How to Make an Ombre Table Runner

Of all of the crafts we made at the APW Craft Extravaganza, I can say without a doubt that this is hands down my favorite. First up, it’s shockingly easy (I mean, way, way easier than I’d anticipated, and easy enough that it’s no problem to do this for 10 or 15 table runners). Second of all, it’s dead cheap. But mostly? It’s just stunning. I mean, gasp when you walk in the room stunning. Don’t put centerpieces on the table stunning. In fact, I desperately want to see it on a bunch of tables end to end, so you see the ombre color fade in and out, and in and out, and in and out.

For us the most labor intensive part of the project was sewing the table runners. That said, if you can find cotton table runners (they have to be cotton to take the dye properly!) in the size you want, you can cut out that step all together.

Pre-wash your runners before you dye them (you want all the shrinking out of the way). Then, wet runner thoroughly—this will help the dye absorb evenly. Mix your fabric dye according to the instructions. (We used RIT, which is easy to both find and use.) Then fold the runner as shown and submerge runner in dye bath. Slowly pull it out, in stages. The longer it sits in the dye the darker it will turn, so you want the ends to be in for only a very short time, the middle to be in for longer, and the center to be in for the longest. Rinse thoroughly to remove all excess dye. Hang to dry (machine dry with caution—if you didn’t rinse thoroughly you can get dye in your dryer and the color will potentially fade). Iron again if needed.


(Seriously folks… it’s THAT GOOD. And I can’t wait till you see it in the full table scape in the big reveal in a few weeks…)

Photos by Emily Takes Photos, Crafting by Elizabeth of Lowe House Events and APW Editor Kate, Graphic Design by Michelle Edgemont

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