I’ve recently fallen in love with using painter’s drop cloth as a decor fabric.

It’s such an amazing colour – a cool, grey-taupe with a rustic finish. It’s not TOO rustic (like burlap can be), but it has enough texture to make it seem perfectly fitting for “farmhouse” and “shabby chic” decorating projects. Plus – it’s SUCH a good price!

DIY Shabby Chic Pleated Table Runner from Painter's Drop Cloth

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a 9′ x 14′ cotton canvas drop cloth for $25. I’ve used it for Little A’s teepee play tent, and now this simple table runner. I still have quite a bit left for other projects (maybe some stool covers?).

My hubby was (lovingly) making fun of me when I was working on our farmhouse table makeover and dripping paint ALL OVER THE FLOOR. Yes, honey, I use a drop cloth for crafts but I guess I forget that I could also use it for it’s intended purpose… Nah. That’s boring (and who doesn’t love to scrape paint off of the floor at 34 weeks pregnant?).

Here’s how I made this lovely, pleated runner for our table.

Materials:

  • cotton canvas painter’s drop cloth (I cut a 9′ x 18″ piece)
  • sewing machine

Directions:

Cut a piece of drop cloth that’s about 18″ wide by your table’s length + 3 feet. My table happens to be exactly 3 feet shorter than my drop cloth’s width was, so I just left the already hemmed ends on my drop cloth and cut the width!

DIY Shabby Chic Pleated Table Runner from Painter's Drop Cloth

Hem the sides (and bottom & top if you need to) by turning them under a 1/4″, then another 1/4″, pressing, and stitching. If you have a serger like I do, you can serge the raw edges, and then just fold over 1/4″ once and stitch.

DIY Shabby Chic Pleated Table Runner from Painter's Drop Cloth

After the runner is hemmed, lay it flat on a table and fold one end back and forth as shown, accordian style. Each of my folds was about 1 1/2″ wide and I made 4 folds.

DIY Shabby Chic Pleated Table Runner from Painter's Drop Cloth

Pin the folds together and the very center, and then stitch them all together right next to the centered pin. You may need to manually move your sewing machine’s needle very carefully to get through all of the thick layers! Use a very sharp needle and go slowly. (And make sure you back-stitch so it stays in place.)

DIY Shabby Chic Pleated Table Runner from Painter's Drop Cloth

The result is a pretty pleat that creates a lovely circular edge on the runner. Repeat these steps with the other end of the drop cloth, and…

Shabby Chic Farmhouse Table with DIY Chalk Paint

…voila! You have a beautiful, inexpensive table runner that’s fit for any farmhouse.

Have you ever tried using a painter’s drop cloth for crafts or home decor?