No-Sew (Almost), Painted Burlap Table Runner

So, I’ve been wanting to make a burlap table runner for awhile now. I’ve been seeing them all over the blogosphere, most notably a fringed runner at Cottage and Vine that inspired my fringe (albeit simpler), and Mason Bay who included a tutorial on painting a stripe on the runner.

However, I wanted to make it with what I already had in my crafting stash, and I couldn’t do much sewing since my machine is on the fritz (ugh). I planned on it being a no-sew runner with a little fringe on the long sides and longer fringes on the ends.

Alas, my burlap was not long enough, so I did have to sew a little piece on each end (the huge loops my machine is leaving were not that noticeable on the burlap)- BUT if the piece had been long enough, I wouldn’t have had to sew at all.

I didn’t take pictures as I was making it because, frankly, I wasn’t sure it was going to turn out! But when I saw that I might actually like it, I snapped a few photos to share with you all:

This is the runner after I’ve cut, fringed, and painted. But it wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned.

I had cut the sides and then pulled the edge lengths out to make a little fringe, but since the sides weren’t cut evenly (*ahem*), I had to trim the fringe to even it up. OK, no problem.

And when I discovered it wasn’t long enough, I added the end pieces. Four inches sounded good. I cut then from the selvage edge so they wouldn’t fray at the sewn edge and started to unravel the other end where I wanted the fringe.

After about an inch, I decided it was taking too long- I persevered since still needed another couple inches. I did not make the fringe long enough to knot sections, but that would’ve taken too much time, anyway- I’ve decided I like this “natural” look. (*smile*)

In order to keep it from fraying more, you might want to run a straight stitch along all the edges.

Do I need to say I didn’t do that? I’m sure I’ll be sorry later.

Then I taped the lines and found some old green craft paint. It’s not the color I had in mind, but it’s what I’ve got…

And I think it’s too dark, and new-looking, and, well….green. So I took a sanding bar (it’s a super fine grit) to see if I couldn’t sand some of the paint off to give it more of an old look.

Yep, I took sand paper to burlap. I’m sure maybe I read that somewhere- I didn’t just make that up myself, did I?

Well, as you can see, it did rough up the burlap around the painted stripes a bit, but I’m OK with it since it also roughed up the green paint, making it a little less new-looking.

Problem was, I didn’t like how it looked in my dining room. I’ve been adding touches of black to the living room and entry and now the dining room needs some (it’s all one big area anyway).

The green wasn’t doing it for me. Ugh. I should’ve used black paint.

What to do? Paint over it? Paint the back side and make it reversible?

Actually, the reversible thought was not a bad idea, but on the way to get the black paint I saw a black Sharpie marker.

Hey- why not? It’s only burlap.

Yep, first sand paper, then a Sharpie.

You can see why I didn’t title this “Burlap Runner Tutorial.”

But I really liked how it turned out! I just laid a ruler down and ran the sharpie lightly over the burlap. It’s spotty and not too dark- just enough vintage-y looking for me. It adds the black, but still relates to the green that’s also in the room.

Ah. Sometimes you just gotta try things outside of the box.

But only sometimes.






  1. says


    That runner is a breath of freshness! I’m all for improvising too and your sense of humor about it made me laugh out loud.

    Happy New Year,

  2. Anonymous says

    found your site on today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later

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