water soluble pen or marker (I use the FriXion Erasable pens that erase from fabric with the steam of my iron.)

Cutting Fabric

Sewing Your Custom 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. I cut my fusible fleece to my end specifications: 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 this: 
Table Runner Diagram

Easy Table Runner
After your fusible fleece is adhered, place your two fabric pieces right sides together (so your fusible fleece will now be on the outside). Pin or clip your fabrics together.

Quilted Runner
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 a zipper foot on your sewing machine. It allows you to get as close as possible to that fleece.

Sewing A Table Runner
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.

Summer Runner
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.

Marbled Fabric
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.

Patio Table
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).

Quilt 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. 

Quilting 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.

Setting a Table

Using Your Custom Table Runner

I just love how this miniature custom 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. 

Summer Tablescape
And seriously, y'all...these Dixie plates on top of the runners just make it! I used a Dixie® Everyday 10.5-inch Plate in the chevron design topped with a Dixie® Everyday 9-inch Plate in the cute watercolor dots. Using both of the contrasting designs add a bit of fun dimension to my table. The smaller one works great as a salad plate, too.

Bright Table Decor
I dressed up plastic flatware by rolling it in my linen napkins. I added a purple polka-dotted bow for one more pattern. The colors of the Dixie plates were so easy to match textiles with this season.

Summer Table Ideas
This custom table runner set 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 Decor
Our back patio is coming together for the season. 

Kalanchoe Plants
While I was at Dollar General grabbing my plates, 
I also picked up these planters to use on the table.

Summer Dishes
I love that the table looks super cute, but is functional and easy to clean up with paper plates. Dixie knocked it out of the park with these summer designs available at Dollar General.

Picnic Table
The perfect lil' summer picnic, no?

Dixie Summer Plates
These limited edition Dixie plates are available now through the end of July exclusively at Dollar General. They come in the following counts/sizes:

  • Dixie® Everyday 26 ct. 10.5-inch Plate
  • Dixie® Everyday 48 ct. 9-inch Plate
  • Dixie Ultra® 20 ct. 10.5-inch Plate

Outdoor Table

Looking for more Custom Table Runner Ideas?


  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.