How to Make a Kraft Paper Table Runner & Tie a Tablecloth Knot

Do we have some slightly more complicated how-to’s coming up? Yup. But in the meantime, there is nothing wrong with the super zen, fantastically affordable solution.

First: The kraft paper table runner. I mean, it looks so good in restaurants, why not do it for your wedding? Plus, you can throw some jars of crayons out there, and everyone can have a ball. You can avoid the step of having to fold and cut the Kraft paper if you happen to find it in the width you need. You know, just in case this how-to is too complicated…

Second: The tablecloth knot. This is a catering trick. It’s a way to make your tablecloths lay correctly, and look polished. Plus it has the added benefit of holding your runner in place. And now you don’t have to pay a caterer to learn the trick, because Elizabeth is totally giving you the scoop for free.

And in case you’re not sold now, wait a few weeks till we reveal the whole table scape. It looks so good you’ll have to struggle to remember that it was basically effortless and free.

Photos by Emily Takes Photos, Crafting by Elizabeth of Lowe House Events, Graphic Design by Michelle Edgemont

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  • Laura

    you can also pull the corners to the inside under the table and tie them, which won’t hold your table runner down but will keep the extra fabric out of the way!

  • Erica

    Omgooooodness. And I thought I was so cool this weekend when I decided to do a kraft paper runner. Thought I was going to be totally original.

    Wait. Of course I’m still cool. APW just validated my design decision! FTW!

    • Kinzie Kangaroo

      Haha I thought I was so original too! We’re using just paper to cover our entire tables (no table cloths) and putting out mugs full of crayons at each table for our doodle-y friends.

      We’re also giving each table a pair of scissors and telling guests that they can cut out their favorite pictures and set them aside- we’re planning on putting our guests’ drawings into a scrapbook after the wedding! This is one of the things I’m looking most forward to!

      • Karoline

        We all thought we were original =) I thought it was super original, but my idea is almost identical to yours – paper instead of tablecloths is totally what we are doing too! We are going to ask guests to go wild with it, or write advice if they want, and plan to keep the drawings / messages to put together after the wedding. We planning to put big bowls of crayons and colored pencils in the middle of tables as centerpieces =D.

  • Erica

    P.S. I can’t help myself, of course I have to share my secret stash: sells a whole variety of kraft paper rolls in different sizes for pretty cheap. We’re using the 15 inch wide roll for a 30 inch wide table. And we’re probably going to use white chalk or white crayons for guests to enjoy doodling with. :)

  • Megan (from Nova Scotia)

    Not gonna lie, this made my day.

  • Jayson and Rachael

    Great idea! This could work for way more than just weddings. What I like the most is that it adds an elegant look on a shoe string budget. Nice! Thanks for the idea!!

  • excellent! This is so lovely.

    This can still be done even if you have round tables. You can do a runner in one direction, or you can cut a larger square piece as a center item. We used burlap for the center of our tables — we had red tablecloths and cranberries in the centerpiece, so we needed a contrast. We just cut out large squares of burlap and called it good. Pretty darn cheap too. We gave ours to our venue for a little discount on our pricing.

  • This also works well with cheap wrapping paper. Ikea had bright pinks and reds the year we were married, and it worked really well, for super cheap.

  • I love you guys. :)

  • Amy

    Wrapping paper works great, too! The ends want to curl up because of the lighter weight, so trimming at the table edge or using the tablecloth knot will be important.

    Pro tip: Make sure you calculate the amount you need in linear feet. And maybe buy a little extra. (Don’t ask how I learned this…)

    This is a great way to add color and pattern to your tables without the expense of a lot of flowers or centerpieces. AND very easy to delegate to the non-crafty.

  • Leslie

    I love the knot- is there a similar trick for round tables?

    And I am freaking out about the scrapbook idea! Though that would definitely have to be delegated to my more creative fiance!

    • Jade

      I’d try 4 knots: One knot tied in each corner like you are tying a piece of string. Then use a square runner with each side a bit smaller than the table diameter with points centered between the knots. Never done it but that’s what I’d try first.

      Good luck!

  • My wedding is over, but some kick-ass dinner party/4th of July/engagement soiree is going to benefit from all these tutorials!

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  • Rei

    I’m sorry but that knot is just ugly and tasteless. If you are using a good rental company, the banquet linen should have rounded corners and not pool up anyway. If a caterer did that to my linens I would freak! ( I own a linen rental company)