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How To Make A Christmas Table Runner and Napkins

In this guide we will show you how to make an easy table runner and napkins for a festive table. The ideal project if you have never made anything before using a sewing machine, napkins and table runners just require a simple stitch in a straight line and no other accessories are needed. It couldn’t be easier and is a great way to practise basis sewing techniques.

We've teamed up with Upcycler, Lins Drabwell, to show you how she made this fun festive table runner and napkins.

This is a lovely, cost-effective way to really enhance your Christmas décor and wow your guests with your new skills! Sometimes ready-made table furnishings can be a little traditional or restrictive in colours so why not make your own? You could also make these for any time of year, a spring pattern for Easter celebrations for example. For our table runner and napkins project, we’ve used the Christmas Homes Fabric in Vert to provide a modern but seasonal backdrop. It’s 100% cotton but durable and machine washable at 30 degrees which is ideal for tableware.

Read on to find out how to make a table runner and napkins.

What you will need:

What you will need:

  • A piece of fabric measuring the length and width you would like for your runner, plus an inch all the way around for the seams
  • Squares of fabric measuring 18.5 inches on each side, multiplied by the number of place sittings. In this example we made 4 place settings so 4 squares of fabric
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Iron + ironing board
  • Tape measure + pen/pencil
Step 1

Step 1

The guidance that follows will be for one napkin, since the steps are exactly the same for the remaining napkins and table runner. Place your fabric face down onto an ironing board and press to make sure it is free of creases. Then, take the top edge and fold towards you to a depth of approximately half an inch. Iron along the fold so you have a sharp crease in the fabric, and add a few pins to hold it in place.

Step 2

Step 2

Complete the same steps for all the 3 remaining edges so that when you are finished, each edge of the napkin will have a folded over edge.

Step 3

Step 3

Take the napkin to the sewing machine and place it face down, ready to sew along one of the folded edges. You can start your sewing approximately one inch from the top and proceed to sew a straight line to the end of your fabric.

Step 4

Step 4

When you get to the first corner, lower the needle and lift the presser foot, so you can pivot the fabric. Once you have turned the fabric 90 degrees, lower the presser foot and carry on sewing all the way around the remaining folded edges.

Once all the edges have been sewn, return to the ironing board, press the napkin and then repeat step one. We are essentially sewing a double fold into the napkin so that the back is neat and tidy and tucks under any fraying edges.  

Step 5

Step 5

Once all the edges have been ironed over and repinned, return to the sewing machine, place the fabric face down and sew around the edges again. You can follow the line from your earlier stitches all the way around the napkin.

Step 6

Step 6

Once you have completed one napkin, simply complete the steps for the other napkins and table runner. The napkins will be quicker to make once you’ve done a couple but don’t get carried away with the table runner as it’s a much longer piece of fabric so slightly more patience may be needed to sew in a long straight line.

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