A great way to add colour, texture and interest to your dining or kitchen table is with a runner. As indigo blue is my favourite colour, I made an upcycled denim table runner for my dining table.
The runner looks great against the dark wood of the table and also protects it from spills and candle wax from candles. To add interest to the denim runner I stenciled it.
Using a Moroccan Stencil
The last time I stenciled denim to make my denim fish pillows I used bleach. Even though this worked well this time I used acrylic paint.
A few years ago I made some doily stenciled pillows with acrylic paint and they still look just as good as when I first made them. I’ve also stenciled jeans before with my fun denim draught excluders.
I found the Moroccan stencil in my craft stash. Making a stunning painted wood pallet garden was the last time I used it. Loving the Moroccan and Boho look, I knew the stencil would be perfect for this DIY denim table runner.
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What You Need To Make A Denim Table Runner
What denim to use?
An old pair of jeans, or to be more precise both legs from a pair of old jeans.
However, this denim table runner was only really long enough for a coffee table. For a longer runner for a bigger table, I recommend using another jeans leg or two.
Top Tip: Only use straight-legged, flared, or boot cut jeans for this denim upcycle. The legs of skinny jeans probably won’t be wide enough.
What else you need?
- Moroccan stencil – the one I used was 12″ squared. I love the Moroccan tile look and this stencil is a square of 9 different Moroccan tiles.
- White acrylic paint
- Fabric paint medium
- Foam brushes
- One A3 sized foam board or similar
- Rotary cutter and board plus a metal ruler
- Thumbtacks or pins
How To Make A Denim Table Runner
1.. The first thing to do is to cut the legs off the pair of jeans. Cut them at the top as near to the crotch as possible. As mentioned above if you want a longer table runner I recommend using more than one pair of jeans.
Leave the hems on the jeans as these will be the ends of the denim table runner.
2. Next, using scissors cut open the jeans legs by cutting down the inside seam. The opened up denim leg should be a few inches wider than the stencil.
3. Next, pin and stitch the top of both denim legs right sides together. Allow for a 1cm seam. This can either be done on the machine or by hand.
This is basically your denim table runner if it is not long enough for your requirements now is the time to sew another leg or two.
However, the chances are, the runner will not be the same width all the way along. Jean’s legs tend to be wider at the top and are very rarely totally straight.
To even out the runner, lay it onto a cutting mat. Then lay the stencil on-top, allow for a margin of 3-5 cm along each edge. Next, using a rotary cutter and metal ruler cut the edges of the jeans so that they are the same length all the way along.
4. Now it’s time to stencil the denim fabric. To stop the stencil and the denim from moving whilst painting I pin both to a foam board. Place the stencil in the middle of the runner and right up to the bottom hem.
Top tip: If you don’t want to make holes in the stencil, use a combination of masking tape and pins.
5. Next, mix the fabric medium with the acrylic paint according to the instructions on the bottle. This is normally a 50/50 mixture. The fabric medium turns the paint into fabric paint that can be washed.
Top Tip: If you don’t have fabric medium, don’t worry you can still seal the paint at the end with vinegar and iron. This will give it some protection from washing.
Stencil using a foam brush and a dabbing motion. This will stop the paint from seeping under the stencil.
6. Once you have finished with the stencil, carefully lift it off the denim table runner. Then, when the paint is touch dry move the stencil along the runner into the next position and repeat the painting.
Carry on repeating this step until the whole length of the table runner is painted.
7. Once the painting has finished and dried, spray the painted table runner with a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water. Then place a tea-towel on-top of the paint and iron it.
This will not only set the fabric paint more into the fabric but it will also soften it.
8. Finally, to finish off the denim table runner. Either sew a hem along the long edges or go for a more Boho look and fray them.
I love how the denim table runner turned out, it is the Moroccan stencil that really made it. The way the white paint sits unevenly on the indigo denim fabric makes the runner look like it has been Shibori dyed.
This means that it goes really well with some Shibori planters I made. Next, I want to make some denim table mats using the same stencil to match. I have also made a patchwork denim fabric fruit bowl which will look fabulous with this table runner.
Repurposed tea towels would also make a great table runner.