How to Make an Outdoor Table Runner

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Add a splash of color to your outdoor dining table with a DIY table runner. We made this lively, two-tone runner as part of our Outdoor Dining Area Makeover to make our table extra special. For this project, since we knew the runner would primarily be outside, we added weights to the ends to help keep the runner in place, even on a breezy day. We also made our runner from cleanable, outdoor-friendly Sunbrella fabric.

Today we’re going to break down the steps so you can make a runner for your patio’s dining table. The steps are the same for making a runner for inside your home, too. Let’s take a look at how it’s done!

Table Runner Materials:

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How to Make an Outdoor Table Runner

1. Measure your table and determine the desired length and width of your runner.

2. Mark your patterned fabric to your desired length and the width to your desired finished width + 1 inch. Pattern the solid fabric to the same length and a width of the finished width + 3 inches. Cut out your panels.

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3. With the right sides facing, lay your fabric panels so that one long edge of the patterned fabric is flush with one long edge of the solid fabric. Sew a row of straight stitches down the side, about 1/2” away from the raw edge.

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4. Line up the opposite long edges of the fabric panels so they are flush and sew a row of stitches down that side as well.

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5. Turn the assembly right side out. Lay out the assembly so that the patterned fabric panel is centered with a solid border on either side.

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6. Carefully topstitch where the solid border meets the patterned fabric along both long sides of the runner.

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7. Create a 1/2” hem at each short end of the runner.

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8. Fold in the corners of the short ends to create a triangle. Sew a row of stitches across the bottom of the triangle to secure.

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9. Hand sew a drapery weight into the tip of each triangle.

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10. Enjoy your new table runner!

All of the materials needed to make this outdoor table runner can be found at Sailrite.com.

If you want to start with a more simple table runner design, check out our Simple Table Runner Tutorial.

Would you put a table runner on your outdoor table? What do you think of weighing it down? Share your thoughts in the comments!

6 comments
  1. I enjoy a lot of your tutorials. I have given a lot of thought to purchasing one of your machines but since i make a lot of quilts i have to be sure that the machine can do light weight fabric without puckering, consequently i scrutinize each item you make to see if if lays flat/ without puckering. in this tutorial while sewing the item the stitches are flat but the finished item appears to be puckering along the edges in the final picture. Did it just need to be pressed? not criticizing–just a question.

    • Nikki said:

      Hi Nan,

      Our table runner probably does need to be pressed–we’re admittedly not the best about ironing things! To speak a little about the Ultrafeed & quilting, we’ve found that the Ultrafeed is great for adding binding to quilts and for sewing speciality quilts that are made using heavier fabrics. Many customers who quilt use the Ultrafeed for the thicker assemblies and another home sewing machine for the light cotton piecing work. You can adjust the tension on your Ultrafeed to not cause the fabric to pucker, but the walking foot can get aggressive for very light fabrics. Hope that information will help aid in your decision. If you have any specific questions, feel free to give us a call!

  2. John Hughes said:

    If I were making that same runner, I’d consider sewing the two end-triangles along the edge where they meet, but NOT sewing to the visible side. (A little tricky, I know..you don’t have to go all the way to the end). That leaves you a triangular pocket. I’d then sew a small beanbag that I could fill with sand and drop it in the pocket (perhaps with a little velcro to hold it in place). A summer afternoon around here often has a 15-20 kt breeze, and that runner with just the upholstry weight would be flapping up into someone’s salad faster than you can say “stain”! (Maybe the right answer is to move the table to a less windy spot…but it’s also the spot with the best view.)

    • Nikki said:

      That’s a really great suggestion, John! And I agree, you would need more weight in the ends if you were in a more open area than our covered porch.

  3. Steeve Juneau said:

    Answers like “…the walking foot cat be get aggressive for very light fabrics.” from Nikki is the king of answers that give me a lot of confidence in a product maker like sailrite. They are very honest about their products, they are not hiding anything. I just love my LZ1 bought 2 years ago and after 1 dodger, 1 main sail cover, 4 fender’s covers and 4 hatche’s canopies.

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