Have you ever tried to find tablecloth runners in various lengths? Well, it’s almost impossible, so I’m sharing how to upcycle a drop cloth into a painted tablecloth runner that can be customized for each table length. Now, I have DIY Tablecloth Runners for each of our outdoor kitchen tables. Yay!
I was planning a Welcome to Fall Dinner Party around our outdoor kitchen and patio area, and I wanted something to dress up the tables. Since the atmosphere is casual, I decided to use tablecloth runners instead of tablecloths. When I couldn’t find the sizes I needed, here’s what I did.
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Table of contents
- How To Prepare Drop Cloth for Painting
- Add Flowers To DIY Tablecloth Runner for Painting
- Supply List
- DIY Hand-painted Drop Cloth Tablecloth Runner
- More Drop Cloth Projects
How To Prepare Drop Cloth for Painting
A budget-friendly way to make tablecloths and tablecloth runners is to upcycle a drop cloth. They are relatively cheap, and their texture is excellent for hand painting.
Before you start this project, wash and dry the drop cloth. Remove from dryer while damp to avoid having to press.
Pre-washing will remove any dyes, chemicals, and starches. Pre-washing and drying will also shrink the fabric so that your finished tablecloth runners will be the correct size.
Cut DIY Tablecloth Runners
Now, you can cut your tablecloth runner’s length and width from the drop cloth material. Allow about 1/2 inch on each side for the hem if you plan to hem the edges of your runner.
How To Finish Edges of Upcycled Drop Cloth
To finish the edges of the upcycled drop cloth, I used a serger sewing machine to stitch the raw edges and stop them from fraying.
There are several options, including turning the edge under and stitching with a sewing machine.
Add Flowers To DIY Tablecloth Runner for Painting
Once you have your table runners cut to size and the edges taken care of, it’s time to draw your flowers.
Use a dark brown or black Sharpie marker with a fine point for this step.
Begin at the bottom edge of the runner and draw lines using the sharpie up the fabric at varying lengths. These will be the stems of your flowers.
Next, begin to draw the flowers themselves. Begin in the center of each flower and draw a swirling circle for the flower’s center. Then, draw larger swirling circles for the petals.
I like to make some more round and others more oval in shape.
This is a fast process, and the flowers can be messy because no two should be identical.
Handpaint the Flowers on the DIY Tablecloth Runner
For the next step, you will need to determine the colors for your flowers. I chose blue, orange and yellow. I also used Chalk Paint for the hand-painted flowers because it’s pliable and doesn’t require a fabric medium.
If you use regular craft paint, add a fabric medium so the DIY tablecloth runner will not be stiff where painted.
Mix you paint with water at approximately a 50/50 ratio.
You will want to see through the paint once it’s applied to the flowers.
Using the same swirling motion, paint each flower. You don’t need to stay within the lines as you paint. Allow your brush to float over the drawn flowers.
In addition to the flowers, add a few leaves to the stems.
I used just a dab of brown paint on each leaf for these.
Heat Set Tablecloth Runner
Note: Heat Set Tablecloth Runner – Place a piece of fabric or towel over the painted area once completely dry.
Use a hot iron or heat press to press over the entire painted area. You can now hand wash your table runner safely.
- Drop Cloth
- Serger Sewing Machine
- Fabric Glue
- Brown Sharpies
- Blue Chalk Paint
- Yellow Chalk Paint
- Orange Chalk Paint
- Brown Chalk Paint
- Heat Press
DIY Hand-painted Drop Cloth Tablecloth Runner
Once the paint is dry, you can place your new Hand-painted Upcycled Drop Cloth Runners on the tables.
I can’t wait to use the cute table runners at my fall event.
The colors work perfectly with the chair cushions I use in the outdoor kitchen.
If you’d like to see more about the outdoor kitchen entertaining area, you can see before and after here.
Other DIY Tableware Ideas You Can Make
- How to Paint Flour Sack Napkins
- How to Make DIY Flower-Shaped Placemats from Burlap
- DIY Burlap Napkin Rings Tutorial
- Pottery Barn Inspired Leaf Napkin Rings
- Easy Lemon & Lime Drop Cloth Table Runner
- DIY Ticking Cutlery Pocket Napkins
You can see how I made the Earthenware Vessel from a thrift store find here.
More Drop Cloth Projects
Thanks so much for stopping by today. I look forward to sharing my next adventure with you.
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