Sunday, October 2, 2016

Thankful Table Runner & Napkins

Thanksgiving is one of the most popular holidays in the US and Canada; families and friends come together to celebrate the blessings of the year.  Gathering around the table for a feast is traditional and expected, just like the pumpkin pie for dessert! (The year we lived in Hawaii, Ed and I gathered around a picnic table at the beach!)

We've had a burlap runner on our table for about a year, but with no embellishment to it, just plain burlap.  After a recent slipcover project, I had a perfect length of canvas dropcloth left over, that paired well with the burlap, so I knew this was the opportunity to give it a little personality for our Thanksgiving table.

The length and width of your runner will of course depend on your table. **(add an extra 1-inch for the hems!)
Our table is 72" X 36", so my canvas table runner is 78" X 10" and the burlap under it is 84" X 12".  If our table was wider, I could have made a wider runner.

Y'all, I'm giving you alternate methods to complete this project, just choose what you like!


  • 12-inch wide burlap, optional because I layered the canvas over burlap
  • 10-inch wide canvas (or larger if you table is wide)
  • Thankful stencil OR printable (see below)
  • black craft paint OR black Laundry Sharpie Marker & graphite tracing paper
  • 3/4-inch Spouncer (found near craft paint), skip if using Sharpie method
  • newspaper to protect your surface
  • sewing machine and thread, OR use Iron-on Hem Tape
  • Iron & ironing board
Canvas will tear straight in one direction, so when you measure, add an extra 1/2-inch and save a lot of cutting on those long sides!
After measuring, and cutting the length of your canvas, fray the long sides slightly, and iron both ends with a quarter-inch hem. Simply fold over 1/4-inch, iron, fold it over another 1/4-inch, and iron. Do this on both ends.

No Sew Method:
Use Iron-On Hem Tape under your last fold, and iron. This will bond your hem into place.

Or, for a secure, permanent hem, sew a straight stitch down the center of both hems.  And that's all the sewing you have to do!

For the word Thankful, I used my Cricut cutting machine, and the "Sophisticated" cartridge. Using vinyl, I cut it out at 2-1/2-inch for the dial size, which made it approximately 8-inches by 2-1/2 inches. Cut 2 stencils, one for each side.
Place the stencil onto your fabric, with newspaper layers underneath, and "spounce" on the black paint, but use a gentle hand on the paint, you don't want too much on your spouncer, because it will bleed under the stencil. Allow to dry, and carefully peel off the stencil.

Alternate method:
If you don't have a cutting machine, it's okay... I didn't leave you out!  Click on this free printable I made just for you!  (You can size it to fit your runner using MS Word or Google Docs.)

Using graphite tracing paper, transfer the outline of the letters to your fabric. Then, use a black Sharpie marker to fill in the word, and have the same look on your table runner without a stencil or paint.

Here's a bonus method to print from your printer directly onto the canvas:
Spray adhesive spray onto a sheet of 8-1/2 X 11-inch cardstock. Apply a 8-1/2 X 11-inch piece of ironed canvas to the cardstock and smooth on completely. Make sure that the canvas fits the cardstock with no overhang, and that the edges are crisply cut, not ragged.
Run this through your printer as if it were just cardstock (you might have to change your settings to photo, to get more ink onto the canvas). Make two, one for each end of the runner.
I have done this method successfully when I made this bunting:

After it has printed, peel the canvas from the cardstock, trim to the correct size for your runner, and fray the edges. Now you can apply this piece of canvas onto your runner, using more of the iron-on hem tape, or sew it on.  
**Please note: I'm not positive of the wash-ability of the table runner, if you use paint or a regular Sharpie permanent marker. If you plan on washing it, I  would recommend you use a black LAUNDRY marking Sharpie, this would probably be washable on gentle with mild detergent, without bleeding.

Whatever method you choose to use, you'll use this table runner for many Thanksgivings! Because natural canvas is a neutral color, it will go nicely with many different decor styles, including my favorite Farmhouse-Style. Small packages of canvas are readily available at most home improvement stores, like Home Depot or Lowe's, and you will have plenty of canvas for many projects! Make some table runners to give as gifts!
**Ed bought us some new dishes (The Pioneer Woman), so I just had to show you how pretty our Thanksgiving table looks!

What do you think of this table runner?  Let me know, either in the comments below, or find me on Facebook and Instagram.

**Using the same drop cloth canvas, I sewed up ten napkins!  It's just a straight stitch, so it's easy for even beginners to sew!
  • Cut fabric into 20 X 20-inch squares. (Canvas happens to tear straight in one direction, which helps)
  •  Iron the hems all the way around: Fold over 1/4-inch, iron; fold it over another 1/4-inch, and iron.  Do this on all four sides of each napkin.

  • Use a straight stitch on your machine to neatly finish the edges!  By sewing the napkins, they are easily washable, and shouldn't fray.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with those you love!  

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