This table runner started life as a Christmas item. For the first time, I was going for a coherent theme for the dinner table and chose to run with a children’s traditional style. After looking into buying a table runner to serve the purpose, I found these things can be extremely expensive and sometimes too fussy.
So, with runner measurements in hand, I headed to a local fabric and haberdashery store. There I found a veritable treasure trove of simple, homely designs amongst the more extravagant materials. I settled on a red gingham cotton, which turned out to be really inexpensive.
I had already decided to avoid sewing as far as possible (there is usually precious little time available on the run-up to Christmas Day), so bought myself some Wunderweb. And it is as the name suggests – a thing of wonder.
The haberdashery ladies were only too pleased to help with advice on joining the pieces of fabric together, and all the materials came to less than £4. Now that’s got to be a bargain in anyone’s book.
On Christmas Day, the finished effect was really lovely and the children adored it. In fact, I was so pleased with the runner that it now has a permanent place on the table and I shall be making one or two more in different colours.
Step By Step
Decide on the dimensions you would like your runner to be, measuring them against the table. The width should be around one third of the table’s width and make sure you leave a few inches to hang over the table at each end.
Buy fabric to those dimensions. You may need two pieces to join together, but the shop staff will help with this.
Make sure you get your Wunderweb! One packet will do (unless the table is huge) as you can cut it lengthways and double the amount you have to use. Thrifty!
At home, lay out the material on the table to get an idea of how it will look when finished (it helps to picture what you are aiming for).
Following the Wunderweb instructions (it works by being ironed on to the material), place the strip on the edge of the material (wrong side up) and fold over the edge to about half an inch. If the Wunderweb is too deep, cut it in half lengthways.
Work your way around the edges before joining the two pieces together – this will prevent fraying.
When you have the two pieces finished, use more Wunderweb to stick them together. Of course, if you have the time and basic skills, you can always hem the runner with a needle and thread or sewing machine.
Voila! You have your lovely table runner. And it will be machine washable too (provided you chose a cotton/polyester-based material).
If you wish, you can form the ends of the runner into a triangle and add a tassel or beads at the point. You could also attach fancy edging, beads or buttons. For some great ideas and inspiration, try the haberdashery website josyrose.com. They have some really beautiful things to spark your imagination.