May 10, 2011

"Guestbook" Table Runner - Party Keepsake

My oldest daughter made her First Communion this past weekend.  It was a beautiful service, a gorgeous day and we had a wonderful time entertaining family from out of town back at our house.  When planning the party, I wanted to make something special that she would have as a keepsake from her special day.  I came up with the idea of a table runner that our guests could sign for her.  I loved the way it turned out and liked that it had a dual purpose ~ it served as decoration for the party and then I can fold it up in her keepsake box as a little memento.  Obviously, I used a religious theme for our occasion, but you could easily make one to fit any party theme.  ( If I had thought of it a few years ago and wasn't so sleep deprived at the time, it would have been cute for their First Birthdays!)

I chose to use the same Glue Batik technique we used to make our Easter table runner.  I liked how it somewhat resembles stained glass and thought it would perfect for a religious occasion.  It's a fun technique and turned out great, but you could use a whole variety of techniques to make a design to fit your theme. ( freezer paper stencils, iron on appliques, paint, etc.)

What a pretty keepsake of a special day!

 The SUPPLIES I used to make mine:
  • white cotton fabric ( I used inexpensive muslin)
  • white felt
  • acrylic paint
  • waxed paper
  • blue gel school glue
  • paint pens
And now, the step-by-step:

1.  Decide how large you want your completed table runner to be and cut your piece of white cotton fabric to be about an 1 1/2" larger on all sides.

2.  Lay down waxed paper on your work surface.  Trace your design on the waxed paper, then lay your fabric on top.

3.  Using the blue gel school glue, cover the lines of the image with glue.  Let dry overnight.

The image has been traced with glue.

 4.  Water down your acrylic paints or fabric paints and paint your design.  You don't have to worry about painting over the glue lines, it'll wash off in the next step.  When finished, let your paint dry completely.

Painting the design.

5.  Fill the sink or a bucket up with warm, almost hot, water.  Soak your fabric in the water for 5-10 minutes, then rub off the glue.  The paint that was on the glue lines will come off as well.  Use an old toothbrush to rub off any stubborn parts of glue.

Soaking the fabric in hot water.

6.  Once all the glue is off, allow the fabric to dry or pop it in the dryer.  Iron the fabric and set aside.

The fabric is ready for the next step.

7.  Next, take your piece of felt and cut to the exact size you want your finished table runner to be. 

The two panels are ready.

8.  Put your fabric with the design right side down, and lay your felt on top with an even border all around.

Ready to pin the border.

9.  Working on that border of the cotton fabric, fold the border in half, then fold it over the felt and pin down.  This will enclose the unfinished edge of the muslin and finish off the edge of your table runner.

Edges folded and pinned.

10.  Sew around the edge of your table runner, using about a 1/2" seam ( it may be a little larger or smaller, you just want it to be catch the edge of your folded fabric.)  Remove your pins and top stitch about 1/8" around the edge of your table runner.

Finishing the edges.

11.  Give your table runner one last pass with the iron and it's ready to go.  Set it out on your table with a few paint pens to allow your guests to sign it.

All ready to sign

Sharing this idea at:
Junkie handmade projects


    1. What a fantastic idea! So personal and such a special keepsake...and you could do a variation for any type of holiday or occasion!

    2. First of all, I love your header... It is very colorful and I am really getting into the bird theme. :) Secondly I wanted to share an idea with you that I was given at my bridal shower. A friends mother gave me a white table runner and told me that each Thanksgiving my husband and I each needed to write down something we were thankful for. Then when we have kids, they join us. She said that she has done it and loves taking it out each Thanksgiving and using it for the table and reading about all she has been blessed with. I hope you could use this idea.

      Carrie from

    3. I love your blog! Did you draw the designs freehand or did you find them somewhere? I have zero ability to draw.

    4. "I love your blog! Did you draw the designs freehand or did you find them somewhere? I have zero ability to draw. "

      Thanks! My freehand drawing abilities aren't so hot either. I actually googled and printed out the designs I liked, then put that printout under the waxed paper to trace my image.

    5. What a great idea for a special occasion, will keep it in mind for my daughters baby shower, thanks Julie.

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