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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.