Printed Table Runner

Here’s a tutorial to make a printed table runner ~French patio

For a + 2m long runner you will need:

  1. Six pieces of about 50cm X 50cm pieces of unbleached calico or any other cotton fabric.
  2. Stamp lino or stamping foam mat
  3. Carving set with curved and straight blades
  4. Rubber cutting mat or safe non-slip surface
  5. Acrylic or fabric paints
  6. Fabric painter’s pen or thin nozzle bottle with fabric ink.
  7. Roller and or stiff paint brushes
  8. Iron to set the paints

We cut out a few lino stamps (use the free stencil download at the end of the post for ideas) and used them to cover large sections of unbleached calico.

Here’s how to make a stamp and print ~

  • Draw or trace a clear fairly simple image on a piece of lino or any rubber stamping material.
  • Use a permanent marker and cover the pencil lines and the areas to keep for the stamp.
  • Using a carving set, carefully carve around the black pen marker lines.  Use a rubber mat and always teach your children to cut away from their hands!
  • Mount your stamp, if you wish.  Glue your stamp on to a recycled wooden block, or use those fancy clear acrylic stamp mounting blocks, or use thick pieces of foam.
  • Paint on to your stamps. We used acrylic paints and fabric paints and dabbed the raised area of the stamp.  We found that our roller did not give us as clear a print as our paintbrush.  Experiment on scrap material first and see what works for you!


  • Press the painted stamp down firmly and evenly on a flat surface.
  • Lift carefully, avoiding the edges of the stamp block touching the fabric.


  • Let dry.
  • Iron to set the paint


Be creative and print using other objects!  I printed sections of fabric using interesting “non-arty” utensils ~

  • Bottle caps
  • Whisk
  • String wrapped around a stick glue
  • End of a wooden spoon
  • Potato masher

For my French patio theme I selected just 2 blues; a clear turquoise and navy blue.

Once I had printed my fabric pieces, I hand painted the other pieces with simple patterns; simple stripes, dots, crosses.

To make up the runner:


  1. Once the paint has dried and ironed to heat-set, cut the fabric into + 25cm (10″) strips.
  2. Cut the strips into random blocks.  Generally I cut the different areas of patterns apart and left some larger printed pieces.
  3. Sew these blocks randomly together into 2m long strips  I alternated my blues.
  4. Join the 2 long strips together to form the full runner.
  5. Add backing fabric if you want to.  (My runner is not backed yet in these photos.)  You will need fabric the same length and width as your runner.  Pin the right sides together and stitch all the way around, leaving about 10cm opening so that you can turn the runner the right sides out.
  6. Fold the edges of the turned opening and top stitch the gap closed, continuing top-stitching all the way around the runner.
  7. Or if you simply sew a runner without backing fabric, overlock the edges , fold over and sew a neat hem around the entire runner.
  8. Press with an iron.

Now, I didn’t stop here!  I added 2 more elements ~

  • French words painted over the runner with silver fabric pen.  20141025_124248 
  • Painted colorful silk painted flowers


We had such fun making this and I was so happy with the runner!

Here’s your free download ~ Provence patio stencil ideas



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