This DIY reversible table runner will give you the option for two beautiful tablescapes. Plus it's a fun sewing project!
Crafts and Home Decor

How to Make a DIY Reversible Table Runner

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Tonight I’m throwing a rainbow themed dinner party (more on that next week) and my decor basically consists of a DIY reversible table runner. Yep, that’s pretty much it. It’s a self-binding one that I based on this minky baby blanket. I’ve been meaning to make one for about a year because I hate constantly buying plastic tablecloths or figuring out how to get my blue place mats to match with everything. It’s taken forever because my sewing machine’s been broken, but now that I finally got around to it, I figured I had to share.

Instructions for a DIY Reversible Table Runner

Materials

1-3 yds fabric1
2-4 yds fabric 2
*Note on fabric – how much you need depends on the size of your table. Also, it is reversible, but one will have an edge of the other so they shouldn’t clash.
thread
needle
scissors
measuring tape
sewing pins

Couldn’t Hurt, Might Help
pinking shears
sewing rotary mat
sewing machine

Cut & Measure Material

Determine Your Table Size

You probably know how big your table is, but if not, give it a quick measure. Mine is gigantic, 108 inches. The width doesn’t matter, only the length. Table runners are generally 12 inches wide, and that’s our goal here.

Do Some Math

What?! Math?! Oh no! Yes, we have to do math now. Luckily, it’s easy math. Since this is a self-binding reversible table runner,  the fabrics need to be two different sizes. I wanted mine to be about 111 x 12 so it had a little overhang. You’re going to lose about 5 inches between your initial measurement and the final product.  So, you’ll want your bigger piece to be (your desired length + 5) x (12 + 5). For me, that was 116 x 17 in black fabric.

For the second piece of fabric,  you have to base everything off the first piece and your actual desired size is irrelevant. To do that, subtract 8 inches each way from the bigger piece. So, in my case, it was 108 x 9 in the black and white chevron.

Cut Material

This can be quite the challenge with a long table like mine. I started with a tape measure, but wound up having to use my rotary mat because I couldn’t get it right. I used pinking shears, which I assume is better than regular scissors but don’t actually know. If you’ve seen my cat rug, you know I’m not a professional seamstress.  Now, you’ll have to figure out the easiest way to measure 17 x whatever length you’re going for. Remember, your main fabric (the one that will be visible on both sides) needs to be 8 inches longer than the secondary fabric on both sides.

measuring fabric
Excuse all that dog hair. It’s shedding season. I swear I didn’t put it on my table that way. Anyway, 17 inches wide for your bigger piece of fabric should do the trick.

Pin It

Time to do some pinning! You need 4 pins per fabric piece here, one in the middle of each side. To find the centers, just fold your fabrics in half, first horizontal, then vertical. Pin the folds. Once you’ve got all 8 pins in, pick a side to start with. I chose to do a short side first  to make it easy on myself, but I really don’t think it matters. Anyway, once your side is chosen, put your fabrics together. The front sides (the side that will be visible in the end) should face each other. Line up the two pins. You may think this is weird because they’re not the same size, but it is right, and it will get weirder. Pin the rest of the side up so it’s easy to sew.

pinned fabric
Fold and pin in the middle on all 4 sides.
pinned fabric
I now realize black fabric has rendered this a bad idea, but that middle point is where you start. It’s the center of both the black and the chevron.

 

Sewing

Sew

Go ahead and sew the pinned edges together. Use a sewing machine, hand sew it, glue it, whatever. Just kidding. Don’t glue it. Leave 1/2 inch of the shorter fabric on both sides.

sewn fabric
Start in the middle (less important on the short side, but very important on the long side) and sew about 1/2 inch from the edge of the small fabric. Yes, that will leave some flapping large fabric.

Repeat

Do this with each side. The reversible table runner is going to start looking super weird, but that’s alright. The only difference on any side should be the last long side. Leave a space in the middle to flip it inside out later. Mine was probably about a foot long, but if you are a more patient flipper, you could probably get away with only 6 inches.

in-progress table runner
See my giant unsewn hole. Perfect for flipping.

Cut Some Corners

You’re literally going to cut the corners now. This part is very scary and it’s hard to explain, but I’m going to do my best. Pick one corner and pull up the fabric  so you make an actual 90 degree corner (or close). Then pin it. If you’re scared of this part, you can sew it first, but if you’re a no fear kind of seamstress, go ahead and cut the fabric above the pin. Either way, sew that crazy corner up. I always check the first one before I cut it, just in case. To do that, flip it right side out. Do you have a nice mitered corner? Great. Then do that three more times.

unsewn corner of a table runner
All that fabric on the end gets bunched up to make a nice corner with a weird overhand.
pinned fabric
Now pin the overhang (or mark it with a marker – not a great idea with black fabric).
cut fabric
Cut off all that extra fabric and sew the edge closed. If you’re scared, sew the edge first, right where you pinned it.
corner of a table runner
When you flip it out, you’ll have a lovely corner and no one will ever know how weird it once looked.

Flip It and Reverse It

Seriously, just flip it right side out and now you have a reversible table runner. Sweet! You do still have to sew up that hole in the long edge. Do that by folding over the loose edges on both fabrics, then sew them together. Bam! You’re done. Now go set the table.

black & white table runner
Sew the whole up and admire your handiwork.
reversible table runner
Now I have a solid black table runner and a chevron black & white table runner. Hurrah!

DIY table runner project - Add some fun table decor with this reversible table runner. It's a great self-binding sewing project.Table decor ideas will be a lot easier when you have this reversible table runner to start off with. Looking for a new DIY sewing project? Try this self-binding table runner and get two options for a fancy table setting.

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7 Comments

  1. that is really cool. I love how talented you are. I would definitely put this on my table.

  2. Oh, it’s really nice! My daughter is getting into projects like this. She started with making pillows and now has expanded into bigger projects.

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Oh fun! I still like doing pillows myself, nice, easy, square pillows. Lol.

  3. Erica Schwarz says:

    I got a sewing machine not that long ago to make kitchen curtains from flour sack cloths i.e. easy straight edges on rectangled fabric), and haven’t branched off yet into new territory. This looks like a fun project, and I love the result.

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Thanks! I’m actually a really terrible sewer, but I like to try crazy things anyway. I’m not trying to impress anyone, just entertain myself.

  4. I wish I had a long table instead of a small one as I’d love to have a go at making this. It looks awesome 🙂

    Louise x

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Hey, a small runner would be much easier! I do baby blankets that way too. 🙂

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