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25 August, 2012

Fun Fall Projects...Burlap Table Runner

 Fall is in the blogland and in Pinterest at I am sharing some of my favorite fall projects! never hurts to get a little head start on fall decorations! This is one of my all-time favorites and my second most popular ruffled burlap table runner. Since I had several requests for directions for making one, I decided to do a tutorial. Even if you are accomplished at sewing, maybe the way I calculated my measurements will be helpful. That’s always the hardest part for me! Sooo…here goes…

runner tutorial
This diagram is based on the usual 48 inch width of burlap. First, measure the length of your tabletop and add 14 inches. The extra 14 inches is to allow for overhang on each end of the table. You will use this measurement to calculate how much burlap to purchase. It’s good to buy extra, since burlap is sometimes not straight on the bolt. For my 68 inch table, I bought 2 1/2 yards and that was more than enough. The fold may not be at the center of the fabric, but unless it’s way off, that won’t matter. If it is, you will have to center it and press it.
  • First, cut the fabric to the desired length…your tabletop plus 14 inches. You can use this cut to get a straighter edge on both ends.
  • Next, cut along the fold, creating two lengths of fabric.
  • Then make another cut so that you have a length of 17 inch wide fabric plus a 7 inch or so remnant. You now have two 17 inch wide strips and two 7 inch wide strips.

IMG_4166 You will only use one of the 7 inch wide strips, so choose the one with fewer defects. (Burlap is just that way!) Cut the strip in half so that you have two shorter 7 inch wide strips.  Make a hem around three sides, using the selvage side and the two short sides. (Selvage is the edge of the fabric that has been finished so it will not ravel.) You will have to turn the shorter sides under twice to create the hem, pressing each time, but the selvage side will only need to be turned under once, since it won’t ravel. Repeat for the other strip. These are your ruffles.

IMG_4167 Now you are going to gather the ruffles. Burlap is too heavy to use the machine for gathering, so I used a doubled thread to hand stitch. I used a contrasting thread here so you could see. Of course, you would want to use matching thread so that you aren’t having to worry too much if any of it shows. You will have to tie the thread at the end, rather than use a knot, as it will just pull through.

IMG_4170 Gather the fabric on the thread, pulling as you go along.

IMG_4171 Fit it along the short end of one of your 17 inch wide pieces, adjusting the gathers, and then tie your thread at the other end. Pin the ruffle in place. I found it helpful to press the ruffle at this point. The hemmed side should be facing up with right sides together. (There is no real right side for the 17 inch strip. Just choose a side with fewer defects.)

IMG_4165 Be sure that you have left a seam allowance at each end of roughly 1/2 inch or so. Then stitch the ruffle to the 17 inch strip. Repeat for the ruffle at the other end.

IMG_4173 Pin the corners of the ruffles back so that they will not get caught in your next seam…

IMG_4174 …then pin the other 17 inch strip on top of the one you have been working on. Once again, you will want to put the prettier side down, if there is one.

runner tutorial 2 Stitch all the way around the fabric, leaving a 12 inch gap on one side. You will use this gap to turn the fabric inside out. I always back stitch at the beginning and end of the seam so that it will not ravel. Be careful at the corners, making sure to sew right next to the ruffle edge along the seam allowance, not getting the ruffle caught in the seam. Now, turn it right side out, pulling on the ruffles at the corners to be sure that the fabric is completely turned.  Then press with a steam iron.

IMG_4176 You will want to turn under and press the fabric along the 12 inch gap to give it a finished appearance. Finally, hand stitch that gap closed. If you wish you can top stitch the runner around the rectangular portion.

IMG_3891 And here it is! Burlap does have a strong smell at first, so you may want to air it outside for a while. Mine has been on my table for a couple of weeks now and has virtually no smell. It cannot be washed, but can be dry cleaned, so watch out for that cranberry sauce! I hope this tutorial was helpful! Let me know if you try it and tell me how yours turns out!

Remember to pin it!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my project! Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party
Thrifty Decor Chick for Before and After Monday
Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday

The Stories of A2Z for Tutorials and Tips Tuesday
Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

A Stroll thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday
Cedar Hill Ranch for Cowgirl Up! on Tuesdays

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday's Treasures
Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
DIY by Design for Sizzle into Summer

The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
No Minimalist Here for the Open House Party on Thursdays

Sand and Sisal for the Countdown to Fall Party
DIY Showoff for the October'fest of Fun Party 
My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday   
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
2805 for Potpourri Friday
At the Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday
Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday

Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
DIY Showoff for the Fall Festival Linky Party
See you next time! A la prochaine!

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  1. Debbie, Great tutorial for making the burlap table runner. I really like that the runner is pretty.
    Have a great weekend,

  2. I love this . I featured your pumpkins in my weekly wow's today.

  3. Great tutorial, Debbie! I can't work with burlap as it makes me so itchy I can't stand it. Your runner is perfect- xo Diana

  4. Your table runner is so pretty. I only wish I could sew!!! You are sweet to post the tutorial for the folks who can sew.

  5. BEAUTIFUL runner Debbie and great tutorial!! Now if I could only sew!!!

  6. Great tutorial. I love it. Thanks for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  7. Debbie, I've always loved the look of this on your table. I no longer have a sewing machine, but if I did I think I would try to make one of these. Your tutorial is excellent! ~ Sarah

  8. Deb, you are my clever, clever friend and such a wonderful teacher,♥

  9. I've always loved you burlap runner! Great tutorial:@)

  10. Stopping by from Blogtalk, following you via GFC, hometalk, pinterest, fb & twitter!

  11. Debbie,
    Lovely burlap runner!!! That's a lot of handstitching, dear friend from one who HATES to sew!!! However, you are my greatest encourager to get those Christmas pillows finished this July! Thanks for the tutorial...I agree, burlap does have an odor! The tip about airing it out of doors was great information!

  12. Gorgeous! I have a bit of ivory burlap hanging around. I think I'll do something like your runner with it! Thanks!

  13. I don't sew so can't do this but it is a great tutorial for those who do sew. I BOUGHT a burlap runner but it, sadl, does not have a ruffle:(:( XO, Pinky

  14. I really love your work!It is fantastic!Kisses!

  15. Oh I wish I could try a little bit of sewing. Still waiting for my sewing machine.

  16. Your sewing work is so neat. I am loving my soaps and gorgeous towel. I finally got some photos this weekend of all of your wonderful things on my front porch, so I hope to put a post together this week, and post it this week or next week. I'm in the middle of sewing slipcovers for my living room, so I'm trying to fit everything in.

  17. After using your great tutorial to make the runner, we discovered that poor Princess Posie cat is allergic to burlap....she sneezed for 2 days straight. Dr. finally gave her a shot and we gave the runner to the sweet daughter-in-law :^)
    Thanks for the tutorial though, I just used a different fabric!!
    PS: please check for an email from me about a week or so ago.

  18. Lovely tutorial for this burlap runner. I need to get out my sewing machine.

  19. It's beautiful, Debbie! Thanks for sharing your tutorial at Potpourri Friday!

  20. Hi Debbie! Just stopping by from 2805 Potpourri Friday to check out your burlap table runner. It is awesome, and thanks so much for the tutorial on how to make it. I'm your newest follower on blog and Pinterest! Hope you will come and follow me!

  21. Love this! And it doesn't involve a sewing machine which means I could probably do it! Hmmm... I'll have to think about attempting this.

  22. I have seen this runner in blog land, but your tutorial made me think I can actually make one!
    Thank you! Just came over from the Cowgirls party this week. I loved your Fall Porch, also!


Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate my wonderful readers!... Debbie