How to make a fireplace mantel scarf or runner for Christmas

Written by jane smith
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How to make a fireplace mantel scarf or runner for Christmas
A mantel scarf is the backdrop for your Yuletide display. (Getty Thinkstock)

Christmas without a fireplace is like Santa without his sleigh. The fireplace mantel's association with Christmas is so strong that people make fake fireplaces just so they have a place to hang their stockings and Christmas cards. A fireplace mantel scarf or runner provides a colourful backdrop for the decorations in your Yule display.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Cutting table
  • Sharpened scissors
  • Bright-red or emerald satin brocade
  • Dry iron on lowest setting
  • Pressing cloth
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread
  • 9 x 6mm (3/8 by 1/4 inch) by red and green glass oval beads
  • 6mm (1/4 inch) red and green glass round beads
  • 4mm (5/32 inch) silver cone spiral beads
  • Solvent-based anti-fray adhesive

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the length of your fireplace mantel and add 60 to 120 cm (2 to 4 feet). This provides a 30 to 60 cm (1 to 2 feet) drape off each end. Choose the shortest drape length if you have a working fireplace.

    How to make a fireplace mantel scarf or runner for Christmas
    Measure the mantel to ensure you do not waste fabric. (tape measure image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Measure the width of the mantel and add 2.5 cm (1 inch) for a seam allowance. Use sharpened scissors to cut your fabric to the correct dimensions. "Only very sharp scissors will prevent snagging the fabric," says Sew and Sew co-owner Peggy Fondren.

    How to make a fireplace mantel scarf or runner for Christmas
    Sharp sewing shears prevent snags. (scissors image by Holtea Silviu from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Lay your fabric on a cutting table with the wrong side facing the ceiling. The wrong side is the dull side of the fabric.

    How to make a fireplace mantel scarf or runner for Christmas
    Keep the shiny side down. (Satin Wave Structure-abstract image by Svenja98 from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Turn your iron to its lowest dry setting. Do not use any steam settings. Steam can cause the dyes in satin fabric to run, leaving ugly stains. Lay a pressing cloth over the fabric and press away any wrinkles using a gliding, clockwise motion from the centre of the fabric away from your body and out to the left, and away from your body out to the right. This prevents the fabric from slipping and creating new wrinkles.

    How to make a fireplace mantel scarf or runner for Christmas
    Use a dry iron on low. (iron image by Goran Bogicevic from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    Make a one-half-inch fold along both long edges of the fabric. Do not press the fabric flat along the fold. Stitch along both long sides of the fabric, one-quarter-inch from the fold.

  6. 6

    Use sharpened scissors to make cuts one-quarter-inch wide and two inches long into the short ends of your mantel scarf to create fringe. Thread red and silver beads in an alternating pattern on every other fringe strand. Thread green and silver beads on the fringe strands between the red- and silver-beaded ones.

    How to make a fireplace mantel scarf or runner for Christmas
    Use glass and sterling-silver beads, not plastic. (coloured beads image by Gina Smith from Fotolia.com)
  7. 7

    Apply solvent-based anti-fray adhesive to the ends of each fringe strand and allow to dry. Arrange your mantel scarf as desired.

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