Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Painted Burlap Table Runner

Before I moved into my apartment, I found a ten foot long wooden dining table for $18 at Brown Elephant. Despite not having room for it, or even being sure that there would be room in my new apartment, I had to buy it. Think of the dinner parties! I then somehow got it home in the back of my friend's coupe, along with the Hope chest she had bought, and tied it all down, completely impromptu, with my iPod headphones. It defied physics.

The only downside, is that its really hard to find table cloths for this table, and standard runners are too short, which means I always have to make my own, which always requires four yards of fabric. Because of the yardage needed, I always try to keep my fabric choices cheap. Like this one, made of two canvas curtains sewn together in the middle. 

Thats why burlap is great! Its often sold for less than $2 a yard, like this particular one was. Then Joann Fabrics ALWAYS has 40% off coupons, so this whole project was super cheap. Plus, if you take pictures of it bathing in the sunlight, you forget that its such a utilitarian fabric. 

Don't skip the sunbathing step. Its essential. Don't come crying to me when your table cloth is fucked up because you didn't let it bask in the rays.

After trimming the fabric to a width that worked for my table, I taped off some stripes using regular old painters tape.

Get your paints ready! The Martha Stewart ones vs. the cheap Joann Fabric ones don't have much of a difference in quality, but I've found Martha's line has better color ranges.

Using a sponge brush,  blot the paint onto the fabric (making sure you do this over a dropcloth or newspaper, because paint bleeds through!) Trust me, use a sponge brush. It keeps the lines a lot neater.

To be honest, I barely waited for the paint to dry before peeling off the tape because I was anxious/impatient. I was like "Forty five seconds is more than enough time for globs of paint to dry, right? Great!" so I'm going to say that waiting is non-essential. Also, I like the ends of burlap all frayed like that, but feel free to hem them, StitchWitchery them, Fray Check, whatever you like.

I like that it is a little bit lighter than the old, heavy, dark brown one. I don't really believe in seasonal decor, because I'm too poor for that kind of crap, but it really does look nice in the light. Must have been all that sunbathing.

And there you go. Now you're on your way to being one of those high-falutin' people who have things like "seasonal decor."



  1. So I can't wait to go buy some burlap now, who knew!? I love this and I love your color choices for the stripes, SO cute!


  2. I really like the texture and the color combo! Are you worried at all about the fraying?

    1. thanks! and im not too worried about fraying, because it wont be getting too beat up, and i like a little bit of a frayed look. i'll keep you posted if it starts REALLY unraveling though!

  3. Looks great! Where do you get said 40% off Joann coupons?? Got to make a run there this weekend.

    1. they are always in the sunday paper, but i believe you can also print them off the sale website! in my experience, if you tell the cashier you had a coupon but "forgot" it (wink wink) haha they will just scan it up for you.

  4. Ahh this is a cute idea! I would stripe my whole runner though since I have a teeny table.


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