DIY Scrap Fabric Craft Tutorial: Patriotic Table Runner Made With Repurposed Jeans

Updated on June 27, 2018
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Claudia has been writing about crafts online for many years. She is an avid crafter who has been creating for most of her life.

Easy DIY Patriotic Fabric Scrap Craft: Table Runner Made from Repurposed Jeans
Easy DIY Patriotic Fabric Scrap Craft: Table Runner Made from Repurposed Jeans | Source

Make This Fun DIY Table Runner for the Holidays

There's nothing like the warmer months to bring out a little red, white and blue in all of us here in the United States. With the exception of Veteran's Day, our most patriotic holidays fall in May, June and July. Wherever you travel you see the stars and stripes on display, and, if you are anything like me, you like to show some patriotism by decorating your home with a few festive items.

This table runner, made with a pair of old torn jeans and some fabric scraps, is an ideal addition to your collection of decor. It can be made in an afternoon if you need something in a pinch, and, best of all, you don't have to an expert seamstress to make it.

Project notes

  • Finished runner measures 15 1/2" wide x 39 1/2" long.
  • Star cookie cutter template used measures 3".
  • Fabrics used, including the blue jeans, were 100% cotton and prewashed.
  • Washing instructions: Follow the washing directions provided on the fusible web packaging.

So don't throw out those torn jeans, turn them into this charming and festive topper for your table. Enjoy!

I'm curious....

Do you decorate with patriotic colors during the summer months?

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Easy tutorial for a festive DIY table runner made with repurposed blue jeans and fabric scraps.
Easy tutorial for a festive DIY table runner made with repurposed blue jeans and fabric scraps. | Source

Here's What You'll Need

Supplies you'll need.
Supplies you'll need. | Source
  • Assorted red, white and blue fabrics cut into squares no less than 4". 19 stars total, 7 red, 6 white and 6 blue.
  • One pair of men's jeans (these had a 32" length and no spandex in them)
  • Fusible web such as Wonder Under or Heat N' Bond, but any brand will do as long as it can be washed
  • Cutting mat
  • Rotary cutter
  • Quilter's ruler (if you don't have one, a yard stick will work)
  • Good fabric scissors

1. Press and Cut the Fabrics

Getting the fabric ready for the fusible web.
Getting the fabric ready for the fusible web. | Source
  • Cut out 4" squares of the red, white and blue fabric. Press.
  • Cut slightly smaller squares of the fusible web, just making sure that the star template you are using will fit.
  • Following the directions of the fusible web, press it to the wrong side of the fabric squares.
  • Set squares aside to cool completely.

2. Trace the Star

Using your star template, trace the shape onto the paper side of the fusible web that has already been placed on the fabric.
Using your star template, trace the shape onto the paper side of the fusible web that has already been placed on the fabric. | Source

The fusible web has a paper backing which makes it easy to write on.

Once the squares have cooled, trace around the star shape with a pencil that is easy to see.

3. Cut Out the Star

Cut the star shape out.
Cut the star shape out. | Source
  • Following the traced line, cut out the star shape, using good fabric scissors if you have them.
  • Set aside the cutout, leaving the paper backing on.

4. Cut Up the Jeans

Getting the fabric pieces from the jeans.
Getting the fabric pieces from the jeans. | Source

The easiest way to get the large fabric pieces needed is as follows:

  • Cut off the hems.
  • Cut off the legs, cutting from right below the back pocket to the crotch.
  • You will have two long tubes of fabric (the two pant legs).

Source
  • Take one of the legs of jeans and cut alongside the seam, lengthwise to open it up.
  • Cut along the other side of the seam.
  • Lay flat and repeat with the other long seam.
  • Repeat with the second leg and press.
  • You end up with four long pieces of denim.

5. Trim the Denim Fabric To Size

Denim trimmed to size
Denim trimmed to size | Source

Depending on how you cut the legs, you'll end up with two wider pieces of denim and two thinner ones. Use the wider ones for the longer size strips and the thinner ones for the shorter pieces. Because the pant legs aren't quite wide enough all the way down, you have to add the two shorter strips on the ends to get the length needed for the runner.

  • Cut two strips 8" wide by 24 1/2" long
  • Cut two strips 8" long by 15 1/2" wide
  • Press

6. Sew the Table Runner Together

Starting with the long pieces, sew the table runner together.
Starting with the long pieces, sew the table runner together. | Source

Place the two long denim pieces, right sides together and sew on the long side using a generous 1/4" seam allowance. Begin and end with a backstitch.

You will end up with a piece of fabric 15 1/2" wide by 24 1/2" long.

Press the seams open.
Press the seams open. | Source

Press the seam open so the runner lays flat.

Then add the two end pieces, one on each end.

