How to: Handprint Turkey Thanksgiving Table Runner

All month, I’ve been practicing being grateful.  It has come in handy over the last couple of days.
Example 1:
Saturday morning, we woke up to a flood.
I think it was Confucius who said: A clogged toilet in the night will lead to an unhappy morning.
We had to pull up the carpet and pad from the hall, our bedroom and the dining room. In order to do that, we had to rip off our baseboards. It looks like we’ll have to disinfect and dry the sub floor thoroughly, replace the pads with new, put the carpet back down, shampoo and replace the baseboards. Oh yeah, and a new toilet seems to be in order as well. It’s a big job and I’ll be talking to our insurance agent about it later today.
Reason to be grateful: the carpets really did need to be shampooed.
Example 2:
I always cook Thanksgiving dinner. So far this year, I have done all of the following to prepare:
[crickets chirping]
Um, right… I wasn’t a bit concerned though because I was sure Thanksgiving was still a few weeks away. That is until I actually looked at my calendar yesterday and realized that we only have about a week and a half until the big day. Kindly refer to example number one.
Reason to be grateful: I have a really cute table runner, all ready to go.
Thanksgiving Table Runner
Want to make one? It’s really easy to whip up.
Here’s how:
Measure your table. Your runner should be about 1/3 the width of your table (though you could go a bit wider of you like) and about 2 feet longer than your table’s length.
Cut two pieces of fabric to your desired size. I used muslin; I liked the texture, color and cost. (It’s super inexpensive, generally less than $2 per yard.)
Sew fabric, right sides together using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Be sure to leave an opening to turn runner right side out. Good. Now go ahead and turn your runner right side out. Iron the seams flat, then hand or machine sew opening closed.
Okay, ready for the fun part? Let’s make the handprint turkeys.
Trace your family’s handprints on scratch paper. Raid your fabric stash (or ask your mom for hers) and choose a fabric for each turkey. Pin your scratch paper pattern to your fabric, but don’t cut on the line. Cut about 1/4 inch outside the line, making the handprints slightly larger.
Arrange turkeys-to-be on your runner and pin down. Sew about 1/4 inch from the edge. This way, when you wash the runner, the edges will fray and ruffle up a bit. Hand embroider or use fabric pens to add details like eyes, feet, beaks and those red hangy things snoods. If you like, you could also do a simple running stitch around the edge in a complimentary color. While you are at it, be sure to stitch or write the year somewhere. Won’t it be fun to use each year and see how your own little turkeys have grown?
Another thing for me to be grateful for: making a fun centerpiece is also really easy.
Here’s a shot of what ours looked like last year:
Thanksgiving Edible Centerpiece
I wrote up a little tutorial for an edible Thanksgiving centerpiece last year, if you are interested.
One last reason to be grateful: We may be eating our dinner in an uncarpeted mess, but at least the table will be cute.


  1. Oh man, what a MESS!
    You do have a cute tablerunner though! And the crudite centerpiece would be the highlight of the table! 🙂

  2. that’s really cute!



  1. A Simple Project and a Healthy Thanksgiving Menu - Treasuring the Moments - [...] got plans to make this table runner that Frantically Simple made for her own [...]
  2. Cranberries, Onions & My Thanksgiving Table Runner - Treasuring the Moments - [...] excited to have finished my simple project Thanksgiving table runner. I got the idea from Heidi at Frantically Simple. She has…
  3. On My Mind 11/20/2012 | Frantically Simple - [...] THANKSGIVING! We will be making this again: You can make one too! Or, a fun tablerunner. Or…
  4. What’s for Thanksgiving Dinner? | Heidi Schulz Books - […] Thanksgiving Table Runner, tutorial here […]

Let's chat, shall we?

Contact Twitter Facebook Tumblr Pinterest Instagram Goodreads RSS Feed