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How to make a simple bed runner

Bed runners were originally made to keep the quilt, bedspread or duvets clean, but they also were meant to add colour, texture and style to the bedroom, particularly if the top dressing of the bed was a solid colour or white.

They were first used in more luxurious hotels, so the hotel could add to the décor by simply adding a bed runner. That way the hotel could use white sheets, which were less expensive to purchase and launder. The white duvet covers, bedspreads and blankets, while leaving the room looking stark, could be bleached and sanitised in hot water without fading, no matter how many wash cycles they went through and the bed runner added the touch of elegance.

After finding them as part of the décor in expensive hotel rooms, people adopted the process for their own bedroom decorating. You can enhance your bedroom décor with these easy-to-make decorative touches. In most cases, you'll find a bed runner at the foot or middle of the bed, laying from side to side. Sometimes, however, bed runners are put lengthwise, from the head to the foot.

Making a simple bed runner

To make your own bed runner, measure the width of the bed and write it down.

Next measure how far you want it to go over the edge of the bed. Some people like the runner to go past the bed frame, while others want it only 20 to 26 centimetres over the edge. Double the length over the edge of the bed add to it the measurement for the bed's width, plus three centimetres. That's the length of your bed runner.

The width should be approximately 47 to 48 centimetres. You can adjust that to your decorative preferences. If you have a double bed, the strip you cut should measure 137 centimetres plus 52 centimetres (26 cm X2) plus 3cm, totalling 192 cm.

Cut two pieces of fabric that are your dimensions. Then cut a piece of fusible interfacing the same size. Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of one of the strips you cut. The wrong side is the side you don't want to show. Pin the two pieces together with the right or colourful sides facing. Pin the two long sides and one short side.

Stitch the two pieces together on the three pinned sides with a 1 ½ cm seam allowance. Remove the pins and turn the stitched fabric right side out. Press the seams flat. Fold the open end in 1 ½ cm and pin. Slip stitch it closed. Iron flat. Reinforce the seams by top-stitching ½ cm all the edges. You can add decorative top-stitching, too, by top-stitching another row 1-3 cm from the edge.

You can create other variations by stitching a colourful border to the edge. Simply cut strips twice as wide as you want the border plus a few extra centimetres. Stitch it to one side of the fabric right sides facing at the seam line and then at the point that's half the width before you stitch the two runner pieces together. Once it's turned right side out, complete the last steps, then fold the fabric over the edge of the runner. Iron the first side flat. Top-stitch it down and iron that side.

Other variations include using batting instead of interfacing for a puffier runner, then stitching a design over the top.

 
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