Easy Painted Burlap Table Runner

DIY Painted Fringed Burlap Runner - An Oregon Cottage

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.

However I discovered that my burlap piece 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 your piece is long enough, you won’t have to sew at all (except for some optional zig-zag stitches to keep it from unravelling so you can wash it).

I didn’t take many pictures as I was making it because, frankly, I wasn’t sure it was going to turn out. But when I saw that I was liking it, I snapped a few photos to share with you all, so you can make an easy painted burlap table runner, too.

Easy Painted Burlap Runner - An Oregon Cottage
The top photo is the runner after I’ve cut, fringed, and painted it – here are the steps to create your own:

  1. Cut the sides and then simple pull the long threads on the edge out to make the small fringe.
  2. You’ll probably notice that the edges aren’t even, so trim the fringe to even it up and pull more threads as needed to create even edges.
  3. Repeat the process of pulling threads on each short end except pull a lot more to create the longer fringe – I created a 3-inch fringe. My example, like I mentioned, has pieces added to the ends, that’s just because I was using what I had.
  4. To be able to wash the runner and keep it from fraying more, run a zig-zag stitch along all the edges where the fringe starts.

To paint the runner stripes:

  1. Run two lines of painter’s tape down each side to create 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch lines in-between to paint.
  2. Using craft paint, paint the lines on the burlap, remove the tape while wet and then let dry. I used green, but blue, black or red would all look great.
  3. To age the painted stripe some, run a sanding bar with a super fine grit over it. Yep, I took sand paper to burlap, though you could use a dry-brush technique to paint the stripe and get a similar look, I think.

I set the runner in my dinning room, but I just didn’t like how it looked – the green wasn’t doing it for me. Ugh. I realized should’ve used black paint. What to do? Paint over it? Paint the back side and make it reversible? These are the thoughts that run through a diy-er’s mind at times like this.

And actually, the reversible idea was a good one and I was on my way to get the black craft paint when I saw a black Sharpie marker. Hmmm – why not? It’s only burlap. Yep, first sand paper, then a Sharpie. Apparently it was one of ‘those’ crafting days.

Faux Grain Sack Painted Burlap Runner - An Oregon Cottage
And guess what? 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 and gives it a sort of grain-sack look that I like.

Sometimes you just gotta try things outside of the box, right?



  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 del.icio.us today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later

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