DIY: Create a Photo Table Runner

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With the holidays here, it’s a fantastic reminder for us to give thanks for all our blessings. I believe occasions like Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah (and many others!) remind us to relish the good times we’ve had with our loved ones and commemorate those who are no longer with us.

This year, you can incorporate these memories and loved ones into your next holiday dinner. Create a gorgeous table runner using old family photographs to be the centerpiece of your feast. I guarantee you’ll be sitting at the table for hours laughing and reminiscing!

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What you’ll need:

  • Table Runner or Queen Sheet
  • Pins
  • Photographs
  • Double-sided tape or glue

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I did not have a table runner handy, so I used a queen sheet! Just fold it in half two to three times, depending on the size of your table, and pin along the edges to keep the sides from moving.

If you are using a table runner, you can also pin it to a smaller size if desired.

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Making copies of your old photographs is highly recommended. You don’t want to get the originals messy with Grandma’s Sweet Potato Casserole! However, it does make a more genuine display using the original prints. The worn look and faded colors that come from using old family photographs makes for a beautiful table runner! If you decide to use your originals, be very cautious and try to set up your buffet away from the main table.

You will also decide how to attach the photos to the runner depending on if you are using copies or the originals. If you are using copies, I would recommend gluing your photos to the runner — and then you can reuse the table runner next year! I used the original photographs, so I’m sticking them on with double-sided tape.

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While overlapping the photos, make sure you don’t get glue or sticky tape on the photos below, in case you need to move or reuse them later. I also left the tailored end of the runner open, which will curve over the edge of the table.

Note: I began making the photo runner in the living room and carefully tried to move the runner to the dining room table. It was difficult to move it already starting, so I suggest making the photo runner on the table you will be using for the dinner – especially if you’re using double-sided tape, because your photographs won’t be permanently attached.

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I took photographs from both sides of the family, which made a unique variety to choose from! Black and white, color, different sizes and framing offer a wide range of options to decorate your runner. If you’re going to mix originals with copies throughout the runner, be sure the back of your photos are labeled!

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As you can see, there are some gaps of color throughout the runner where the cloth is showing through. I chose a brightly colored runner for this project to help the colors pop in the old photographs.

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You’re all finished! Your family will be so excited to see all of those familiar faces and memories you incorporated all all the holiday dinners this year. Remember to give thanks for all those moments captured. Bon Appetit!

Hello! I'm Natalie Rhea, a professional photographer/videographer based out of Austin, TX. I make a living telling other people's stories! Follow my work at as I tell you stories about the world I see.

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