Arts and craft projects

Dupatta turned Table runner

11:38 AM

A plain old dupatta turned into a table runner

Open any home decor magazines, and you will see pretty tables decorated with flowers, table cloths and pretty table runners. Table runners! They are my favourite, they can be informal enough, and immediately bring light to an otherwise boring table. And as an added bonus, they prevent you from dumping all your clutter and junk on the dinning table when used on a daily basis, making getting ready for meal time that much quicker and enjoyable.
The problem with table runners however is that in India they fall into two categories : ridiculously expensive or cheap and tacky. Very few are nice looking and affordable in the market, simply because they have become a fashion trend, and like all fashion trend, they want you to pay up your nose for it.

But, wait! it really really doesn't have to be that way. If you are like me, chances are you have a couple of old dupattas you no longer wear in your closet. In Indian metro they are worn less and less, and chances are you only really don one with a designer suit on a formal occasions. Don't throw or donate all these old cotton ones just yet. A dupatta is a significant yardage of fabric that can be put to a lot of different uses with a little creativity.
And for those reading me wondering what exactly a dupatta is. It is that long cotton scarf that is traditionally worn with salwaar kameez and churidars kurta outfits in India. It is wide around 50-60cm wide and 2m long. As I said, significant amount of fabric.

Here is the one I used :


Plain old white dupatta as a base to work on

As you can see, I started with a plain white one, and like pretty much all dupatta it is far too wide to use as it is to make a runner. What I did from there is cut the fabric in half length wise. The best way to do it and end up with two straight panels without too much fraying and torn edge look is to take a small sharp scissor and cut slowly along one of the vertical thread. You end up cutting all the horizontal threads between two vertical ones, provided the fabric is weaved in a canvas weave (most dupatta are). Take your time and you are guaranteed to end up with a straight edge.
Once you are done cutting your dupatta, you will have two pieces of fabric. And in my case, that means I can make two table runners, as I cut it right in the middle and both are equal in size. But for this tutorial, I made only one. I need to buy more supplies to make the second.
From this point, you are left with two options to deal with the fraying edge on the side of the cut : do a picot stitch, the same way you would to a saree's palu, or like me, just glue some ribbon with some fabric glue.


Fabric glue and some ribbon or trim of your choice

Choosing one method over the other will not gain or loose you more time. If you are a fast sewer, a picot stich will really not take time considering you will be doing on one side only. Gluing ribbon or a saree border to your fabric will have to be done on both side. The fabric glue I used dries quickly enough, so you won't have to worry about waiting to move your fabric around.
I chose an orange ribbon simply because I had a huge leftover from a Halloween costume project I made for Ishita. But for the other dupatta half I will buy another trim.
I think I spent about 30 minutes gluing the ribbon, but I had a feline handicap. Mittens was dead set on "giving me a helping paw".


Gold fabric paint and a handmade stencil

Once my ribbon was glued, the table runner already looked great and could have been left that way. But I had a vision of a delicate golden pattern on it. So I decided to work with what I had around (when you do lots of craft project you have a stock of supplies handy). I made a stencil in an old piece of thick construction paper using a shape puncher. Mine is in the shape of a leaf, but any shape will do. In fact if you don't have a shape puncher and suck at drawing, you can find printable stencil templates online. Print the one you like, cut the center out and start stencilling away.
To stencil on fabric, you need fabric paint, it dries quickly and it doesn't need to be thinned with water. Use as it is out of the jar. The best is to use a big paint brush and dab it all over the stencil's hole. Lift the stencil carefully right after you are done and stencil the next pattern. It took me less than an hour to paint the whole table runner.
Be sure to put a plastic cover (old placemats work great) under your fabric. Fabric paint does seep through, you wouldn't want to ruin your table.

Table runner fished, it matches the painting and cushions

It goes without saying that if you don't have a dupatta to sacrifice to the cause, you can do this same type of project using regular fabric panels. And, if you are using a very ornate dupatta, you won't need to stencil paint, or even glue any ribbon or border. This is as I said, a project that can be as simple as you want it to be. In every cases, you'll be saving money over the cost of an actual ready made table runner and end up with something original that will suit your taste or decor.

12 comments

  1. I like your little festive saffron orange chair pillows too. My Fall decorating is limited to a bowl of fresh persimmons in the middle of the dining table.
    Stencils have really come a long way.
    I was looking at these 2 websites getting all sorts of ideas-
    http://www.cuttingedgestencils.com
    http://www.royaldesignstudio.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These chair cushions are pretty much permanent fixtures, they used to be sofa throw cushions, but my dog kepts attacking them, I put them on the chair to solve an issue of sinking padding on these chairs we use the most until I decide to haven them reupholstered and repadded. Or simply decide to invest in more chair cushions, I haven't quite made up my mind yet.
      I rarely decorate for Fall because fall in Mumbai is pretty inexistent. What we have right now is what would come closer to it, with dryer days, a few more weeks and it will be what we call Winter, which pretty much feels like Fall :-)

      Delete
  2. Absolutely adorable cyn. I love what you have done. ..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :-)
      Long time no see, how have you been?

      Delete
  3. I love it! Such a great idea. I have so many dupatta's. Some already have designs that would work great for this too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the best thing is that if you have ornate dupattas you only really need to cut them to size and you are done.

      Delete
  4. I love what you did here. The other white panel can become a snowy bottom to a winter scene... Also non existent here of course :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It could :-) I have a vision of a beach theme in blue for that other panel though, but it could still change until I get to it

      Delete
  5. Anonymous9:38 AM

    It is beautiful. But you have brought great disrepute to India culture, but making dupatta, the symbol of modesty of Indian women, into a table cloth LOL.... What next, I suggest saris will make good table clothes if used creativity.

    Apple

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL consider it a act of feminism then :-) I have Indian friends who did recycle some sarees into cushion covers. And I remember reading somewhere about a lady who turned them into decorative curtain panels. My SIL converted a saree from my MIL into an anarkali for herself too.

      Delete
  6. It looks lovely! I do this too with my old dupattas, specially around Diwali, mostly I find a blingy one and use it as a runner or couch throws or curtain panels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :-)
      I also saw pictures where dupattas have been used to embellish the back of dinning chairs for Diwali, tied into a bow, it looked very pretty, especially if you do it with blod coloured and ornate ones.

      Delete

Follow me on Instagram

Blog Archive