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#APWHowTo: Fifteen Ombre Table Runners Completed

You know, we don’t get to say it enough on here, but we get really excited when you send us stuff inspired by something you saw on APW. The staff reads every email you send us (even if we can’t respond to all of them) and we give mental fist bumps every time we hear that APW has helped you make a decision that’s right for you. In short, we care about what you’re up to and we love when you share with us.

But it’s seldom that we get to actually see what you do with our content. Which is why we were beyond excited when Rachel sent us photos from her wedding, featuring ombre table runners created using this tutorial from last spring. And because she’s nice, Rachel even offered up some extra tips for making this project easy and successful. Here she goes:

On a sunny and windy Saturday afternoon in Chicago, my family took over my aunt’s backyard and dyed fifteen table runners varying shades of “Sangria,” the color you get when you mix equal parts purple, wine, and violet RIT dyes. My mom was awesome enough to buy all of the fabric ahead of time and sew it into table runners, so all we had to do was dye them. It should also be mentioned that my dad thought it was a pretty terrible plan, and seemed acutely afraid that we would end up dyeing my aunt’s entire backyard a light shade of maroon, but he was still super helpful the day of! Some tips for doing this en-masse:a

  • Hot water seems key for a deep shade. We tried to use the same water and dye mixture for two rounds of dyeing. The second round was significantly lighter, and the ombre effect not nearly as pronounced. (It could also be that the dye wasn’t as “fresh,” but my family thinks it had more to do with the temperature of the water.) I would recommend doing as many as you think you can handle at the same time, and then starting over with a fresh mix of hot water and dye for the next round.
  • We marked where we wanted each dye line to stop with safety pins, so we knew how far to pull out the runner after each time segment. I found this quite helpful.
  • If you plan on attempting more than one or two runners, I would recommend at least two people—maybe four or more. Especially because of the wind, we found we needed two people to transport the runners from the dye bath to the drying line. It’s also really nice to have one person with clean hands to grab the white sides of the runner.

Each runner looked a little different, and the different batches (we did four runners at a time) especially looked different from each other. But the variations made them interesting, and homemade looking, and they looked great on our tables!

Photos of set up by Rachel’s dad, wedding photos by DNK Photography

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