How to Make a Reversible Table Runner

Earlier this week, I showed you my before and after pictures of my new table runner. Today, I'll be walking you through how I made the table runner. I am by no means a seamstress. I can barely sew a straight line, so if your skill level is at least the same as mine, this project will be a piece of cake for you.

I recently added one of my table leaves to my table, so my table currently measures 126 inches in length, or roughly 10.5 feet. I knew I wanted my table runner to hang approximately 18 inches below the table edge, so I figured out my runner length by adding 36 inches to the length of the table: 162 inches. I didn't want to cover up too much of the table, so I decided to make the runner 18 inches, which I just eyeballed and decided would be the right width. 

The fabric I purchased was a creamy, shimmery linen. The reverse side of the fabric was a dreamy blue-grey. I decided both colors would look great in my dining room, so I opted to make a reversible runner. If your fabric does not have a lovely backside like mine did, you can purchase a second fabric -- just make sure the two fabrics are roughly the same weight / texture.

I started by folding my fabric in half, and measured out 165 inches (I only needed 162, but added a few extra inches to account for the hem). 

I cut my fabric at 165 inches (I found a DIY skirt on Pinterest I'm hoping to make with the excess).

I double checked my fold and made sure my fabric was completely smooth and even, and then proceeded to cut down the folded edge, until I had two separate pieces of fabric of equal length. 

While I was working, I kept hearing dramatic sighs behind me. I turned around to find this face staring at me.

I flipped the top piece of fabric over, so that both of pieces were facing the same direction.

Creamy linen on top and dreamy grey-blue on bottom. 

I lined up my edges and smoothed out the fabric. I pulled out my silver marker (since it was similar to the fabric color) and my big level (any straight-edge tool will do). I made a straight line along one side of my fabric.

I came back around with pins. It's important to pin vertically and horizontally, to keep your fabric flat and to prevent your fabric from wrinkling and creating "bubbles" when you are sewing.

I used a tight stitch with low tension on my sewing machine, and sewed along the straight line I had just drawn on my fabric. 

I flipped my fabric around and drew another straight line on the opposite, measuring out 18 inches as I went. I sewed along that line as well. 

I cut along both sides, about half an inch away from my seam. Since the runner would eventually be flipped inside out, I didn't want a lot of excess fabric on the inside, creating bumps and lumps in the runner. 

Next, I traced a straight line on one end. As you can see below, I made a little boo-boo and had to trace a second line that made an actual right angle. Make sure you use a straight-edge! I sewed along the straight line.

I repeated this on the other end, but left a two-inch gap. I only sewed where you see the line. This small hole was left open so that I could turn the entire runner inside out. I trimmed both edges about a half inch from the seam. 

Next, I pulled my fabric through the teeny tiny hole. Don't get discouraged this step. Slow and steady wins the race! And the further along you get, the easier and faster it gets.

Once you've pulled your runner completely inside out (which is actually right-side in, if you really think about it), it's time to address the seams. You probably noticed that your seams are a little poofy.

It's time to bust out the iron! Ahhhh yeeeaaahhh..... it's getting hot in here!

Set your iron to the appropriate setting for your fabric. You'll want to lay your seams "open" first, and iron them. Sounds counterintuitive, but trust me -- it will help. 

Once you've iron both sides, lay your fabric down so that your seams are at the edges again, and iron them flat. 

Last, but not least, we must address the opening. Fold the edges of the fabric inside the runner.

Using a needle and thread, sew the opening shut. 

Voila!! You now have a reversible table runner. 




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  1. Ok. I think its HILARIOUS that you drew a straight line to sew a straight line! I just had to tell you! You'll get it! Stick a piece of painters tape on your sewing machine where the seam is, mine is usually 3/8s and just run the fabric down the line of the tape...easy peasy. But your way is good too! :P

    1. Haha, I know, I know....I just have this amazing distrust of my sewing skills. Whenever I get too confident, crazy things GO DOWN. Hehe...great tip about using painter's tape though! I will definitely try that!

  2. I must thank you for this tutorial. I've been searching the internet for exactly this. Much appreciated that you took the time to take pictures and write this post.


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