That title pretty much sums it up, so why don't we get right down to it?
Remember the bridal shower I threw a couple weekends ago with the striped table runner?
First, materials. You will need the following:
- a metal ruler
- a rotary cutter (or good scissors & the ability to cut straight!)
- a drop cloth in your desired size (I used a 6 ft x 9 ft. cloth)
- painters tape (I swear by Frog Tape)
- a paint roller or brush
- fabric paint (I used Tulip soft matte fabric paint in dark blue)
- a sewing machine
After obtaining your drop cloth in your desired size, you'll want to wash & dry it to get some of the stiffness and weird smell out of it. Be sure NOT to use fabric softener (fabric paint doesn't stick well to cloth that has softener).
Once the drop cloth is washed and dried, lay it out and iron the portion you'll be using for the runner. Next, measure & mark your desired width along the whole length of the drop cloth. For example, I wanted my runner to be 9 feet by 20 inches, so I measured & marked off 21 inches along the whole 9 foot length of cloth (I allowed a 1 inch allowance for the hem). With the metal ruler and rotary cutter, cut along the marked guides you just made on a cutting mat or other cut-safe surface.
Once you've cut along the whole length of the drop cloth, you're ready to sew the hem! On the side you just cut, fold the hem over 1 inch and iron along the edge. Then, fold the hem in half, tucking it underneath itself so that you can't see the unfinished edge, and iron the edge again. You should have a crisp, even edge, with none of the stringy, unfinished edge showing. Next, just sew along the fold, making sure to back stitch at the corners. You should end up with a nice, straight hem.
Now you're ready to paint! If you do stripes like me, just figure out how wide you want yours. I wanted 4 inch wide stripes, so I taped off where they should go. Tip: the cutting mat actually came in very useful for this - I was able to use the guides on the mat to measure out & ensure straight strips of tape. Just make sure your runner is perpendicular to the mat, and use the measurements on the mat to place the tape. Also, make sure you take into account the inside vs. outside edges of the tape - for example, each stripe I painted had 4 inches between tape edges, but the stripes I left blank only had 2 inches between edges, since you have to take the tape thickness into account... Or if you're feeling brave/impatient, you can really just freehand here and eyeball the width of the stripes :)
Once you've taped all of your stripes, start filling in the stripes with paint. You might have to go over certain areas a few times for good coverage, but this part is pretty quick. I purposefully left some areas with lighter paint coverage so that you could tell it was painted on - I wanted it to look a little imperfect. Once you finish the stripes, you're done! It just needs to dry for a few hours, and then you're good to go. You've made a painted, striped table runner out of a drop cloth! So simple, right?
I love that the paint is a little imperfect, which I think adds some nice texture to the table. And the simple stripes add a fun pattern as well.
The best part though? The dropcloth was $12, so using less than 1/3 of it translated to about $4 of fabric. I think the fabric paint was $3, and I had everything else on hand, so the total cost was $7! And I still have a bunch of drop cloth fabric that I can use for other projects now, pillows, napkins, or more runners!) I'm excited to experiment with some different patterns, or possibly try out some stamp & block prints!