Craft a Catholic Table Runner

Last year I made table runners with the Catholic dinner prayer on them as Christmas presents for everyone. These would be perfect to make in fall colors for your Thanksgiving table! Plus, if you’re still looking for a homemade Christmas present idea, these were a hit! I was so behind on everything last Christmas that I didn’t get pictures of them finished before I mailed them off. *Gasp!* I know, I know, but I do have pictures of the one I made for me.

Table runner reading "Bless us O Lord"

Catholic Table Runner

This project does require some basic sewing skills, but if you’re super opposed to sewing you could probably just hem the edge with that iron-on hem stuff or craft on a white already-sewn table runner. The ones I made as presents were actually more plain and simple than this without the fabric around the edges or ruffles. You could certainly make them in any color scheme or style. I just like things colorful. πŸ™‚

Catholic Table Runner

Materials Needed to Paint Your Own Table Runner:

  • White piece of fabric (whatever size you want your table runner to be) and some fabric to back it with.
  • Quilt batting (optional)
  • Elmer’s School Glue (either white or gel)
  • Cheap Acrylic Paint (such as apple barrel paints)

Take your fabric and write the prayer on it with glue. It is important to get school glue and NOT glue all, otherwise it won’t wash out when you’re done. You can sketch lightly with a pencil first if that’s easier for you. The gel school glue is nice because it doesn’t spread like white glue, so you can be more intentional with your lines. However, I used both and they all came out beautiful. These are pretty glue intensive- you’ll only be able to write 2 or 3 runners per bottle.

Gel writing on white fabric

Dried glue writing on white fabric

When you have your glue how you want it, let it dry overnight or until it’s completely dry. Now you’re ready for paint! Put some acrylic paint in a cup or bowl, and add a little water. I’d say 3 parts paint, 1 part water. You want it to paint on easily, but if you add too much water your color will fade a lot in the wash.

Paint entirely over the fabric- glue and all. I like the look of marbling some colors together. I really think a brown, yellow, and orange one would be fabulous for Thanksgiving!

Marble Dyed Fabric

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Marble Dyed Fabric

When you’re finished painting, let the paint dry. Once it’s dry, put it in the washer (by itself) and wash in warm water. I used the gentle cycle. This will wash out the glue, leaving everywhere that had glue on it white. Use your piece of fabric and sew it into whatever kind of table runner you want. It can be as easy or as complicated as you want from here, and trust me, I’m not qualified to type up a sewing tutorial- lol!

I sewed some black-on-white damask around mine and made some yellow ruffles for each edge. I would love to have a ruffled table runner that hung over the sides of my table, but with 4 kids ages 5 and under it just seemed like a bad idea. πŸ˜‰

Finished Catholic Table Runner

I found that I liked this kind of cross in the middle of these the best. Plus, it was easy to draw with glue.

Finished Catholic Table Runner

Finished Catholic Table Runner

I made the yellow ruffle from leftover fabric I had from sewing Lydia’s crib set. It has butterflies printed on it, but you can’t really tell.

Catholic Table Runner Border

I meant to put some thin quilt batting inside of mine but forgot until I was already turning it right sides out. Since I avoid my seam ripper at pretty much every expense, I’m thinking it will be ok without batting. πŸ˜‰

Check out the easy version of this made with a bleach pen!!!

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  1. Holly@ThreeSidedWheel says

    Love these! Thanks for sharing! I will totally be making this for my family!

  2. Great idea. My daughter is learning her prayers this year and this will be a great way to let her learn it each night at dinner. Thanks!!

    • That’s a great idea! I didn’t put the whole prayer on there, but you certainly could. If I wanted a child to be able to read it, I’d probably useless “curly” letters. lol.

  3. So wonderful! So, how did you do the ruffle? Are they pleats? And did you machine stitch them or hand-stitch them? When you washed the main piece, did you use detergent? Also, do you think muslin would work? I’m a fabric junkie πŸ™‚ and I think I may already have enough to make it work πŸ™‚ I love love love your blog and this idea! My theory is, if they’re going to read a book, it might as well be about a Saint. If they’re gonna color, it might as well be a Bible Story…so your blog is right up my alley! Thank you so much for sharing all of your awesomeness!!!

    • Ya, the ruffles are more like pleats. I just kept folding the fabric over and shoving it through my machine. I should have sewed it in when I put the back on, but I didn’t so I ended up hand stitching it to the top. It was an interesting process. I pretty much just make up sewing as I go. πŸ˜‰ I don’t know about the muslin. Anything with too large a weave might let the glue run too much. You cold also just try stenciling on the words. And I did use detergent when I washed it. So glad you’re enjoying my site! πŸ™‚

  4. Thank you for sharing this idea. You have inspired me to make at least one of these for us to have in our home. I just might make some for some close family friends as well.

    • So glad to hear this! I was hoping this wasn’t too complicated and that at least some people would attempt it. It’s actually a pretty easy project! The drying time is annoying, but it’s pretty easy to make a whole slew of them. πŸ™‚

  5. Thank you for such an awesome idea. I am going to have my girls do these for their American Heritage Girl Leaders. This site is so cool.

  6. Lacy,
    How beautiful! We did something similar with tempera paints for an art class. Not sure if it would wash out in the washer, as washed by hand, but it did work out.

    Thanks for the ideas.


    • Originally I learned to do this with tempera paints, which does work as long as you get NON WASHABLE! Lol! But I actually found the colors faded more than I wanted them to. You do get better colors with acrylics, but it also makes the fabric more stiff where the tempera paint washes out, leaving the fabric soft. For a table runner, I decided it didn’t matter if it were soft or not- just wanted good color. πŸ™‚

  7. Thank you again! We printed out our words with beautiful fonts, placed them underneath and traced them. (300 size font.) Also bought quilted fabric for backing- very nice.

  8. Jessica Echeverry says

    Hi Lacy,

    I have a question: can you do more than one at a time and wash them together? Or should we wash each single runner on gentle at a time? I am going to do this with my Sunday School Class (just not as elaborate as yours) for Thanksgiving. So we will be making 10-15 of them at one time.

    What do you suggest?
    Jess †

  9. Lacy, you are just too funny! I always love reading your posts and crafts! I will try this, and about the table runner, go ahead and make one and let it hang down…they will learn, mommy likes things pretty and nice as can be! haha! Thanks again for all your work!

  10. I love this! You can also cut out some steps, but take a risk by using a clorox pen and writing on a colored fabric. Unlike the glue though there are not repeats, but the effect is the same. I totally thought that was what you had done until I read the instr. Love LOVE LOVE this idea.

  11. Well, I missed this last year! But I definitely want to try it this year. I have a question though: do you think it would work if I wrote the prayer on a piece of solid color fabric with a bleach pen? Or, would the colors run and make the prayer hard to read? Your comments and suggestions, Lacy. I’m not much of a crafter and I need it to be as easy as possible! Thank you!

    • Yes! I do! In fact, I just bought an already-sewn table runner and bleach pen is on my shopping list. I am going to try and post about it next week. I don’t see why that wouldn’t work and it would be so much easier! Stay tuned. πŸ˜‰