Easy Swap Ribbon Runner
Mother’s Day is next weekend (are you ready?), and as it is the time for thoughtful gifts and festive brunches, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to show you how to make this simple ribbon-embellished table runner!
This is a really quick project with endless possibilities. Simply by adding a few button holes (okay, maybe a lot of button holes 😉 down the sides of a stretch of fabric, you can quickly and easily switch out the ribbon for any holiday or tablescape!
Start by choosing your fabric and length for your table runner. This fabric was leftover from a set of curtains I recently made. Not only do I love the subtle weave pattern on it, but at 56″ wide, it was the perfect width to do “mini” runners for across the table (rather than one long runner down the center).
Once you decide how long you want your table runner to be, cut your fabric: desired length x 18″. (Note – you may have to piece the runner together if you want to do a really long runner).
Using an iron and seam gauge, iron over a half inch down the full length of your table runner. Repeat on the other side.
Go back down each side again, folding over another half inch, but this time pinning the fold in place.
Stitching closely to the fold, run a simple straight stitch down both lengths of your runner to hem up the sides.
This is what my runner looked like after hemming up both sides. You may also repeat this process on the short ends of your runner to have a cleaner, more tailored appearance. Since my overall goal was for a casual, shabby-chic feel for my tablescape, I decided to leave my selvage ends be.
Next, it’s time to measure out your button hole spots! This placement is completely up to you. The further apart your holes, the less button holes you have to make, but also the less of the ribbon you will see weave over and under the fabric. The closer your button holes, the more you have to make, the more you see the ribbon! I started out my holes 2″ from the edge, and then repeated every 4 inches. No matter how many button holes you decide to make, make sure you do an even number so your ribbon ends on the outside on both ends.
I placed my button holes against the hem, and they extend about an inch in toward the center of the runner. Below, you can see all my button hole markings down both sides of my runner.
Next, it’s time to sew button holes, lots and lots and lots of button holes! I’m telling you, at the end of this project, you will no longer fear making button holes! I’m not going to go into detail how to make button holes because each machine (and sewer) has a different technique. But this is a really good excuse to whip our your machine’s user manual or do a quick Google search on how to make one. On my machine, the process couldn’t be simpler: I used a button-hole foot and the button hole stitch, which together do all the work for me. To determine the length of my button hole, I used a 1″ button (make your holes long enough to fit most ribbon!).
I sewed a total of 28 button holes for each of the two runners, totaling 56 button holes – yikes! Once all my holes were sewn, I trimmed all the threads and cut open the holes using a tiny scissors.
Now is the fun part! Take a stretch of ribbon that is about 4″ longer than your table runner. Attach a safety pin to one side and weave the ribbon in and out of your button holes, keeping the ribbon flat (and un-twisted) as you move down the runner.
Pull the ribbon taught, and repeat on the other side!
Because I want to be able to change out the ribbon for different holidays or themes throughout the year, I chose not to adhere my ribbon to the runner. If you are worried about it slipping or don’t foresee the desire to change out the ribbon, you can tack the ribbon down on each end.
Now your runner is done and ready to be dressed up and accessorized!
I used my runners as the foundation for a fun and fresh Easter/Spring tablescape a few months ago. Swap out the bunnies for small gifts for Mom and you’re ready to go!
Nothing says Spring to me like fresh pops of green and earthy burlap!
Up next this week, some more living room chatter!