It’s Wedding Wednesday again, and this week is all about burlap table runners! When creating decor for our wedding last summer, we used different shades of blue, our favorite color, and accented with ivory, lace, and burlap for a “rustic-chic” feel. I love that rustic weddings are in style, because burlap is inexpensive, readily available, and easy to work with. If that’s not enough for ya, these burlap runners are sew-free! Which is great… because I can’t sew.
Before purchasing your burlap, you’ll need to do some math. The alternative would be to guess and buy 20 yards of burlap, then end up with way too much leftover. But I wouldn’t know anything about that…
First of all, how long will your runners need to be? Generally, table runners have an 18″ drop on each side, so you’ll need to add 3 feet to the size of your table. Our venue had 60″ rounds, which are 5 feet wide. 5 feet + 3 feet = 8 feet, so each runner will need to be 8 feet long (or just under 3 yards). If we had been using 8 foot rectangular tables, we would have needed runners that were 11 feet long.
Second, how wide will your table runners be? This is up to you, we made 12-13″ wide runners.
Third, how wide is the burlap? This will be printed on the label at the fabric store. My burlap was 50 inches wide, so it made four of our 12-13″ runners.
And, finally, how many runners do you need? We made 20 because it was an even number and left us with a couple extras.
Whew! Got all that? For our runners, I should have had the fabric person cut five, 8 foot sections of our 50″ burlap (which is 13 1/3 yards of fabric)… but instead I bought two 10 yard sections. I’m not kidding about the leftover burlap… there was a lot!
My personal favorite part of the burlap was the price. The regular price at JoAnn Fabrics was $3.99/yard, but I (of course) used a 50% off coupon that brought the price down to $2/yard! The total for all of my burlap was around $40 + tax.
When you’re at home and ready to start, lay your burlap out in a long hallway. Hopefully you took my advice and bought the burlap at the right length for the table runners. If not, you will need to measure out the length of your runners, and cut across (using the same directions as below).
Measure your burlap, just to make sure you’re starting with the proper width. Depending on how wide you want your table runners, divide the burlap width by 3 or 4. We wanted 12-13″ runners, so I divided the 50″ width by 4.
50/4 = 12.5 inches, so I measured out a 12.5 inch section to determine where my first runner would be. If your runners do not end up being exactly the same width, don’t worry! They’ll be on different tables, so no one will notice that some ended being closer 12 inches wide and some are closer to 13 inches wide.
At the edge of the first section, select a strand of burlap and gently pull it out. Your burlap will start to ruffle, but you can smooth it out as you go. If the strand breaks in the middle, you might need to use tweezers to pull it out and continue working.
Do you see how we’re left with a wide space in the fabric? That’s your guide. Carefully cut along the space, all the way down the burlap. While you don’t need two people for this part, it’s easier with a friend! Once we pulled out the string, my husband and I started cutting from opposite ends and raced to the middle.
As you’re finishing up your table runners, you may have some stray strands or string to remove. This would also be the time to add fringe. Burlap has a wide weave, so it’s really easy to just pull off the pieces you don’t want.
Burlap smells a little weird, so when your runners are complete, you may want to let them air out for a day or two before storing them. While I have not personally tried it, I have heard that using Febreze on your burlap is not a good idea.
We use our burlap table runners at home too!