June 20, 2011
DIY Tea Towel Runners
I love eating outside as often as possible during our short Canadian summers. This quick and simple project helps dress a rustic picnic table for casual-chic dining. I made these two table runners from a classic white and blue tea towel fabric, which is inexpensive and easy to come by. Tea towel fabric mimics the look of fine linen but is much easier to care for. The result is carefree and stylish, just as summer dining should be.
Materials and Tools
- 2 to 4 yards of tea towel fabric
- Measuring tape
- Needle and thread
Step 1: Select your fabric
I bought 20″-wide striped tea towel fabric for $8/m from a local discount fabric store. (I also considered a charming blue and white gingham and a colourful plaid — I’ll try one next summer!) The beauty of using tea towel fabric is that it presses crisply and washes well, so there’s no crying over spilt lemonade.
Step 2: Cut to size
To determine the length of each runner, measure the width of your table, then add 12″. (I like the runner to hang down about 6″ on each side of the table.) Use a measuring tape and shears to cut the fabric.
Step 3: Finish up
A little secret: I didn’t hem these runners. Tea towel fabric won’t easily fray and I actually like the rough edges. But for a more polished look, fold under 1″ of fabric around the cut edges and stitch a simple hem by hand or with a machine. Lay the runners width-wise across your dining table, so they can do double duty as placemats.