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How to Make a Hand-Painted Burlap Table Runner

Rustic burlap is given new life as a sophisticated holiday table runner with the addition of pleated trim and hand-painted details.

Marian Parsons. Mustard Seed Interiors
Holiday Table With Burlap Runner

Materials Needed:

  • burlap (enough yardage to run table length, plus 20")
  • white cotton twill (same yardage as burlap)
  • iron
  • ironing board
  • white all-purpose thread
  • 1 yard white pleated trim
  • scissors
  • yardstick
  • white acrylic paint
  • painter's tape
  • 1.0 liner brush
  • size 6 flat artist brush
  • "Joy" stencil (optional)

Measure and Cut Fabric

Measure then cut burlap and white cotton twill to 22 inches wide by table length plus 20 inches long. The additional 20 inches of length allows for a 10-inch overhang on both table ends.

Sew and Press Runner

Place cut burlap on top of cut twill, right sides together and edges lined up. Pin in place. Sew sides of runner together, leaving ends open (Image 1). Turn runner right side out and press sewn edges (Image 2).

  • Sewing Twill to a Burlap Holiday Runner
  • Pressing Twill on a Burlap Holiday Runner

Fold and Press Ends

Fold ends of runner under and press closed (Images 1 and 2). Make sure burlap and twill line up. Repeat on other end.

  • Folding Twill Under a Burlap Runner
  • Pressing Folded Twill on a Burlap Runner

Sew Pleated Trim

Cut pleated trim to exact width of runner (Image 1). Insert trim into open end and pin in place (Image 2). Repeat on other end. Sew trim into position by stitching a line right on fold of burlap, then stitch a second line 1/4 inch in (Image 3).

  • Measuring Trim for a Burlap Runner
  • Pinning Pleated Trim to a Burlap Runner
  • Sewing Pleated Trim to a Burlap Runner

Paint Stripes

Using painter's tape, mask off two stripes approximately 1/4 inch wide (Images 1 and 2). Brush on white acrylic paint with a size 6 artist flat brush, using a dry-brush technique to prevent paint from bleeding under tape (Image 3). Tip: To dry-brush, load paint onto brush and blot on paper towel to remove most of the paint. Remove tape immediately (Image 4).

  • Positioning Masking Tape on a Burlap Runner
  • Positioning Masking Tape on a Burlap Edge
  • Dry Brushing Stripes on a Burlap Runner
  • Removing Masking Tape from a Burlap Runner

Paint Lettering

Lettering can be painted freehand or with the aid of a stencil. If using a stencil, tape it into desired position and lightly paint lettering with 1.0 liner brush (Images 1 and 2). Remove stencil and paint over lettering a second time to strengthen the lettering (Image 3). Repeat on other side of runner, if desired. Allow paint to dry. Press runner prior to use. Spot clean stains when needed.

  • Positioning the Stencil on a Burlap Runner
  • Stenciling a Burlap Runner
  • Fill in Painting a Burlap Runner
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