Burlap Table Runner

November 14, 2012 | FILED UNDER: Uncategorized

On Monday I posted about my DIY branch centerpiece, which would look great paired with this runner on your Thanksgiving table (and throughout the fall!). Don’t have much time for DIY projects over the next week? No problem. This runner can be done in an hour or two tops.

Photo by Annie Sturgis Photography

Supplies for Burlap Runner

  • 3 yards of burlap (burlap is inexpensive – usually just a couple bucks a yard)
  • A cool stencil of your choice (I used a square grid from one of my daughter’s matching games!)
  • All-purpose craft paint or fabric paint (I used my favorite Martha Stewart multi-surface paint)
  • Foam brushes
  • 2 inch masking tape


How to Make Burlap Runner

I took the quick and dirty approach to making this table runner. One downside of burlap is that the cut edges fray and shed little fuzzies everywhere. To avoid that you can turn under the edges and stitch them down with a sewing machine (this tutorial provides some helpful instructions for that). Or you can take my slightly less refined but almost as effective shortcut below using masking tape! 
1. There was a natural crease already running along the middle of my 3 yards of burlap, so I just folded the burlap in half along the crease. That left one folded edge and one edge with a stich already along it. Then all I needed to worry about were the raw cut edges at both ends of the runner. To prevent these from fraying, I ran a 2 inch piece of masking tape along the edge:

2. I carefully folded the masking tape over to cover up the raw edge of the burlap. I’ve used this runner for the last month and the masking tape has stuck firmly! Because it is just at the two ends of the runner, the masking tape is pretty well hidden under the table, however you could always take some of your craft paint and paint it to make it a little prettier. I plan to do it with mine….eventually!


3. I had been saving these cardboard pieces from Stella’s matching game for awhile, thinking they would make a cool stencil. Really any stencil would work for the runner, but I think it especially like the idea of repurposing unexpected household items.

4. I used a ruler to determine where to place the stencil so it was in the middle of the runner:


5. I picked four fall colors from my ever-growing craft paint collection and used a different foam brush for each:


6. I taped down the stencil with a little masking tape and started painting. I did one row / color at a time until the stencil was filled and then just moved the stencil up to repeat the process, working my way down the runner. I tried to use a light touch when it came to the paint so it didn’t soak through the runner, and used up and down blotting motions rather than brush strokes.


7. It didn’t take long to get to the end of the runner and Stella decided she wanted to give it a try!


Here it is paired with the branch centerpiece in complementary colors:

Photo by Annie Sturgis Photography

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? If so, I’d love to hear if you have any special plans for your table! 

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