Christmas table runners – 17 stylish ideas to add festive cheer to your table

Browse our guide that showcases 17 Christmas table runners so you can create festive magic when hosting

garden trading christmas table with decorations and table runner
(Image credit: Garden Trading )

These Christmas table runners are guaranteed to bring festive cheer to your dinner table – and to protect your nice dining table from the inevitable festive spills. 

As christmas decoration ideas go, there's a huge variety of table runner designs available to buy online. We've picked our top 16 for quality of material, beauty of design, and that special something that sets them apart from the competition.

Once you've chosen your color scheme for this Christmas you can pick your table runner. There's something for everyone – from glittery gold leaf designs to single reindeer motifs, Christmas trees (of course) and Scandi stars.

Or, choose a plain design so your Christmas table decorations take centre stage, it's up to you.

Christmas table runners that will bring dazzle and joy

Nadia Mcowan-Hill, Wayfair's Resident Style Advisor says, 'No festive meal is complete without vibrant table runners. Choose an embellished version or a fun design with Christmas motifs.'

'Look at rich fabrics like jacquard prints, satin or matt velvet in deep jewel tones. Heavier fabrics can help keep floral displays, salt and pepper shakers and serving bowls from slipping on the table. Table runners made of thick fabrics can also protect surfaces from hot plates and bowls.'

1. A bright and bold Christmas runner

nutcracker table runner on a wood table by anthropologie

(Image credit: Anthropologie)

Featuring a symphony of illustrated Nutcracker characters accompanied by scattered fronds that play over pure cotton, this Nutcracker table runner from Anthropologie will look popping with gold hued silverware and colorful blooms for a modern twist on Christmas table centerpieces.

2. The pure linen runner in a soft grey color

Grey Christmas table runner on dining table

(Image credit: Etsy)

This grey Christmas table runner at Etsy such a classy, understated table runner with a rustic effect thanks to the use of pure linen. As simple grey dining room idea for the festive season, the warm grey color will complement most wooden dining tables and can be accessorised with Christmas tableware and decorations in any color. 

3. The DIY embroidered runner kit

Rico Design Christmas Wreath Table Runner Sewing Kit

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

Embroider this delicate festive table runner , available on Etsy yourself using the kit provided. The runner itself is made from a high-quality cotton, modal, and linen mix for a beautiful drape; it comes with the pattern pre-stamped and needle and thread for you to finish it. It will also make a lovely gift.

4. The contemporary design with a Scandi touch

Christmas table runner in white and gold stars on a table from La Redoute with a champagne glass

(Image credit: La Redoute)

This contemporary, graphic Nordic Star table runner from La Redoute will add glamour to your festive dining table. It's made from a cotton and polyester blend and also comes in a lovely green/gold color combination. Machine washable.

5. The velvet runner with a night sky print

Moon & Stars Navy table runner on a table with dried flowers

(Image credit: Etsy)

Perfect if you'd like to experiment with darker colors for your decorating scheme this year, this Moon & Stars navy table runner from Etsy will add a beautifully deep midnight blue to your table. Plus you can pretty much use it all year round as as a moody dining table idea. Moreover, it's made from velvet. The perfect combination of texture and color.

6. The quilted runner you can finish yourself

Holliberry table runner Quilt kit

(Image credit: Etsy)

Another DIY kit on our list, this Holliberry table runner Quilt kit available on Etsy   has an irresistibly pretty pattern in traditional Christmassy colors. 

It's actually quite easy to make, coming with the backing, all the elements you need to create the patchwork design, and full instructions. Another amazing handmade gift for the crafty one in the family – or make it yourself in time for Christmas.

7. What’s more festive than a reindeer runner?

Christmas table with red reindeer on runner, red and white tableware

(Image credit: Dibor)

This fabulous Christmas red stag table runner by Dibor from Not on the High Street has all the festive icons one needs for their table – a red reindeer, red gingham edging and snowflakes.

Team it with red and white tableware, red candlesticks and festive cheer. Add in a Christmas centerpiece and you’ll be all set for the day. 

8. Take a plain runner and paint some Christmas designs on it

Christmas table with burlap runner, trees and candles

(Image credit: Beaumonde)

This charming table runner is made from burlap and has white doves painted on it. You could do this using a stencil or by hand if you feel proficient enough. White is a good option as it will work with any colored Christmas table scheme you have chosen.

9. Go for a painterly feel with this brightly colored runner

Christmas table runner with painterly designs, festive trees, mince pies

(Image credit: Bluebellgray)

Christmas doesn’t need to be all about traditional Christmas decor ideas the classic red and green colors, you can be multicolored and still festive. 

This beautiful Fa La La Christmas table runner from Bluebellgray features colorful tree decorations, candy canes and winter foliage and will look fantastic with pink, blue and green tableware.

