Fast and Easy Table Runner

Finished Size 18" x 40"

This is a really fun table runner! It can be made in an afternoon. Think about all the holidays, hostess gifts, or birthdays you can make this for. You can adjust the size to your liking.


  • Center Fabric Piece - 3/8 yard

  • Border Fabric - 3/8 yard

  • Backing Fabric - 5/8 yard

  • Muslin - 5/8 yard

  • Batting - 5/8 yard (a low loft cotton batting works best.)

  • Assorted Ribbon - at least 14" long. Do not use ribbon with wire in it. You may use all sorts of type, sizes, and colors. 

  • Sharpie Pen

  • Sewing Machine

  • So Fine #50 Thread (for top and bobbin)

  • Magnifico Thread (to sew ribbon in place and to sew around the outer edge of the runner.) 

  • Topsitch Needle #90/14

CUTTING instructions

  • Center Fabric Piece - Cut one 12 ½" x 34 ½"
  • Border strips – Cut two 3 ½” x 34 ½” pieces,  as well as cut two 3 ½” x 18 ½” pieces
  • Backing - Cut one 18 ½” x 40 ½”
  • Muslin - Cut one piece 22” x 44” (We are using muslin to keep the batting dust out of your machine. It will be inside the runner when finished.)
  • Batting - Cut one piece 22” x 44” 

Runner assembly

Using your Sharpie Pen, mark the batting down the center lengthwise and widthwise. Find the vertical and horizontal centers of the Center fabric piece too.....but not with your Sharpie this time. Put pins where the centers are. Pin the center fabric piece to the batting matching the centers lines.

To layer, place the muslin on the table first. Lay the batting with the pinned center on top of the muslin. Pin around the edges to secure all the layers.

Time to add the ribbons! This is the fun part. You will be sewing the outer borders to the center fabric which will hide all the ribbon ends.  You will sew through all the layers (muslin, batting and center fabric) which, in fact, quilts your runner as you go.

To start, pin the ribbons in different angles. Be sure each end of the ribbon sticks out beyond the center fabric. Don’t get too close to the ends. Have fun with this.  

Once you get the design you like, you can begin sewing each strip of ribbon down. Make sure the ribbons are laying smooth and straight. You can use fun decorative stitches and thread to do this. If the ribbons overlap each other, just move the top ribbon so you can sew the lower ribbon down.  

Using one 3 ½” x 34 ½” strip, pin the strip right sides together along one long side of the runner making sure the strips line up with the sides and top and bottom of the runner center. Sew a ¼” seam using So Fine #50 thread. Repeat with the second 3 ½” x 34 ½” strip on the opposite side.  Press the strips to the outer part of the runner.

Using one 3 ½” x 18 ½” strip, pin the strip right sides together along one short end of the runner making sure the strips line up along the edge and sides of the runner. Stitch as you did for the longer sides. Repeat on the opposite end with the second 3 ½” x 18 ½” strip. Press these strips to the outer part of the runner.

Trim off the outer batting and muslin. Your runner should now be 18 ½” x 40 ½”.

To sew the back and the front together, pin the main runner piece and the backing fabric together right sides together.  Stitch a ¼” seam around the outer edges leaving a 6”opening.  Turn your runner right side out and press.  Using a runner stitch, hand sew the opening closed. 


Using a decorative stitched, stitch around the outer edge of the runner approximately ½” in from the edge.