Friday, May 25, 2012

Burlap Table Runner

You might have noticed the table runner that I made for our Ladies Tea back HERE.  It was a very simple and inexpensive project to make, especially since I had the burlap sack on hand.Here's another view of how the runner looked with the table settings.  I just used simple whites to go with the burlap to keep things simple and clean looking.

 I'm going to try to tell you how I made this runner.  You will need:

  • Burlap sack
  • White material - I used 100% cotton sheets, but you could use muslin or any material you'd like.  Just be sure the weight is light.
  • Thread - matching and contrasting
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine

Here's the sack I began with.  I found it at a rummage sale for $3!  I only bought four of them, but wished I had more in my budget for them all!  I've already sold one of my table runners and recouped my costs, plus made a little extra.

The first thing that I did was cut off the side seams of the sack.  I left the entire length of the sack.  The first time I made one, I lamented over trying to undo the seam, but decided that it wasn't worth the time.  I've used the side seams for other projects, so if you hate to cut them off, keep them for another project.

 Next, fold over the edge (that you just cut off) a half inch and then fold another half inch and sew down the center.  I do the folding as I sew, which isn't easy, but it's easier than trying to get pins into the thicker burlap.  Also, you don't want to iron the burlap, because it stinks when it gets warm.
 I have found that on the corners, it is too thick to use the machine through, so I trim the corner down and sew as far as the machine will let me.  Since the end already has a seam, I leave that edge with the factory seam.  You could hem that too, if you are just using a piece of burlap.
Next, I cut two strips of white material (I used a sheet that I had used the rest of for the backing on a quilt.) that was 7 inches wide and about 2 1/2 times longer than the end of the runner.  There's no rocket science on this, I literally held the material up to the edge to make sure it was at least twice the length of it.

Fold the strip of material in half length-wise and sew a 1/2 inch seam down the edge, forming a long tub with your material.  You could even use a quarter inch seam for this, but I like to do a little larger seam so it doesn't unravel later on.

 Press the tube flat with the seam in the middle of one side of the tube.  Try NOT to put the seam where you are going attach the ruffle to the table runner.  I learned this the hard way and put the seam where I was attaching the ruffle - it was so thick my machine had a difficult time sewing the ruffle on!  While I was ironing, I also folded the edges in about 1/2 inch.
 To finish the ends, after iron, I stitched at a quarter inch from the edge to close it up.
 I change the basting thread to a contrasting color, so I can easily find the threads to pull out.  Sometimes I think it would be easier just to leave the same color and leave the strings there, but the correct way to do ruffles, is to remove the basting stitches.

Baste 1/4 of an inch and 3/4 an inch away from the top edge of your ruffle.  You can change these measurements if yo would like a larger top edge on the ruffle. Then pull to make the ruffle the same width of runner.
Next you are going to pin like crazy!  Pin the seam on the back side of the ruffle, so it is not visible. The more you pin the ruffle in place the better it will look in the long run.  This is not a place where you can just put the ruffle in place as you go!  Pinning is key.

Another view of the pinning.  You will want to move the gathers around to look even.  I love adding the ruffle to the burlap, because it already is rustic, so if the ruffle is not perfect, it still looks great.

Now, you get to sew down the center of the two basting stitches with a regular stitch in the thread you want the runner finished in.  Then the fun part, remove the basting stitches (the orange thread, in my case.)  And really, that's it!  You have a rustic, yet beautiful table runner to use.  I am listing this one in my Etsy shop, so please consider supporting my family (right now, we are raising funds to send my son on a trip to Japan as a 4-H delegate!).  Here's the link: Prairie Scraps Shop.

Also, be sure to check out those blogs that I love to link up to in the right column.