Friday, April 11, 2014

Anthropologie Hack: Chalkboard Table Runner

I recently happened to venture into Anthropologie and spotted this awesome chalkboard runner.  Their runner is just paper but it got me thinking about the chalk cloth I bought ages ago and still hadn't used.  I paired it with this beautiful ink Peppered Cotton and even took some pictures of my process so you can make your own:-)

Determine your desired finished size and how wide you want your outer border.  The basic technique is the same as for my Self Binding Linen Napkins but I've added some math so you can customize the size.  In my case, I wanted this to fit my kitchen island so my finished runner will be 24" x 78" with a 3" border.  

Cut your chalk cloth:
width = Finished width - 2 x border width + 1"
example width = 24" - 2 x 3" + 1 = 19"

length = Finished length - 2 x border width + 1"
example length = 78" - 2 x 3" + 1" = 73" 

Cut your outer fabric:
width = Finished width + 2 x border width + 1"
example width = 24" + 2 x 3" + 1" = 31"

length = Finished length + 2 x border width + 1".
example length = 78" + 2 x 3" + 1" = 85" 

* All seam allowances are 1/2"

Before you use your chalk cloth you'll want to "cure" it.  I put my kids to work with some sidewalk chalk and my cut piece of cloth.  Oilcloth Addict has a great tutorial on how to do this.  

From there the process is the same as the napkins.  Starting with 1 side, match the centers of the two fabrics and stitch along the side using 1/2" seam allowance.  It's best not to use pins on chalk cloth as they will leave permanent holes.  I also switched to a denim needle and increased my stitch length.  

Repeat on the remaining 3 sides starting and stopping where you meet a seam allowance.  Leave a small hole in 1 side for turning.  You will have odd wing like things sticking out from each corner, that's the way it should be.

Miter the corners by lining up the sewn seams and drawing a line from the folded edge to the seam line.  Sew along the drawn line and trim 1/2" from the sewn line for all 4 corners.

Turn you table runner right side out through the hole.  Poke the corners out using a chopstick and evenly distribute the border around your runner.  You can press the outer border flat but do NOT iron the chalk cloth directly or it will melt.  Topstitch around the edge of the border making sure you close the hole left for turning.  
Throw a party and show off your latest creation:-)

There are some great tips on working with chalk cloth in general at the split stitch and Oilcloth Addict.

Sharing the fun with Crazy Mom Quilts on Finish it Up Friday!!!


  1. Such a great idea! It's great when u can dupe a store bought item for much less money. Thanks for this! We love chalkboards. We painted one of our walls with chalkboard paint!

  2. Isn't that fun? I haven't seen the chalk cloth before.

  3. THIS IS SO AWESOME, ALICE!!!!!! Yours is 100,000x better than the Anthro one!

  4. What an awesome idea! This looks fabulous and you put it to use right away!

  5. Chalk cloth?? How cool! This is a seriously great project!!

  6. I have to admit I didn't really get this until I saw it in use (last pics) and now I must have one.