Add on the end pieces to give more length to the runner.
Add on the end pieces to give more length to the runner. | Source
  • Beginning on one end, add one of the 8" by 15 1/2" strips by laying it on top of the larger piece, matching up the 15 1/2" sides, right sides together.
  • Sew along the 15 1/2" side.

How to press the seams open around the seam to avoid bulk.
How to press the seams open around the seam to avoid bulk. | Source

Press the seams open so they are flat. To press the double seam that is formed when the seam meets the center seam of the long pieces:

  1. Place the runner on the ironing board.
  2. Carefully snip the fabric on both sides of the seam that was previously formed when you sewed the two long sides together. Use caution so you don't cut through the stitching.
  3. Press open and you'll have nice flat seams.
  4. Repeat on the other end.

7. Sew Around the Border

Sew around the border of the runner.
Sew around the border of the runner. | Source

Using the edge of the runner as a guideline, sew around the outside of the runner, about a scant 1/2" in from the edge. Backstitch at the beginning and end. I used red thread to add another dimension of interest to the piece.

However, this stitch line is not just for decoration. The runner has a raw edge, meaning it is not hemmed and no border is added. Denim has a tendency to fray and this stitching will ensure that the denim doesn't fray any further than that seam line (the red stitching line in the photo above).

8. Lay Out the Pattern

Lay out the stars in a desirable pattern.
Lay out the stars in a desirable pattern. | Source

Now the fun really begins. Lay out the stars in the pattern, deciding which ones you like best and where you like them.

Use your imagination here. I like to take pictures of different layouts on my phone and then come back to the project later to decide which one I like the most.

If you have a big enough ironing surface do this step on it so you have everything right there when you are ready to start pressing.

9. Adhere the Stars to the Denim

Time to iron the stars onto the runner.
Time to iron the stars onto the runner. | Source

Once you have your desired layout, start ironing on the stars.

  • Peel off the paper backing.
  • Following the manufacturer's directions, iron the stars onto the denim.

Let it cool and voilà, you have a festive and fun table runner ready for your Fourth of July table.

The Finished Product

An easy-to-follow tutorial for a DIY patriotic table runner made with repurposed jeans and fabric scraps.
An easy-to-follow tutorial for a DIY patriotic table runner made with repurposed jeans and fabric scraps. | Source

Other Color Options You May Want to Try

Colors
Occasion
Pastel pink, purple, yellow, green and blue
Easter
Orange, rust, yellow and gold
Fall, Thanksgiving
Green, white and red
Christmas
Silver and gold
Christmas
Silver and blue
Channukah
Shades of green and white
St. Patrick's Day
Red, pink and white
Valentine's Day

You can also change the template. For example, you could use an Easter egg shape for Easter or a clover for St. Patrick's Day.

Happy Crafting!

This patriotic table runner made from repurposed blue jeans and fabric scraps doesn't just have to be displayed on a table.  Hang it over a quilt rack for added color.
This patriotic table runner made from repurposed blue jeans and fabric scraps doesn't just have to be displayed on a table. Hang it over a quilt rack for added color. | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Claudia Mitchell

    Comments

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      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        2 months ago

        Thanks Peggy! I'm on a tear in my crafting space trying to get rid of fabrics. Over the years I've collected so much with dreams of projects never done so I'm trying to come up with quick and easy ideas. This is on my dining table right now and I'm really loving it. I appreciate the kind comments.

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        2 months ago from Houston, Texas

        What a clever use of old fabrics. Using a cookie cutter for the design of the stars is a good use of utilizing things you probably already had. I really liked the festive look of your table runner. Thanks for the instructions. Will pin to my craft board.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        2 months ago

        Thanks Susan. We are having people over on the fourth so this will make a nice addition to the decor.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        2 months ago

        Thank you Shasta. I agree that it's great for a casual party. It would be nice on a buffet table or drinks table.

      • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

        Susan Hazelton 

        2 months ago from Sunny Florida

        I love the look of this table runner. It would be perfect for a July 4th barbeque.

      • Millionaire Tips profile image

        Shasta Matova 

        2 months ago from USA

        That is really cute. Great for a nice casual Independence Day holiday picnic!

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

        Claudia Mitchell 

        2 months ago

        Thanks Donna. No stabilizer is needed with this project. The denim is heavy enough and it's just one layer of fabric so it's not quilted. The nice thing about denim is it lays nice and flat. If you made a runner with regular fabric I would suggest adding stabilizer or batting and add a back to it. This project is great for beginners as there isn't that much sewing involved.

      • purl3agony profile image

        Donna Herron 

        2 months ago from USA

        This is a great summer project, Claudia! I'm a novice when it comes to this type of sewing project, so I'm curious: you don't have to add some type of fabric stabilizer between your two pieces of denim to give your runner more structure or weight? Or do you only have to do that when using thinner fabrics?

      working

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