Rustic burlap Christmas table runner DIY

6:12 PM


This a quick and easy DIY to give your Christmas table a rustic makeover

I haven't really done a big Christmas DIY project in years, so this one was long overdue. I wasn't even really planning on doing much this year really. 
I've been working on loads of Christmas designs, all while navigating this strange, surreal year that 2020 turned out to be. 
My plan was to put my existing decorations up, kick back and relax until the end of the year, but my plan got foiled when I realised that many of my hand made decorations which in all fairness were already a bit worn out last year, really didn't cut it this year. Many looked dull, broken and I suddenly wanted a breath of fresh air in the Christmas decoration department. 

Suddenly, my dinning table seemed really boring. We have ABUSED this table this year, it turns into my office for most of the day, before the WiFi decided to suddenly work in my daughter's room this was also distance learning central, and for a solid part of the year it was were all the crap went to pile itself up. It made me miss those pre-pandemic days when it was that place we just ate food and which looked neat the rest of the day. 
This got me on a mission to reclaim the table and make it festive. And, what is more festive than a pretty table runner? 

As some of you may know, I have made 2 out of one single white dupatta (aka long cotton scarf) in the past. There was the golden leaf table runner, and the blue and purple strips one. Both were done around 2014-15 so needless to say that they are looking a bit old, and have a few permanent stains that won't go away. 
Since I ran out of dupatta, I decided to try something new, with a definite rustic traditional vibe about it : stencil paint on burlap (aka Jute)

All the supplies I used for this project can be found on Amazon, and I am going to list them all below, so all the links you are about to see are Amazon India affiliate links. This means that if you click on them and make nay purchase, I get paid a commission at no extra costs to you. 

The first thing you obviously need for this project is a nice length of burlap / jute fabric. I bought a 3 meters long roll of 19 inches wide burlap fabric that was more than enough for this project. I turned the left over into a different craft project, and bought a second roll because I have several friends who have asked to buy a custom table runner from me as well. 

Next, you will need white and red fabric paint, some white glue, and something to cut out your stencil out from. 
I used some transparent acetate film I bought for another project last year for the stencils, but you can use some card stock paper as well. I got my star templates from a book called "The big book of weekend crafts" which I had in my bookshelf for years. 

The first step will be to cut the burlap to size and prevent the edge of the fabric from fraying. The good thing about burlap fabric, is that it's easy to cut straight, all you have to do is cut in the gap between two thread and let the length of the thread be your guide as you cut. 
The downside of burlap fabric is that it frays very easily, and to prevent that from happening, the best way is to use some white glue and a flat brush to apply a coat of glue on the reverse side of your fabric. The glue will turn transparent once it dries, and you will barely notice it on the flip side. 

To coat your fabric edge in glue it is IMPERATIVE, that you cover your work surface with a plastic sheet, I can't stress that part enough. DO NOT use old news paper for that, the glue will seep through the loose weave, and make the whole fabric stick to the newspaper permanently once dry. 
I use some cheap plastic table "cloth" for all the art projects I do on my dinning table. As you can see in the picture above, that plastic cover has seen a lot of action. I've used it for years for all my art classes, and craft projects. 

I used a plastic container to pour the glue in, and dipped my brush in as I went, painting the glue on the edge of the table runner. 
While the glue dries, work on getting your stencils cut, I went with stars, straight from a book, but any shape of your choice will do too. You can even print a shape on printer paper straight from your computer and then eight trace it with a permanent marker on your transparent sheet, or draw it on a piece of card stock paper. 
Then carefully cut out the shape using a box cutter or exacto knife if you have one. 

Once your glued edge is dry, flip the fabric over, and pour a little white paint in a paper plate or a plastic lid and use a sponge stamping tool, or a cut out cleaning sponge to dip in the paint. 

Carefully place your stencil where you want the start to be painted on the table runner and gently dab the sponge over the star shaped hole. 
Carefully lift the stencil and repeat as many time as you need all over the burlap fabric. For this table runner, I used one big star sencil, and two smaller stars. I started by spreading all my big stars evenly over the length and width of the fabric, then I filled the remaining negative space with small stars. 

once the white paint was dry, which happens very quickly when you stencil paint, I took the red paint out and added red accents to my big stars using a fine brush and an earbud (Q-tip) 


To go with the rustic white and red Christmas vibe, I bought a bunch of small white lanterns to place on the table and around my home, and I think from now on the only fruit that will be allowed on my table for the rest of the festive season are apples and oranges (I'm half kidding here). 

When I posted a sneak peak of my table runner on Instagram and on my personal Facebook page, I got a few friends interested in commissioning me one of those, so I have kept busy working with burlap over the past week. I also made a few other projects with some of the art students that have resumed classes with me. I therefore pronounce Christmas 2020 to be the Christmas of burlap! 

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