How to Make a Bed Runner

Add tassels, ribbons or trim to embellish your personalized bed runner.
Add tassels, ribbons or trim to embellish your personalized bed runner. (Image: allhive/iStock/Getty Images)

Like a table runner in your dining room, a bed runner adds color and texture. Usually 18 to 24 inches wide, a runner generally rests along the foot of the bed, although you can also position it down the center, from head to foot.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Fabric
  • Fusible interfacing
  • Dressmaker’s pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Quilt batting (optional)

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Basic, Simple Runner

Measure the width of your bed. Add 26 inches.

Fold the fabric in half, selvage edges and right sides together.

Mark a rectangle measuring 1 inch wider than your desired finished width by the width measurement you made. For example, if your bed is 48 inches wide, and you want a runner that is 18 inches wide, you would mark a 74-inch (48 inches + 26 inches) by 19-inch rectangle.

Cut on your marks to make two matching strips.

Cut one matching piece of fusible interfacing.

Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of one of your fabric strips.

Pin the two long sides and one end together, right sides facing.

Stitch the three pinned sides, using a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

Turn the runner right side out.

Press the seams flat.

Slip-stitch the open end closed.

Press the seams flat.

Top-stitch 1/4 inch from the edges, all the way around the runner.

Padded Bed-Top Runner

Cut two fabrics strips with a length equal to the width of your bed plus 26 inches. Make the strip 1 inch wider than the desired finished width.

Measure and cut a matching piece of batting.

Pin the batting to the back of one of the fabric strips.

Position the other fabric strip on the front side of the first strip and pin them together.

Stitch around the two long sides and one end, using 1/2-inch seam allowances.

Trim the seams to 1/4 inch.

Turn the runner right side out.

Top-stitch the runner with your favorite quilting design or top-stitch 1/2-inch from each edge.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make your bed runner reversible by cutting one strip from each of two different fabrics.
  • Most fabrics will work well for a bed runner, but woven fabrics -- such as cotton, satin, silk or linen -- will produce a crisper look than knits.
  • Instead of a single, long strip of fabric, consider making a patchwork design by cutting pieces of coordinating fabrics into different lengths and stitching them together to create a rectangle of the correct dimensions.


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