Any good crafter will tell you that the best homemade crafts are made from everyday items. This time of year a festive table runner can brighten anyone’s holiday dinning or kitchen table, and one can be made without costing a lot.
All a person needs to make a holiday table runner is one white or lightly colored standard pillowcase, one child’s Christmas coloring book, a pencil, embroidery floss or fabric paints of multiple colors, scissors, fabric glue or needle and thread, and approximately five yards of decorative lace trim.
Start by using the scissors to cut along the sides of the pillowcase, opening it up to make one long piece. If the ends have a hem, cut this off along the stitch line to create a raw edge. The standard pillowcase should be approximately 60 inches by 20 inches after the cutting. You can work with these dimensions are cut the pillowcase down to the size you want.
Next pick out a design from the child’s Christmas coloring book. It could be a picture of Santa Claus, a Christmas tree, or a whole winter scene, and place it beneath one end of the pillowcase. Be sure to have it centered and approximately one and one-half inches from the side and bottom edges. Lightly trace the design onto the pillowcase with the pencil. When finished, do the other end of the pillowcase, being sure to center correctly. If I have difficulty seeing the design through the fabric, I tape the picture to the fabric and then hold it against a window to trace. You can also use a light box if you have one. You can also add a small design to the center of the table runner.
Use embroidery floss to stitch a basic outline of the design, use colored thread according to the design or only use one color, such as when doing Redwork (a type of embroidery that uses red thread to stitch a simple line design). If you do not embroider, use colorful fabric paints. With fabric paints, you have the option of painting the picture as you would color it in a coloring book, filling in the design and not just outlining it.
Last you will add the lace trim to the top all the way around the pillowcase. The lace can be any color and design. Ribbon can also be used, but lace is more pretty and elegant looking. Use the needle and thread to sew the lace on the edge or use the fabric glue to glue it on. Be sure to turn the edge of the pillowcase under to create a smooth finish. If you use a larger pillowcase you will need to adjust the amount of lace needed.
Some variations and tips:
Instead of tracing a design from a coloring book, do a free-hand drawing.
If you have children, let them use the fabric or finger paints to create their own design.
Use bright, bold embroidery thread or fabric paints to help the table runner stand out.
Instead of lace or ribbon to trim the edge, use already made fabric ruffle.