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How to make a bed runner

Updated April 17, 2017

Bed runners or pillow toppers are similar in shape to a table runner. They are placed across the foot of the bed as added decoration for your bedcovering or over the tops of your pillows in place of pillow shams. Make a bed runner or pillow topper to create the finishing touch to a room's decor. If decorating your room or a guest room for the holidays, use seasonal or holiday print fabrics. They can be made to fit any size mattress, and a basic runner can be sewn in less than an hour.

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  1. Measure the width of your mattress and down the sides to the desired length. This is the length of your runner. If you will be using the runner as a pillow topper, you will want to measure over the top of your pillows and down the sides of the bed. Iron the runner's top fabric to remove any wrinkles or creases. Cut a long rectangle 60 cm (24 inches) wide by the length measurement from the bed.

  2. Iron your backing fabric. Lay out your backing fabric on a large flat surface with the wrong side up. Place quilt batting over the backing fabric. Centre the runner top on the batting with the right side up. Pin the layers together.

  3. Cut the batting using the runner top as a pattern. Cut the backing 2.5 cm (1 inch) larger than the runner on all sides.

  4. Fold the backing to the edge of the runner top and press. Fold the remaining 1.3 cm (1/2 inch) edge of the backing over the front edge of the runner, creating a binding. Mitre fold the corners and pin the binding. Zigzag stitch the pinned binding to the runner.

  5. Tip

    The runner can be quilted or tied, and the top can be appliqued or pieced, if desired. Cutting a vintage quilt that has been damaged and using it for the runner top is a wonderful way of preserving a portion of a family heirloom. Choose fabric with a colour or design that coordinates with your existing bedcover.

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Top fabric, amount determined by size of mattress
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Backing fabric, amount determined by size of mattress
  • Quilt batting, amount determined by size of mattress
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Cyndee Kromminga has been writing craft and interior design articles for 15 years. Her articles and craft designs have appeared in Crafting Traditions Magazine, Easy Holiday Crafting Series-House of White Birches Newsletter and Country Woman Christmas Books. Kromminga's education is in interior design and she has experience operating a craft and design business for more than 20 years.

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