Does the thought of sitting down to a sewing machine give you the chills? For those who break out into a sweat at the mere thought of bobbins and thread, and think a presser foot sounds like an instrument of torture, this is the project for you.
All you need is fabric, scissors, fusible web, and a hot iron to make these fresh, colorful, and eco-friendly table linens. (For more no-sew projects, check out our recent roundup of the 40 most creative no-sew hacks from all over the web.)
– fusible web
– optional: pinking shears (aka zig zag scissors)
First select your fabric. Mixed patterns are so much fun right now, so don’t be afraid to go bold and pair checks or stripes with floral or Ikat prints. Just be sure your fabrics share colors in the same tone to yield delightfully clashy-matchy results. Using a linear pattern for your table runner offers the added benefit of making it easier to cut straight lines. Just let the pattern be your guide.
This project uses a yard and a half of each fabric, and will make 3 runners and 6 napkins, but feel free to adjust the amount according to your need.
Start by laying out the fabric for your table runners. A bolt of fabric will vary in width, for this project we used fabric from a 60 inch bolt with the intention of creating a set of 3 runners that would lie across the width of the table. Decide how wide you want your runner to be and then add an inch on each side to allow for the “seam.” Our finished runner is 13 inches wide so we measured 15 inches and then cut along the line in the pattern. So Easy.
The narrow side of your runner will be the factory finished edges, eliminating the need to ‘hem” those sides. Less work for you!
Once your runner fabric is cut, head over to the ironing board. Make sure your iron is hot and set to steam. Fold a quarter inch of fabric along the long edge of the runner and press to make a strong crease. This will ensure that you don’t have any stray threads unraveling and getting in your way.
Next, fold that same edge over another 3 quarters of an inch and press again. This will form a narrow pocket in which you will slip your fusible web.
Now it’s time for the fusible web. Fusible web is best friend to the sewing-averse. It comes in a roll like ribbon or tape, and is a man-made fiber that melts when heated. Place the web between two layers of fabric, and then press with a steaming hot iron to bond your fabric together. Could not be easier. Now that you have created a fold along the long side of your runner all you have to do is unroll a length of web and slip it in the pocket.
Press according to the instructions on your fusible web packaging, repeat on both sides of each piece of fabric, and your runners are complete!
Next up, napkins. Decide on your desired size. We went with 15” x 15”. There is no reason you could not “hem” along all 4 sides using the fusible web just as you did with the runners, but to make things even faster and easier, just use a pair of pinking shears to cut your squares. “Pinking” will create a zig-zag line along the cut edge reducing the tendency of the fabric to unravel.
Colorful hair elastics make great napkin rings. Just fold your napkins and cinch.
Now you are ready to set your table.
Pair the runners and napkins with simple white plates and bright yellow daisies for a fresh and colorful spring or summer time table.
The red and white gingham screams picnic classic and practically begs to lay beneath platters of crispy fried chicken and crunchy coleslaw.
This project is versatile too. If you have extra fabric, cut a set of napkins out of the gingham and lay the Ikat squares end to end to create a variation on the runner.
No matter which look you go with, everything will taste better on a beautiful table.