For my spring home tour I decided to stash the scrap of wool I had found in the basement (and arbitrarily decided was a “wintry table runner”) and replace it with something a little cheerier – like a pretty DIY table runner with beaded trim. I’d pined for this turquoise beaded trim for months but I just didn’t have a project for it. I’m trying so hard not to stockpile random sewing supplies. The fish room (slash craft room) is already packed! But the amount of aqua trim left on the spool was exactly what I needed for a table runner, plus it paired so beautifully with a blush pink silk the fabric store brought in for the season. I couldn’t help myself.
- Fabric (I think that this blush pink silk is identical, but I bought mine at Fabricland for much less)
- Beaded trim (similar-ish, again mine’s from Fabricland)
- Needle, thread
- Sewing machine
- Small scissors
How to Make a DIY Table Runner
Here’s how to make a DIY table runner – plus some tips for sewing on a beaded trim. The design of this DIY table runner with beaded trim was easy (basically I sandwiched the trim between two pieces of fabric), but the silk fabric and satin glass bead trim did pose a tiny challenge. Even with careful pinning, it was slippery to sew! No problem. A little bit of basting went a long way and this was the perfect zen project for a rainy spring afternoon.
After determining the length (56″) and width (18″) I cut two identical pieces for the top and bottom, so that the finished runner is nicely finished on both sides. I allowed for a 5/8″ of an inch seam allowance.
I ironed the seam allowances and then basted the satin ribbon onto one piece, with the glass beads extending past the edge of the fold. Here’s the view from the bottom, which will be inside when finished.
Here’s the view from the top. The pink thread marks the fold of the seam allowance and was removed as I basted. The light thread basted the ribbon onto the silk. Not the best choice here for contrast in photos, so I switched to aqua when I basted the top + trim + bottom together later on.
Here’s a close up of the corner and a reminder to leave a little slack here so the bead sit nicely.
Once the ribbon was basted on, I pinned on the second piece of silk and it was ready for basting too.
Basting both the top and bottom pieces of silk onto the ribbon meant more work by hand, but then when everything went under the sewing machine there was only be one row of stitching to join everything together. If you haven’t done a lot of basting, this is a great project to practice the skill. To avoid tangles, it helps to hold the basting stitch very gently against the fabric as you pull it through.
Here it is, all basted and ready for the sewing machine!
A few tips for sewing beaded trim with a sewing machine:
1. Keep the fabric to the right side of the presser foot to help control it, as the glass beads give the fabric some weight.
2. Use a zipper foot so you can get close to the beads as you sew the three layers together.
3. The presser foot will not fit tightly into the corners due to the three dimensional nature of the glass beads, so you will have to start with the back of the zipper foot lined up with the edge of the fabric. Remember to lower the foot very gently to avoid the beads and then use the hand wheel to lower you needle, making sure everything is clear.
4. When you reach the next corner, you will be able to get much closer to the end, but be careful to stop before hitting any beads. Then raise the needle and foot, carefully repositioning the fabric for the next edge. Repeat for all four sides.
Then tie off the stitching, which I did on the bottom of the runner. Technically there’s a top and bottom to this runner because one side of the ribbon has the manufacturer’s stitching for the beads. With the thread tails I put a few tiny stitches in each corner by hand to complete the stitches. For a nice clean look, you can bury the threads.
Don’t forget to remove the basting stitches! Manicure scissors were very helpful with this.
And that’s how to sew a DIY table runner with beaded trim.
I love how the glass bead trim catches the light. When you walk past the dining table, the sparkle really catches the eye. Plus this was a great way to use some of this fancy pants silk. In fabric stores you can typically buy fabric in smaller increments (you don’t need to commit to a full meter or yard), so I was able to buy just what I needed for this project.
P.S. if you missed my home decorated for spring, check out the spring home tour here.