I love how even though you can be married to a person for years and years five months, there are always new things to learn about them. Like this weekend, when my wife Kristie said to me, "I really love table runners." I never knew that! (I mean, it's not like it's a common conversation topic in our house, but still.) So she was pretty excited when, on Friday, I woke up and decided to make one.
To make this colorful, polka dot table runner, you will need:
- A strip of jute or burlap fabric that's 9" wide and one foot longer than the length of your table (I used fabric that was 72" long; our table seats four people)
- White paint
- A pencil
- Five different colors of embroidery thread (Cut ten strands of each color 10" long; separate into two groups, one for each end of the runner. Each tassel needs five strands of thread.)
- Opaque tape
- Fabric scissors
How I did it (see below for photos of the steps):
First I hemmed all the edges of the jute a little bit for a cleaner look. If you decide to hem yours too, be careful: pins are really good at hiding in this kind of fabric!
Using washi tape (although any kind of opaque tape will work), I made a criss-cross pattern across the whole piece of fabric to help guide where the polka dots would go.
I dipped the eraser end of the pencil into the white paint and made my dots according to the tape pattern. Pro tip (which of course I forgot to do at first): Make sure there's paper underneath your fabric when adding the polka dots! Otherwise the paint can bleed through. Luckily, Kristie's pretty quick with a sponge.
Let the paint dry completely. I left mine out overnight.
To add the tassels:
Cut a horizontal slit (about 1/2" wide) in the middle of one end of the runner, just above the hem. Fold five strands of your first color of embroidery thread in half, looping the fold around your fingerm and thread the loop through the slit front to back. Pull the loop down enough so you can tuck the other end of the thread through it, and then pull tight. Continue until all five colors have been added to each end.
Trim the ends of the thread so that they're all even (mine ended up being about 2 1/2" long).
Did your thread look kind of bent and wonky like mine? I used a hair straightener to quickly flatten each tassel for a more uniform look. Check out the before and after:
All set! Top with whatever autumn accoutrements frequent your house this time of year (my obsession with tiny pumpkins is on great display).
Isn't it the best feeling to make something you know will be appreciated by someone else? Kristie really likes this one!
I think placemat versions of this would be really cute, too. Hmm...