Creating a Thanksgiving Table Runner

If you're tired of the standard cornucopia, a table runner can help dress up the middle of your Thanksgiving table. Table runners are typically a piece of long oval or rectangular cloth decorated and placed along the center of the table, "running" from end to end the long way. Here are some suggestions that will work regardless of your crafting talent:

Materials You Will Need

  • Fabric of choice. Pick up two pieces if you want to "frame" your runner, or purchase a plain table runner that you can decorate right away.
  • Craft supplies and Thanksgiving-themed decorations.
  • A way to affix the decorations onto the fabric that you're comfortable with, such as fabric glue, Stitch Witchery, no-sew, needle and thread, or a sewing machine.

Table Runner Ideas
Your fabric choices will set the mood at the table. You can go festive or elegant: It's your choice as long as the runner complements the color of the other table linens.

Frame Up: If you purchased two pieces of fabric, you can place one wide piece under a narrower piece. If you're crafty, sew one to the other using trim and a sewing machine. If you're not, fold the edges of each piece under, and secure them with fabric glue or Stitch Witchery and an iron. Center the smaller piece on top of the larger, so that the larger piece "frames" the smaller piece.

Turkey Time: Have the kids paint their hands with fabric paint and "stamp" their hand prints on the fabric. Let the paint dry, and use a permanent marker to draw turkey faces on the thumb and feet under the palm prints. The fingers become the feathers. Add some gems with hot glue or fabric glue.

Family Filmstrip: Another idea is to use photo transfer paper. Scan and print small photos of family members on the transfer paper using your computer and color printer. Arrange the photos in random or patterned places all over the runner, and iron them on. "Frame" the photos with puffy paint or colored trim. Everyone will love talking about the pictures during dinner.

Autumn Elegance: Buy faux leaves made of silk. You can tack them randomly around the runner with a few stitches each, leaving them flapping for a realistic look. Or, layer them in places as if they were lightly blown there by the wind. You can use bits of colored fabric, trim, gems, sequins or whatever decorative pieces you like. Attach them to the runner with hot glue, or fabric glue, and give the runner plenty of time to dry before you set your table.

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