As satisfying as a well-written recipe, a smart and thoughtful DIY is our kind of lunch break reading. Bonus points if it's an easy project AND teaches us how to make something beautiful.
Today: Laura Kaesshaefer shares her tutorial on how to customize a simple table runner with three colors of pom fringe -- no sewing machine required.
Sometimes a pretty runner is just what your table needs. I had my eye on one (ok, a few) from Anthropologie's home shop, until I realized I could make it for about a third of the price (just $30) at home. A few layers of pom pom trim -- available by the yard in pastels, neutrals, and bold, bright colors -- gives a plain linen runner a much-needed spring lift. The best part? There's no sewing machine required for this simple DIY; a quick hand-stitch does the trick.
What You'll Need:
Plain table runner (I used this linen one, but you can also find this one in Food52's Shop.)
3/8-inch to 1/2-inch pom pom trim (available here or here), long enough to run the width of your runner on both ends with a little extra
Needle and thread, to match the color of at least one of your pom trims
How to Customize Your Table Runner:
1. When choosing the colors of pom pom trim, start by finding one that nearly matches the color of your runner (in this case, I went with a dusty brown). Then decide your overall scheme: Do you want a natural palette, a rich jewel-toned one, or something bright and unexpected? I chose colors that would work with a range of tableware (dusty brown, white, and navy), which also makes it a safe bet for gifting. The color direction you take is only as limited as your imagination!
2. Measure and cut each trim to the exact width of the end of your runner. This example is 18 inches wide at both ends. Be sure to cut enough for both sides!
3. Lay your pom pom trim out on the runner to get a sense of the final layout. I spaced the trim in 1 1/2-inch intervals. Pin in place if desired (this makes sewing it easier, as a bonus).
4. Using a needle and thread, attach each color of pom pom trim using a simple running stitch (weaving back and forth through the fabric). Knot to secure at each end, and trim any excess thread. Repeat on the other end. The beauty of this process is that imperfection is welcome: Stitches not so perfectly straight? No problem. The pom poms look even better with a bit of a inconsistency.
Use the runner dress any table setting instantly, or give it as an inexpensive (but fancy-looking) wedding gift this spring. Also, Mother's Day is May 10th! Just note: The pom poms can be delicate, so hand wash or spot clean the runner if it catches a spill.
What other DIY projects would you like to see us tackle? Let us know in the comments!
Leading photo by James Ransom; all other photos by Corynne Pless