Ice-Dyed Table Runner

By  Barbara Warholic  for  Rit Dye

size: 16"x42"

  • Ice-Dyed Table Runner
  • Closeup View of Leaf
  • Photo 1
  • Photo 2
  • Photo 3
  • Photo 4
  • Photo 5


  • Fabrics: 100% cotton fabric, 1/2 yd.; coordinating backing fabric, 1/2 yd.
  • Quilt batting, 16”x42”
  • Specialty threads: copper metallic sewing, copper pearl cotton embroidery floss


  • Sewing machine with coordinating threads
  • Embroidery needle
  • Rit Powdered Fabric Dye: Fuchsia, Tangerine, Kelly Green, Royal Blue, Pearl Grey; Laundry Treatment Dye Fixative
  • Kosher salt
  • Crushed ice, 8 cups

Basic Supplies

  • scissors, ruler, microwave, washing machine, iron with pressing surface, old towel, plastic spoon, plastic wrap, spray bottle, scrap paper, old or craft-dedicated cookie sheet, rubber gloves, measuring spoon, sewing needle, straight pins

Pattern - Ice-Dyed Table Runner

  • Dyeing Fabric
  • 1. Wash and dry fabric without using fabric softener. On covered work surface, position old towel on cookie sheet. Saturate fabric with water, scrunch up, and place on towel. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp. of kosher salt over fabric.
  • 2. Cover fabric completely with crushed ice. (Note: No fabric areas should show through ice.) See Photo 1.

    Photo 1
  • 3. Wearing gloves, sprinkle approximately 2 Tbsp. of Pearl Grey dye over ice. (Note: Grey dye will neutralize the brightness of remaining colors.) Sprinkle remaining dyes, in slightly overlapping areas, over ice using approximately 3 Tbsp. of each color. See Photo 2.

    Photo 2
  • 4. Let ice melt completely.
  • 5. Relocate fabric onto large section of plastic wrap; enclose fabric, sealing all edges to trap steam. Microwave on high power for 30 seconds. See Photo 3. Carefully remove fabric from plastic wrap, avoiding steam burns, as fabric will be hot.

    Photo 3
  • 6. Spray fabric with fixative, allowing solution to penetrate fabric. Rinse in cool water until water runs clear.
  • 7. Wash and rinse fabric in washing machine; dry in dryer. (Note: Run empty washing machine through an extra rinse cycle to remove dye.) Press fabric with steam iron.
  • Assemble Runner
  • 1. Cut 16-1/2"x42-1/2" panels from dyed and backing fabrics. Cut quilt batting 1/2" smaller in both width and length than backing panel. Center batting on wrong side of backing fabric with 1/4" fabric showing on all sides; pin in place. See Photo 4. Trim batting if necessary.

    Photo 4
  • 2. Set sewing machine to longest stitch length. Machine-sew batting to backing fabric 1/8" inside batting edge.
  • 3. Pin backing to dyed fabric with right sides together. Stitch together with 1/4" seam allowance, leaving 4" opening for turning. Backstitch area around opening.
  • 4. Trim corners; turn right side out through opening, pushing out corners. Press both sides. Hand-sew opening closed.
  • 5. Print out full-size patterns. Print four sets of leaves; cut out patterns from paper. Arrange and pin leaf patterns on runner as desired. See Photo 5.

    Photo 5
  • 6. Machine-sew leaf borders and veins with copper metallic threads. Remove patterns.
  • 7. Fill machine bobbin with six strands of copper embroidery floss. Position backing-color thread on top of sewing machine. Without putting floss through bobbin tension, manually advance threads through machine slowly for 3" length before sewing.
  • 8. Turn table runner over so wrong side is facing up; machine-sew along leaf borders only, about 1/8" outside initial stitching. When complete, turn runner back over and trim threads. To hide floss ends, use embroidery needle to pull ends between layers.