Monday, June 11, 2012

DIY: Burlap Table Runners

The table runners were one of my larger DIY tasks that I took on. You know, after sewing 200 napkins and making 125 invitations, I figured this would be a cake walk. I had conveniently forgotten that I PERSONALLY only sewed 75 of the napkins (thanks Mom and Future Mom-In-Law!), and I didn’t sew any of the invitations, I just glued everything together. Oh well. I knew once I started, I couldn’t stop or I would get the “I told you so” look from Michael. I know he’s itching to use it, but so far I have been successful in all my endeavors and I knew I could finish this one as well.

Like many of my other DIY projects, first I had to figure out the size of the table runners. After deciding to use 5 foot round tables that would have 8 people seated at them, I went with a 9 foot long table runner by 24ish inches. I went with a slightly larger then normal table runner because 1. I liked the look of the table being covered in burlap and 2. I could just cut my burlap bolt (it was 48 inches wide) in half and only one side would need to be hemmed. It wasn’t rocket science folks. You know me, looking for the shortest but best looking route possible.

First, we (Wendy and I, not Michael and I: he was nowhere to be found) unrolled the bolt of burlap and cut it in nine foot long lengths. Then, we folded the burlap in half lengthwise, penning the two edges together. Finally, we cut down the center of the hotdog. Remember from kindergarten? This left us with twenty, 9 foot long by 2 foot wide strip2 of burlap, and only 3 sides of each would need hemming; 2 short widths and 1 long length.

To create a straight edge on burlap is a little tricky. After googling, I found that the best way was to take one of the jute strings (preferably picking the one that would make the best width of the hem), and pull it all the way out. This would create a gap in the burlap. This gap is where you will fold the edge over, and pin to the top of the table runner.

I don’t know if you can see, but I boxed an example that this “gap” will look like. It creates a straight line you can use to make sure your hem is straight. Then you fold the edge over this gap, and pin. Then you make sure you have enough thread in your sewing machine to make it the full 9 foot span. Nothing worse then running out half way thru and not realizing it until you get to the end :/ Oh well.

Ta da! One month later you have twenty table runners! It’s a miracle!


  1. Please forgive me for being a complete goober and maybe I am just not able to guesstimate lengths correctly but it doesn't look like you have 2 ft + of overlay on each side. I want to do this for my wedding too and I am just trying to figure out how much yardage I need. Thanks :)

    1. I didn't show a finished product. The picture above is just an example. My finished table runners hung about 2ft on each side. They might have been a little short because of the hems.

  2. exactly what I needed to know....thank!!