Homemade Table Runners

Olivia Miller | Thursday, August 17, 2023

Are you looking for ways to reduce your environmental impact and live a more sustainable lifestyle? Making your own table runners is a simple and effective way to do just that. Not only does it reduce waste and save money, but it also allows you to express your creativity and add a personal touch to your home decor. In this article, we'll explore why store-bought table runners are bad for the environment, the benefits of making your own, and provide step-by-step instructions on how to create your own homemade table runners.

Why Store-Bought Table Runners are Bad for the Environment

  1. Production Process: The production of store-bought table runners involves the use of natural resources such as water, energy, and raw materials. This process contributes to air and water pollution, as well as the depletion of natural resources.

  2. Packaging: Most store-bought table runners come packaged in plastic, which is a major contributor to the global plastic pollution crisis. Plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose, and when it does, it releases harmful chemicals into the environment.

  3. Transportation: Store-bought table runners are often mass-produced in factories overseas and then shipped to different countries, resulting in a significant carbon footprint. This transportation process emits greenhouse gases, contributing to climate change.

  4. Disposal: When store-bought table runners are no longer needed, they often end up in landfills, where they take up valuable space and release harmful chemicals into the environment as they decompose.

Why Making Your Own is Better for the Environment

  1. Reduces Waste: By making your own table runners, you are reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. You can reuse old fabrics or repurpose items such as old bedsheets or curtains, giving them a new life and keeping them out of the landfill.

  2. Saves Money: Making your own table runners is a cost-effective alternative to buying them from a store. You can use materials that you already have at home, or purchase second-hand fabrics at a lower cost.

  3. Customizable: Making your own table runners allows you to be creative and customize them to your liking. You can choose the fabric, color, and design that best suits your home decor.

  4. Supports Local Economy: By purchasing materials from local fabric stores or second-hand shops, you are supporting your local economy and reducing the carbon footprint associated with transportation.

  5. Eco-Friendly Materials: When making your own table runners, you have the option to use eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton, bamboo, or linen. These materials are sustainable and biodegradable, making them a better choice for the environment.

What You'll Need

  • Fabric: Choose a fabric that is durable and easy to work with. You can use old bedsheets, curtains, or purchase fabric from a local store.
  • Scissors: A good pair of fabric scissors is essential for cutting the fabric.
  • Sewing Machine: While it is possible to hand-sew a table runner, using a sewing machine will make the process faster and more efficient.
  • Thread: Choose a thread color that complements your fabric.
  • Measuring Tape: This will help you measure and cut the fabric to the desired size.
  • Pins: These will help keep the fabric in place while sewing.
  • Iron: An iron will help you create crisp and neat edges on your table runner.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Measure and Cut the Fabric: Measure the length and width of your table and add a few inches to each measurement to allow for overhang. Use the measuring tape to mark the fabric and cut it to the desired size.

  2. Hem the Edges: Fold the edges of the fabric over twice, about 1/4 inch each time, and pin them in place. Use the iron to press the folds and create a crisp edge. Then, sew along the edge to secure the hem.

  3. Add Embellishments (Optional): If you want to add a personal touch to your table runner, you can use fabric paint, stencils, or embroidery to create designs or patterns on the fabric.

  4. Sew the Sides Together: Place the right sides of the fabric together and pin them in place. Sew along the sides, leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Make sure to leave a small opening at the end to turn the fabric right side out.

  5. Turn the Fabric Right Side Out: Carefully turn the fabric right side out through the opening. Use a pencil or chopstick to push out the corners and create a neat edge.

  6. Sew the Opening Closed: Use a needle and thread to sew the opening closed. Make sure to hide the stitches inside the fabric.

  7. Iron the Table Runner: Use the iron to press the table runner and create crisp edges.

Congratulations, you have now created your own homemade table runner! You can use this same process to create multiple table runners for different occasions or to match different seasons.

Responsible Disposal of Old Table Runners

If you have old store-bought table runners that you no longer need, it's important to dispose of them responsibly. Here are a few options:

  • Donate: If the table runners are still in good condition, consider donating them to a local charity or thrift store.
  • Repurpose: You can repurpose old table runners into other household items such as placemats, napkins, or even tote bags.
  • Recycle: If the table runners are made of recyclable materials, such as cotton or linen, you can recycle them at a textile recycling facility.
  • Compost: If the table runners are made of natural materials, such as cotton or linen, you can cut them into small pieces and add them to your compost pile.


Making your own table runners is a simple and effective way to reduce your environmental impact and live a more sustainable lifestyle. By using eco-friendly materials and repurposing old fabrics, you can create beautiful and unique table runners while also reducing waste and supporting the local economy. So why not give it a try and add a touch of sustainability to your home decor?

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