Thursday, January 24, 2013

Easy Ruffles For a Table Runner

Ruffles are back.
They were such a big thing in the 80's and early 90's that I didn't think that I would ever incorporate them into my decorating again.
I got very tired of making ruffles because they were on everything!  
I like them again so I needed to refresh my memory on how to make them the easiest way.
I think they look wonderful along the edges of drop cloth canvas so I put some on a table runner I made for my breakfast room table.

 How do you like Frodo's closet?

Read where I have expounded on my love for 
drop cloths-here.

I learned two different ways to make a ruffle.
The hard way and the easy way.
I am going to show you my easy, goof proof way to make a ruffle. I wish I had a ruffle attachment for my sewing machine but I don't so I use a method that I learned from one of my ancient sewing books.
Do you remember when we had to read books and magazines to learn something instead of looking on the internet?

I made my runner 20 inches x the length of the table plus 12 inches. I wanted at least a 6 inch drop on each end. 
I hemmed each length.
I cut 2 pieces of 8 x 40 inch fabric to make two ruffles. 
You want your strips of fabric twice as long as the edge of the width of your runner. It will make a pretty full ruffle. 
 I folded each piece in half and pressed the edge.
  Lay a length of string or twine along the edge.
My string is coated with something that makes it smooth so it glides easily to create the gathers of the ruffle.

Set your machine to the widest zig zag stitch that you have. Mine is K. 
I also set the length of the stitch to the longest setting possible-4.
Make sure you use the appropriate presser foot. Notice that I should use C. 
Tie a knot on one end of your string and sew over it with the zig zag stitch, making sure you don't stitch it down. 

 If you accidentally sew the string in place you can clip that stitch. Don't clip the string. 
Hold the knot and gently pull the string and your fabric will start to gather.
If your ruffle looks too full, you can ease the gather a little. 
Sew the ruffle string side up along the finished side of the table runner.
This is what the back side will look like after you have stitched it. 
I sewed several seams with a running stitch to ensure my runner will not fray on the back.
I trimmed off any excess ruffle on each end and hemmed. 
I sewed a 5/8th inch topstitch to help hold the raw edge of the ruffle in place. 
Repeat for the other end of the runner. 
A friend of mine said she had seen these in a shop for $60.00. 
You could make 2 with one $6.00 drop cloth.

I've enjoyed it with different table settings since I made it in the fall.

 We've washed it many times and it looks like new.  
I hope I have captured all the details of this project. 
Let me know if you give it a try. 

Inspiration Friday @ Common Ground  
French Country Cottage
The Brambleberry Cottage  
Beyond The Picket Fence  
I Gotta Create 
That DIY Party


  1. So pretty Katie!Now if I could get my hands on a sewing machine :-)I would give it a try!

  2. Super Cute! I love drop cloths too! I'm new to blogging, and would love for you to visit my blog at Maddiebella Home to see my latest drop cloth creations. I just became a follower, would love for you to follow my blog as well so we can share all of the wonderful things we create.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    Betty (Maddiebella Home)

  3. That method is easy, thanks for the info. I haven't used that method before. I did buy an attachment for my machine, but I love your method, especially since some fabrics don't fit into a ruffler.

  4. Katie, this tip to ruffle is so helpful to me, as I have to do mine "old school" too. thanks so much for sharing this, I'll be featuring your post on Be Inspired tomorrow!

    1. Thank you so much for the feature. I am glad you found it helpful.

  5. What a wonderful tutorial.
    I just wanted to let you know that I nominated your blog for the Liebster Award. I hope you will participate and pass the award on. For more details please visit my blog:


  6. I Love your drop cloth runner. I made drapes for our living room and they are wonderful. Maybe I will make a runner after these very busy next two weeks have passed. Thank for the tutorial on the ruffle. Your decorations are lovely.
    Audrey Z.