Affiliate Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We may also earn commissions if you purchase products from other retailers after clicking on a link from our site.
Properly folding a table runner that is too long is essential for having a safe and elegant table setting. Fortunately, the folding process is easy — you only need the table runner and a clean, flat surface.
To fold a table runner that is too long, first create a crease by folding the runner in half, crosswise. Then you can iron the folded part to make a neat, more manageable piece of fabric that can be centered on the table.
However, the way you fold your table runner depends on what role you want it to serve at that time. There are different ways to fold a table runner for placement on a table. Keep reading if you’d like a more thorough guide that expands on these folding methods and best practices in each instance.
Folding a Table Runner That is Longer Than the Table Length
Most table runners are designed to hang off the edge of tabletops, aligning perfectly with the tablecloth beneath. However, your table runner may be too long, hanging below the tablecloth or several inches past the table’s edge.
Fortunately, you can fold a table runner to make it slightly shorter. To do so, let’s explore the steps to ensure your table runner is the ideal length for your dining setup.
1. Fold the Table Runner in Half Crosswise
Ensure that the corners along the ends touch each other. Line them perfectly to create a crease in the middle of the table runner, resulting in a two-layer fold. Press the folded edge with a flat iron to create a clean, straight crease in the middle of the table runner.
This fold halves the total length of the runner, helping it fit shorter tabletops. However, if the runner is only slightly longer than you need, you can choose one end to fold to match the length you need.
For instance, if the table is 5 feet (1.5 m) long, you’ll want your table runner to be approximately 6 feet (1.8 m) long. This ensures you’ll have enough length to hang off the table’s edges for aesthetic appeal.
2. Place the Table Runner on Your Table
Place the table runner on the table so that each side hangs over each end of your table. Adjust the table runner to hang at least six inches (15 cm) over each end of the table. Align it so that the cloth is precisely in the middle of the table.
If the runner is too short after the crosswise fold (unable to reach the ends of the table), you’ll want to adjust the table runner by pulling each end outward until it hangs at the appropriate length off each end of the table.
3. Adjust the Table Runner As Necessary
When the crosswise fold leaves you with a table runner that is too short, you may need to use safety pins or careful ironing to get the runner to be just the right length. For example, you could unfold the runner and use a hot iron to crease the ends. Then you can secure the ends to the main body of the fabric using safety pins.
Alternatively, you can use fashion tape to secure the fold. Safety pins can leave unwanted holes on your table runner, but fashion tapes are designed to be fabric-safe and leave no residue. Avoid using regular double-sided tape, as it might be difficult to remove from the cloth.
If you have a tablecloth, ensure that your table runner doesn’t hang down further than the tablecloth. If the table runner hangs further than the tablecloth, consider folding the hanging sections of the runner in half.
You could also tuck the hanging ends beneath the tablecloth, using an iron to crease the final edges for a more finished look and securing the table runner folds with safety pins or fashion tape against the tablecloth to keep them in place.
Folding a Table Runner To Be Precisely the Length of the Table
A table runner that hangs slightly over the edges of your table is a traditional option. But what if you want your table runner’s ends to be flush with the edges of your table?
Let’s walk through the following steps to ensure your table runner is perfectly aligned with your table, with no ends hanging over the edge.
1. Place the Runner in the Middle of the Table
To fold a table runner to be precisely the same length as your table (with no edges hanging over the edge of the tabletop), the first thing you’ll need to do is place the runner on the table. Ensure that it’s evenly placed before moving on to the next step. This means that the amount of cloth hanging over each side of the table should be equal.
2. Tuck the Ends of the Table Runner Beneath the Runner
Approach one end of the table runner and carefully lift the overhanging end, folding it back and beneath itself against the table. Then, do the same thing to the opposite end of the table runner.
Tucking the table runner beneath itself so the ends are aligned with the table’s edge can result in an unevenly thick runner, so this method might not work best for thicker runners. However, thin table runners can fold beneath themselves without creating too much bunching.
3. Use an Iron to Crease the Runner’s Ends
When both ends of the table runner are tucked, you can use a hot clothes iron to create an aesthetically pleasing crease at both of the folds. Naturally, you’ll want to place a thick piece of cardboard or a portable ironing table beneath each end before ironing. This way, the hot iron won’t discolor or damage the table beneath the runner.
After the creases have been neatly formed using the flat iron, secure the table runners using safety pins or fashion tape.
You can fold a table runner that’s too long by folding it in half (crosswise), tucking the ends beneath the runner, and using a hot iron to make clean creases that help the runner look the perfect length.
These methods work when adjusting the edges of a table runner to sit flush with the edges of a tablecloth and when shortening a table runner to sit perfectly aligned with the edges of a tabletop.
- Country Door: How To Use Table Runners
- Couleur Nature: Table Runners and Tablecloth Sizing Guide
- The Mill Shop: What Are Table Runners And How And When To Use Them
- Classic Cleaner: Why we love double-sided fabric tape
Share this Post
Giovanni Valle is an architect, designer, internet entrepreneur, and the managing editor of various digital publications including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place. He is the founder of BuilderSpace LLC.