burlap table runner

I made a new table runner! I wanted a burlap table runner that I could dress up or down and use for holiday decorations. I especially like the way that burlap looks with fancy glass (especially mercury glass). So I wanted to make a table runner.

Enter the problem. If you’ve ever worked with burlap, you know that it shreds all over. Which means that it looks great for a one-time event (aka wedding, dinner party) but will not stay together long enough for any other use. I needed a way to hem it. Obviously, traditional hemming would be ok, but I wanted something a little dressier. But I get ahead of myself.

First- buy some burlap the length of your table plus 6-12in on either side to hang off the table. I went with about 6in but if you like a longer tablecloth, make it longer. Then decide what width you want. Mine is about 14inches wide. It’s really just a matter of taste.

Here is the trick with burlap… it can kind of get out of whack rather easily and if you just cut, your table runner will end up looking super uneven. So, starting at one short end, decide where you want to make the cut. Then, pull that single string that runs parallel with the runner. Make sense?

Find the string. Pull.

Keep pulling as it gets scrunched up until the entire thread is pulled out.

This creates a perfect guide. Just cut in the space and then you’ll have a totally straight cut.

Ok so, instead of hemming, I decided I wanted to use trim. I picked out double-fold seam binding in a matching color. If you wanted to, you could use a decorative ribbon or even a contrasting seam binding, but I wanted it to be used for anything.

I folded the seam binding over the edge of the runner and hot glued it securely. (That’s the no-sew bit… if you really wanted to, you could sew the seam binding on. It might be faster… but you’d have to get your machine out…)

So I found it easiest to just glue on the back side, stick the burlap down and then glue the other side down. It helped to keep the lines straight. The corners I folded like the ends of gift wrap so they weren’t too lumpy.

All in all, the project was really simple AND really cheap- (two of my favorite things!) I like how it turned out and I especially like it with my autumnal pumpkin display.

Jersey Cotton Necklace

Well I am having a fabulous weekend with some of my craftiest friends! B Head and Egan are here and in between our bouts of “hoarders” marathons (which also brought on a few cleaning binges for me) we decided to get a little crafty!
After creating a few foam coozies… (which were def not blog-worthy) we moved on to greater things. B Head showed me an amazing necklace she made out of an old t-shirt. Because it’s made of jersey cotton, it is remarkably light-weight for large necklace. The best part is, of course, if you have an old t-shirt to re-purpose, the cost is FREE!

But mom! I just want to help!

Dislaimer: Tucker reallywanted to be our little “helper” for this project and pretty much attempted to chew everything we were working on, so he’ll be making quite a few guest appearances because we could not get him OUT OF THE WAY!

Ok back to the craft! First, find an old t-shirt. I used a plain one but you could try a patterned one as well. Lay the tee out on the floor. Cut off the hemmed edge on the bottom. Then, begin cutting 1-inch strips straight across. Do not cut the side seams– you’ll want to end up with loops of fabric.

Taking the loops in both hands, stretch out the strips of fabric, like so. Place the strips around your neck and arrange them how you’d like them to be. You can keep some longer and some shorter for variety or keep them the same length. Once you’ve got it figured out, wrap your fist around all of the pieces and take it off of your head to hold it in place. Using another strip of fabric, wrap it around the strips and tie it to secure. Then you’re done!

Here is B Head’s… in turquoise… which is awesome.
This project takes about 10 minutes and makes an eye-catching accessory. Save it for a rainy day or whip one up on your lunch break! Happy Crafting!

impromptu thank yous!

I have been seeing banners everywhere lately. First, in my paper crafts book, I found a project I intend to start shortly for a wall banner with different prints. A few weeks later, my friend B Head emailed me a project she found online for a banner necklace, but I am waiting for us to get together before I attempt that one.
Banners somehow just exude happiness to me. I think maybe its because they’re springy and bright and make me think of being outside in warm weather. So I decided to make up my own banner project!
Inspired as well by my ever-shrinking but still daunting pile of wedding thank-you notes left to complete, I wanted to make an extra-creative thank you for my cousin who is an artist. He gave me an original painting of his and I thought it deserved an extra thanks!
I recently acquired a set of alphabet stamps (future project coming soon) and wanted to do something with individual letters- huzzah! A banner that spells out thanks!
I started with some paint swatches that I had picked up a while back. They worked perfectly for a project like this when you need small pieces in a variety of colors. The best part is- paint samples are free!

So pick up some in a variety of colors. I went with pastels/dustier colors myself, but that also had a lot to do with the paint samples I already had.
I created a banner template on a piece of cardboard. Mine is about the size of a postage stamp. I traced on different colored paint selections and cut them all out. Then I laid out the flags and rearranged until it was just right. I stamped each one with each letter.

After the banner was laid out and stamped, I looked for a card for attach the banner too. The first card, a square shape, wasn’t wide enough for 6 letters (something to keep in mind if you try this yourself) so I found a wider card. I used a natural colored hemp string and glued each end to the back of the card, leaving a little slack in the string. I glued each letter to the string and glued down the bottom point as well for a little security.

Here is the final result:
 I think it looks pretty cute on the patterned card, but would also look great on plain card stock, or with a more natural background.
If you want to make this at home, you’ll need:
A blank card
Paint samples in coordinating colors
String (colored embroidery floss would also be cute!)
Alphabet stamps or a marker and good handwriting

Mod Podge or some other type of glue

This was a quick and easy project you can make with materials you probably already have at home, or those you can find for free/cheap. Try it at home! You could make one to express thanks, or love or maybe use it for an invite. Let me know if you come up with anything great!