copy cat table runner.

I think I’ve already established here that I’m absorbing ideas all the time, and I’m sure the rest of you are as well.  Whether by looking at design books or magazines, surfing Instagram or Pinterest, or following my favorite bloggers, I am regularly seeing pictures of things that inspire me.

Sometimes I pretty much copy them outright.  I see something and think “oh, I can do that!”, and that’s the case with today’s project.

I saw a table runner in Liz Galvan’s new book that I just loved.  Here’s a photo of the photo in her book …

How simple, right?  Just paint a Swiss cross in white on a drop cloth table runner.  Easy, peasy.

First I needed drop cloth that wasn’t splattered with paint, all of the ones I had on hand are well used.  So I picked up a new one at my local Menards.

  I went with the medium weight canvas in 4′ x 15′.  I ended up cutting it in half lengthwise to make a 2′ wide runner (and I’ll likely make the other half into a runner as well), and I also cut it down to the length that fit my dining room table.

Speaking of, Mr. Q made our dining room table and it’s a bit oversized.  Which means that the few times I have tried to purchase a ready-made table runner, they have always been too short.

First things first though, I washed and dried the drop cloth before I cut it, just in case it did any shrinking.  Then, after cutting it down to the width and length I wanted, I measured and taped off my cross.

Next I pulled out my favorite Dixie Belle off white shade, Drop Cloth, and a large stencil brush and started stippling on the paint.  I was surprised to realize that the Drop Cloth totally blended in with the color of the … well … duh! … drop cloth.

I don’t know why that surprised me!  In my mind, I thought the Drop Cloth paint was a little bit lighter than that.  So I switched gears and brought out Dixie Belle’s Cotton instead, which is their purest shade of white.

Ahhhh, much better.

It took about three coats of paint to get this level of coverage.  Mainly because I was stippling it on with a stencil brush, not painting it on directly with a regular brush.  I did three light coats rather than one or two heavy coats.

I was a little worried that I wouldn’t get crisp lines because the tape I used didn’t stick to the fabric that well.  In hindsight, this project would probably work better with regular painters tape rather than this yellow Frog tape that is meant for delicate surfaces.

But when I pulled away the tape, my lines were just fine, so it worked out alright in the end.

I ended up making my swiss cross a little bit larger than the one in the inspiration photo.  I’m not sure whether I like it my way, or if I’d prefer the inspiration version.

I opted to photograph it out on my front porch because it was fairly gloomy outside and I couldn’t get good light in my dining room.  But size-wise, obviously the table runner is more suited to a much larger table than this one.

Although I have to say, I am rather liking it on this table as well, so maybe it’s more versatile than I thought.

Measuring and taping off the cross was a bit putzy, but otherwise this little project couldn’t have been any simpler.  Or cheaper, for that matter.  For less than $20, I’ll get two runners and still have some additional drop cloth fabric left over.

You may have noticed that I didn’t bother to hem the raw edges of my runner.  Mostly because I don’t sew.  And because I’m keeping it for myself and I’m never as picky about such details when I’m keeping something.  I will note, however, that this runner probably would not wash up well as it is.  It would fray quite a bit at that raw edge, and the paint would wash out a bit as well.  One way to set the paint would be to tumble the runner in your clothes dryer on high heat, and another would be to iron it from the back with high heat and no steam.  And of course, you could hem the drop cloth to help prevent fraying.  I think using a serger to do the hem would give the best look (hmmm, pretty sure I have a friend or two with sergers, I may have to seek them out).

So, what do you think?  Kind of fun for a quick and easy project, right?  Will you whip one up for yourself?

22 thoughts on “copy cat table runner.

  1. I so love this and I will be attempting this! I hate sewing but maybe I could try that hem tape stuff? Thanks for the inspiration!


    1. Yep, that’s a possibility. Although I never think that hem tape stuff washes up well either. They also make a ‘Stop Fray’ product, but I haven’t tried it so I can’t recommend it.


  2. As I’m sitting here looking in my living room….I found the perfect table for the runner! When I saw the picture, I thought I have no place…ha! I do thank you for making it seem very doable!
    Smiles, Alice


  3. I am a friend with a serger! I would be happy to get it serged for you, if you can thread the stupid serger for me. Lol. I swear, it’s been sitting there staring at me, mocking me because I can’t figure it out. I can’t be the only one in serger land with this issue! Your drop clothes looks great by the way ❤


  4. Your ability to get great stencil/tape painting results is just one of those uncanny things! I love this runner and wouldn’t mind trying it out even though I would go into it with absolutely NO confidence of a clean result……could it be a mind-set thing? and what? Ken doesn’t do serging?


  5. What a wonderful runner! I usually don’t like runners but this one adds so much to the space. As for the ragged, unhemmed edges, I rather like them. They add that little something extra to it, that something that makes it feel as if it has a story to tell rather than it being something brand spanking new. As the paint fades some with washing, it’s going to look even better. Thank you for bringing this point of inspiration. I have a super-long dining room table and a huge tarp. . . hmmm. . . maybe this girl doesn’t hate runners as much as she thought she did. I just needed the right one.


  6. I love the bottle brush/doorknob trees! They’re adorable.
    Love fun things to do with drop cloth fabric…I’d need/want a little more color tho.


    1. I purchased those bottle brush trees in doorknobs quite a few years ago. And I’m actually fairly sure that the person who made them purchases the knobs themselves from me at one of my sales (back when I had occasional sales out of my carriage house). So they came full circle!


  7. Love your table runner! Think I’d like to make a pillow cover! Thanks for your inspiration via Liz’s example! Happy new year!⛄️


  8. Wow another great deco item that I M completely onboard with copying for my dining room table. I was just thinking last week how I wish I could find a rustic table runner and not something lacy. This is IT! I personally love the unfinished edges and the more frayed the edges the better for that rustic look! I can’t get over how easy you made this project look, yep I am definitely doing this baby!


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