10. Simple trees for the win

Christmas table runner with different sized trees on cream background

(Image credit: Dibor)

Grey woodland trees on a neutral stone colored background makes for a wonderful festive grey tree cotton table runner by Dibor from Not on the High Street. 

The natural element means it’s easy to style up with white or cream tableware, pine cones and sprigs of berries for a splash of color. 

11. Go for a plain design so your table settings can shine

Christmas table with runner, decorations, table setting, black dining chairs

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

We don’t all need fancy pants table runners, a plain and neutral design like this linen table runner from Garden Trading can act like a blank canvas for the rest of your festive table settings. 

Another bonus is that you can team it with black one year, bright red the next or team it with rustic Christmas decor like in this image. This runner will look great with all of them.

12. You can choose a design that’s quirky yet still festive

Christmas table with matching runner and napkins, crackers, mince pies, gingerbread house

(Image credit: Sophie Allport)

Love dogs? Then why not bring them into your festive table scheme this Christmas. This adorable Christmas dogs table runner from Sophie Allport has many different breeds featured on a teal background – some with Christmas hats and scarves on – and it comes with matching napkins and fabric placemats if you want to add to it. 

13. Opt for a classic stripe with Scandi stars

Christmas table runner with stripes and stars, two jars with walnuts and fairy lights, Scandi horse

(Image credit: Ikea)

You can’t beat a good old stripe can you? Ikea's Vinter 2021 stripe beige and red runner is a classic with a row of Scandi style stars running down the middle. 

Easy to accessorize, this colorway will go with any trad tableware but also classic white dining room ideas if you want a more contemporary look.

Designers Sissi Edholm and Lisa Ullenius at IKEA explain more about the design, 'Candy sticks, saffron buns and ginger cookies are a must. Of course a Dala horse too in order to include a strong Swedish symbol. Some patterns are also inspired by older textiles and have snowflakes and stripes reminiscent of upholstery covers from times gone by.'

14. Pop a runner on top of your tablecloth

Christmas table runner with candles, table setting, Christmas tree

(Image credit: Floral Street)

This is something that used to be done years ago, it's quite a trad idea but if you get the rest of your scheme right – in other words more contemporary, then it can work really well as it breaks up the density visually if your tablecloth is dark. 

And don’t forget for that all encompassing festive feel you can light scented Christmas candles and place them along your runner for extra cheer.

15. Love the dark and dramatic look? Pick a black and gold runner 

Christmas table setting idea, gold and black runner, gold and black tableware

(Image credit: Primark)

Create some festive drama on your table for the special day. Use baubles on the plates and along a gold leaf runner like this black gold leaf runner and team them with gold charger plates, candlesticks and glasses. Black a shade too dark? Why not opt for forest green scheme with a green velvet gold leaf runner from Etsy? A slick modern dining room idea.

16. Bring nature in with a woodland feel

Christmas table runner idea, bowl full of walnuts

(Image credit: MindTheGap)

It’s not always about festive scenes, you can have a runner that’s in a Christmas ‘color’ like green instead, or red of course. This illustrative Enchanted Woodland table runner from MindtheGap shows various shaped trees, flora and fauna. It will also give you longevity throughout the year as a rustic dining room idea, which is great if you like to use pieces for longer than a few days a year.

17. Go for a total festive feel with all the HoHoHos and Fa La La words you can read

Christmas table runner with gold and white tableware and accessories

(Image credit: Wayfair)

What words can you think of that conjure up the festive season? ‘Tis the season’, ‘Happy Holidays’, Fa La La, and of course, Ho ho ho, well this charming McMann Christmas table runner from Wayfair has all of these famous sayings printed in silver ink on it. Team with silver accessories and gold, the latter will add a warm and further touch to this scheme. 

Should a table runner hang over the table? 

There are two ways to use a runner, you can have it only on the table and fold in the ends so it doesn’t hang over, or, if it’s a short style it can sit within the middle part of the table with space at each end, or, it can hang over. 

The amount of hang needs to be equal at each end of the table, so work out the length you may need so you can match it to your table before buying. 

What is the point of a table runner?

Nadia Mcowan-Hill, Wayfair's Resident Style Advisor explains:

'Table runners add visual interest to a table setting. This is useful on special occasions. They can also enhance the linen and crockery you use every day.' 

'Whether you're adding a new themed runner for a birthday dinner or just need a focal point for the dining room table, a durable runner can set the mood.'

'These beautifully finished pieces of fabric are designed to lie across the width or length of your table. Runners can be coordinated with your overall interior decor or a floral centerpiece.'

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

Anna is Consumer Editor across Future's home brands. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening.

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