Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hand Knotted Burlap Table Runner ~ DIY

You know you have been a bad blogger when you start getting emails.....
where are you? 
are you okay? 

I'm sorry I haven't posted. My kids were on Spring Break three weeks apart! They are enrolled in two different high school districts and this year their vacation time did not align. 

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you may remember I painted and decorated my teenage daughter's room over {her} Spring Break.... It was a much bigger project than I anticipated and kept me very busy, busy! Painting a room two different colors is hard work!

Then, when my 17 year old son was off from school, I became a short order cook  I took on another project... I painted an old media cabinet with Annie Sloan's chalk paint.  I felt like the only person on earth that hadn't tried Chalk Paint. I was very intrigued with the product claims of no sanding or prep needed. My thoughts about the chalk paint in another post.

I am writing this post with less than spectacular photos taken a few months ago. I had planned on re-shooting the pictures but never got around to it... Please forgive any funky lighting and blurry shots...

Okay, on with the DIY~

Are you ready for a 


Hand Knotted Burlap Table Runner

A while back, I was on a great blog (Country Farmhouse) and saw a Hand Knotted Burlap Table Runner on her dining room table... The blogger had purchased her lovely runner on Etsy. 

I am obsessed with burlap... and I loved how elegant the runner looked with the hand knotted edge. 

Elegance and burlap in the same sentence?? 
That may be a first! :)

I thought the runner was something I would try myself since i needed another project.  

I headed over to Joann's Fabrics to buy some basic burlap off the bolt. Of course, I had my 40% off coupon in hand... what I forgot to do was measure my table! Measure your table before you go :)

My dining room table is 90 inches long. I wanted the runner to have a long drop on each side. I figured about a 24 inch drop on each side. Total yardage needed for a 90" table is 138"... I bought 4 yards of burlap. With my coupon the fabric was under $15.00.

I recommend you buy a bit of extra yardage on this project. If you think you need 3 yards, buy 3 1/2... If you think you need 4 yards, buy 4 1/2... Trust me. You can always trim your fringe and you want to make sure your starting point is straight. This will make more sense in a bit.

The burlap comes 48 inches wide. Since I wanted a narrow runner, I had to address this. I knew if I cut my burlap to the width of a runner, I would need to sew and finish each side on the runner. This would require time, patience and sewing skills, to which I have none... So, I did what any lazy impatient girl would do and 


This created a folded edge on one side of the runner and a natural short fringe on the other side. With folding, the burlap was now 24" wide. 

Below you may be able to see the folded edge on one side and the fringe on the far side 
(click to enlarge)...

The side edges are not the same with this method. One side will have a fold or a crease and the other side will have a slight fringe where the burlap was sewn closed in the factory. 

Having a runner with different side edges doesn't bother me. I think it looks charming...

Since burlap is thin and flimsy, I actually like that the fabric is doubled. It gives it more substance. And let's face it, the no sew option {for me} was totally worth it! Note: if you don't fold your runner in half, you could make TWO runners for the cost of one!

So at this point, I have my runner folded in half and I determined I wanted a 24" drop on each side. I cut my burlap {straight} to length right on the table. Of the 24" drop on each side, 8" will still be burlap, and 16" will be fringe.... (You can change these measurements to suit your table) 

Then, I unfolded my burlap to start the process of making fringe... I didn't take a photo of the next step, but trust me it's easy...

To create the fringe, pull the horizontal strings of burlap. I did one string at a time. They release VERY easy, with no pressure. It only took me a few minutes to complete the fringe on the first side. It's a bit messy, as the burlap sheds, so you may want to have your vacuum nearby.

I stopped when my fringe got to 16 inches but you can make yours shorter or longer depending on your table...

Now you are ready to knot the first side!!

You can knot your fringe one of two ways... 
(1) you can keep your burlap unfolded and knot the burlap and then fold

(2) you can fold your burlap and knot the top and bottom together. 

I chose method #2

I thought the burlap would lay flatter on my table if the top and bottom where knotted together in one step. I am happy with this choice and would do it again.

To start, I folded my burlap in half and lined it up so that the top and bottom were even. Then, took a few strands from the top (about 10 or so) and the same number of corresponding strands from the bottom... then, I simply made a hand knot. 

This is two layers knotted together.. 


I knotted from right to left. I made sure that each knot was about the same thickness. I also made sure that each knot was about the same height...

Looks like a lot of work but it goes fast and it's REALLY easy!

Once you finish your first side, repeat these steps to the opposite side...

Keep your vacuum or broom handy to pick up all the burlap shed.

Fast, easy, no sew and inexpensive!!
Try it :)

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