DIY How to make a fun and fast bandanna table runner

10 years ago or so I saw a magazine article which described how to use bandannas in your kitchen. I remember looking at napkins, napkin rings, table runners and tablecloths. I was very enthused and sought out inexpensive bandannas. I found them on a clearance sale at a grocery store and bought them all. I put them in a project box and there they sat for years. I broke them out and used them as napkins once.

This weekend I have a bookclub meeting here and I am on a spending hiatus until February 1st. I like to make something new when my group comes over and I was thrilled to remember those bandannas. I spent a couple of hours sewing and I am going to share with you how to make a fun and fast bandanna table runner.


The very first thing I did was to select which ones I wanted to use, in which order and how big. I also decided that I only wanted half of each bandanna to show and I wanted it to be reversible. I chose 8 but you might only need 6. I have a very long table so I wanted a finished runner of about 73 inches long and 15 or so inches wide.

I decided I had to eliminate some width so I sewed each pair together where the design began.ban-re-5 The two inch borders all around the bandanna did not make it to the finished product.

After I sewed a pair together, I pressed the seam open. The seam is huge but I didn't trim it, why not have a bit more fabric? I sewed each pair to the one below it again where the design began.

If you want you could show the borders. I did what I did to make it a bit thinner. In about 30 minutes, I had all the bandannas sewn together.


I put them up on Zara's design wall, don't tell her but mine has the Cubs quilt on it. I noticed that one set of bandannas was smaller than the others. No problem, I trimmed them all to the same width.ban-re-9

I then cut a piece of iron on batting that was 72 inches long and 14.5 inches wide. I ironed this piece of batting smack dab in the middle of the table runner. I started it after the border.

I then sewed the bandannas right sides together. This created a sort of tube with batting in the middle. Both ends were free.

I pressed this seam together which solidified the batting seal. I ironed all around before I moved on. ban-re-10

I turned the tube inside out. I had my half bandanna look that I wanted. I pressed the ends inside the tube on each end.


I used a decorative stitch to sew each end closed which added to the overall design of the runner. Then I selected a wavy stitch, made it as big as I could and I "quilted" 6 wavy lines. There were two in the middle on either side of the seam, one on each side and one in-between.

I could have quilted more but this is for a casual lunch.ban-re-12 I wanted to have enough quilting to keep everything together. I also wanted to make sure that the batting would stay put.

I am really happy with the finished product. I am also happy that I have a bunch of bandannas left for when I set the table. I will write a post about the book club meeting so you will know how it all looked.

Just know that I am not going to wear any of the bandannas myself!

Sew happy!

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I published a post on table settings and in that photo gallery is a shot of these bandannas with no sewing. Click here to view it.

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    Kathy Mathews

    My passions are quilting and sewing. Add to that French, Spanish, books, swimming, travels, new restaurants, yoga and chocolate and you have me. All of these are best shared with family and friends. Except for chocolate, don't touch my chocolate. You can email me at

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