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Make Your Own Table Runner and Napkins!

I am so excited to introduce my friend Paris, the extremely talented artist behind With Love by Bug! Paris is one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram–her artwork is charming and original, her talent is undeniable, but the best thing about her is her enthusiasm and kindness 🙂 We bonded over a shared love of the Cape and oysters and here we are–my first guest post on the blog!

When Paris shared a photo of her beautiful Thanksgiving table on her Instagram, I immediately reached out to her for a tutorial. I love setting the table, but it feels so wasteful to buy different table linens for each holiday. I loved the meaning behind her handmade creations, and she assured me that it was really easy to do! I can’t wait to make my own for Easter! 🙂


Hi there! I am so thrilled to be doing a mini takeover of Sarah’s blog…with a tutorial on how to sew your own table runner and napkins. 

These are great projects for beginner sewers! All you need is a little bit of time and patience and you should be good to go. The seams are all straight, 

I purchased this beautiful fabric from Etsy. I adore blockprint and blue and white … so it is the best of all worlds. 

For reference, I bought 5 yards of fabric, which is 43 in wide. The fabric is a bit thin, so I will use a white fabric as the bottom side. This will also allow me more leftover fabric to make larger napkins with. Since solid color fabrics are more affordable than printed fabrics, this is often a cost effective method as well.

Tips: 

  • Always buy a bit more fabric than you think you need 
  • Don’t rush a project ! Give yourself plenty of time, and be pleasantly surprised if it’s done faster than you thought ! 
  • Oftentimes, I’ll cut my material in one sitting and then sew it in the next. It’s a nice way to split up your activity into manageable pieces! 
  • Most seamstresses will recommend that you wash your fabric prior to sewing with it. Since we’re not making any clothes today, and crisp fabric is the best (!) I did not pre wash my fabric. 
  • Sewn edges not perfectly straight? Fabric not exactly 14 in? That’s OKAY!! In my mind, a finished project is always better than an unfinished project!! And who wants to be perfect?! 

Make Your Own Table Runner 

What you’ll need:

  • 2.25 or 3 yards of fabric (depending on what size runner you want) for front, and 2.25 or 3 yards of fabric for back. 
  • Matching thread 
  • Sewing Machine 
  • Scissors
  • Iron 

Step 1: Decide what size runner you’d like

Runners can range from 72 in long, which is standard, to 108 in long. Not sure? Measure your table to see what size would work best.


Step 2

    Cut out two rectangles, one from your “front” fabric and one from your “back” fabric. Each should be 15 in wide by 73 inches long (or whatever size you determined in step 1). This extra inch per side is for the seam allowance. Once sewn, your runner will be about 14 in by 72 in.


    Step 3

    Pin the fabric together, with the wrong sides facing out. Pin along three of the sides (both long sides and one short side).


    Step 4

    Sew fabric together, along three pinned sides.

    Step 5

    At each corner, trim the edge. This will give you a “crisp” corner!

    Step 6

    Iron 1/2 in on each side of the unsewn edge down. This will allow your finished project to have no exposed edges.

    Step 7

    Flip fabric inside out (the fun part!) Now, the right sides of the fabric will be showing.

    Step 8

    Pin and sew across the top opening of the table runner.

    Step 9

    Iron the whole runner and voilà! You’re done!


    Make Your Own Napkins 

    What you’ll need :

    • Fabric
    • Matching thread
    • Sewing Machine
    • Scissors
    • Iron 

    Fabric can come in various widths. But what a great way to use your scrap material by making napkins ! 

    1. Determine desired size of napkins. Cloth dinner napkins are traditionally 17in by 17in, “lunch” napkins are 13 in by 13in and cocktail napkins are 10 in by 10 in. However….in the end it doesn’t really matter! I’m making 13 in by 13 in, because that’s what my fabric allows! 

    2. Add an inch to whatever size napkin you’d like.This is for your seam allowance. So if you want 13 in napkins, you will cut out a 14 in by 14 in square. 

    3. To cut  a square, simply fold over fabric onto itself (creating a triangle) and then cut. 

    4. Trace original square for remaining napkins

    5. Next up, iron! Take one side of the napkin and fold over as close to the edge as possible. Iron. Then, fold the ironed edge over itself. This will ensure that you have no exposed edges (!) Repeat this  process for all sides. Are your edges still pulling up? Stick a few pins in to keep edges in place.

    6. Sew each side of the napkin down. And you are done! 


    Thank you so much, Paris!! You can follow Paris on Instagram @withlovebybug and find her website here (I’m dying over these hand-embroidered cocktail napkins!)

    One thought on “Make Your Own Table Runner and Napkins!

    1. This. Is. Everything!!! Love the immediacy, satisfaction, and personal touch this offers. I have soooooo many fantastic but unused fabric pieces.

      I’m not a huge runner fan (sorry!), but this tip applies to making a pretty octagon or large rectangle for under a centerpiece!

      Now all. Need is a sewing machine that works!!!

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