Thursday, October 25, 2012

DIY Burlap Runners

This post is loooooooong overdue! I made these runners almost a year ago for our wedding. 21 runners in all. I have to admit, it was not much fun to spend my last spring break as an undergraduate student making these lol, but they were worth it! They looked soooo great on the tables at the wedding. I cannot remember exactly what they cost me, but it was under $1 each...which beats the $6-$10 they go for after they have been used for a wedding (yep, I sold mine on in their recycle your wedding section for about $175)

Ok so here we go. As I was selling my runners I had a lot of people ask me how I did here are the best instructions I can give.

These runners were made for 60" round tables.

For 3 runners you will need 3 yards of burlap. I bought mine at Joann's, they have a few different shades to choose from. I believe it was $2.99 ish per yard and with a 50% off coupon it was cheaper then anything I found online. 

First, cut all your fabric to 3 yard lengths and lay them as straight as you can one on top of the other. 
Now using the largest ruller you have make the top and bottom of your stack of fabric as straight as possible. You can see my fabric chalk line if you look closely. 
The ruller was very helpful to use while cutting. It helped to press down on the ruler and cut along the edge. 

Bad picture, but the edges are relatively straight. No worries if they aren't perfect, you will be sewing them under.
I used paper clips to pin the sides together to try to keep the fabric together while I cut. 

I think I used 3 clips per side. You could also use pins if you only have a few pieces of fabric.

Ok, just to recap- you should have your fabric laying on the ground (or a really large table). The fabric should have relatively straight edges and the sides should be clipped or pinned. Your fabric should be 3 yards in length and 1 yard wide (that is the normal width of fabric).

Now you are going to take that long ruller and mark from the sides at the 12 inch mark. Since it is burlap the fabric might not be a perfect yard wide. So your best bet is to measure exactly how wide it is and divide that by ____inches wide divided by 3. 

My hideous drawing of where to put your chalk marks (the little circles would be chalk)
Then what ever that number (ex. 12 inches) is you will want to mark that with your chalk about 4-6 times up the fabric. I know this is confusing without good pictures. Next you will want to connect those dots to form a line that you will cut the fabric on. I used the same method with pressing down on my metal ruller to keep the fabric secure and cut along it on the line.

Here you can see one of my chalk lines (the other that looks like a line is just a crease)
Now that you have your runners cut into their individual pieces you are going to want to iron the edges.

I hate ironing. So this was not quite so fun for me, but unfortunately it is necessary.
The ragged edges of the burlap...
....then how much better it looks ironed.
You will see that the burlap is difficult to cut straight so ironing will give you those straight edges to sew in place. 

The color number of the thread I used
And its color
Pin down the edges of the fabric after you iron.
For the edges I just folded them in as I sewed. Just make sure you back stich when you get started on the runner and then go around all the edges sewing them in place.

And then just finish them up and you have some gorgeous runners!!!!! 


  1. I just did something really similar for a party for my brother! Except I made mine about an hour before the party and didn't sew the edges, so now they're starting to fray... I'm thinking I should probably actually finish the edges so that the runner lasts!

  2. How fun! I just love our runner that we kept from the wedding :) I so wanted to just stop after I cut all the fabric for the runners I made for the wedding, but with burlap I knew it would be in shreds before it even made it on the wedding tables (at least with my luck lol). There are a few other fun ways I've seen people finish the edges tho! This one is pretty cute!

  3. Great job! Your comment about the fraying made me decide to do more than just have a scissor cut edge! Thanks for sharing :-)