Tuesday, May 24, 2011

DIY Decor - The No Sew Burlap Table Runner!

I've been drooling over pictures of burlap table runners for months now.  But after shopping around, I found that purchasing these things could run me $20-$30 per table.  So I did a tiny bit of research (like, 5 minutes worth) and bought myself a roll of burlap, determined to a stab at making my own table runners.  

First, I ran to my closet and dragged my sewing machine out prepared to take on the challenge.  Then my genius Lil' $is asked me "why don't you just use Stitch Witchery?"  And that's when the daunting task became easy enough for me.

I found this amazing tutorial Living with Lindsay and got to work!

Supplies used:
- Burlap
- Scissors/Fabric Shears
- Seam Gauge
- Ruler
- Tape Measure
- Sharpie
- Stitch Witchery
- Iron

Step 1 - Get the dimensions for your table.  I learned from the tutorial that table runners are typically about 14"-18" wide and should typically be 6"-8" longer than your table.  Now according to the tutorial I read, you should leave a two inch seam allowance but I didn't.  I went with a one inch seam allowance, which I'll explain a little later. 

Our tables are approximately 88'x 47'.

So I ended up cutting out pieces of fabric that were 20"x102".

One thing I learned about burlap is that it's very, um, "natural" and has a bit of a smell to it.  Once you cut the pieces, you'll need to wash and air dry them but I don't recommend using the heavy duty cycle because you'll shred the fabric and end up with a mess in the machine. 

Next, I grabbed the seam gauge and started folding the hem over 1"  and used pins to keep it in place.  Now, I initially started with 2" seams and planned to fold the edges twice over themselves to hide the raw edge but I quickly realized that the burlap was too bulky for this.  My solution was to fold it over once, cut it as cleanly as possible then leave the edges raw. Sadly it took me a couple minutes of disappointment to realize that it's burlap!  Raw edges are expected!  And hopefully no one at the wedding will be picking them up and checking out my handiwork.  

But if you want to hide the frayed edges of the burlap, you can use a little grosgrain ribbon and some hot glue (but careful, too much glue will seep through the fabric) to cover the fringe.

Then it was time to iron!  Set it on the highest heat and steam setting--the burlap needs the heat.  Then press your hem.  

Tuck your Stitch Witchery in the hem and get to work!  You'll need to place a damp cloth between the fabric and the iron.  Place your iron on top of the cloth and then hold for about ten seconds.  Lift and repeat.   

Remember when I said that burlap was very natural aka it has a smell to it?  It wasn't totally gone after I washed the fabric.  So I added about a teaspoon of Febreeze to the water in the iron. You could also use an essential oil like Lavender or Eucalyptus (just not too much!)  and that should do the trick! Just be careful not to use too much, the goal is to eliminate odor not to create another one.  

AND TADAAAAAA!  The no-sew burlap table runner!

On a scale of 1 to 5, I'd give this project a 1.5 for difficulty.  It took some practice to get the handle of making really straight edges. Some of my runners look a little wonky.  

But overall I'm thrilled!  So thrilled I set up a little tablescape for you all:  candle, books, orchid, and giant mylar kitty toy.  You know...just some stuff I had lyin' around...

So what do you think?  Have you taken on any decor DIYs?

1 comment:

  1. That's really a neat idea! I love anything unique and think you did a great job! It has that raw, simplistic character. Love it!