How to Use Burlap As a Table Runner


Burlap is a versatile and sturdy fabric made from the jute plant, which is often used to make sacks for grains and other produce. Throughout the years, though, burlap has made its way into our homes and can be used for decorative purposes such as a rustic yet elegant table runner.

(Image: Lucy Akins )

Things You'll Need

  • Burlap, approximately 3 yards
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors 
  • Hot glue or non-fraying fabric solution (optional)
  • Jute twine or burlap ribbon
  • Accessories such as leaves, wheat stalks, herbs, etc. 
(Image: Lucy Akins)

Even though the natural color of burlap is beige, nowadays it can be found in a variety of colors and weaves, making it a great choice for home decor projects.

Create the Table Runner

Step 1

Lay the burlap out on a flat surface. Use a tape measure to determine exactly where you want to cut the burlap, according to the desired width of your table runner, and make a small 1/4-inch slit at the edge of the burlap.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 2

Pull one vertical burlap strand all the way out.

(Image: Lucy Akins)


  • Pull the strand slowly and carefully as it should pull from the entire length of your piece.

Step 3

The pulled strand will leave a straight line as a cutting guide. Cut along its entire length, being careful not to cut the strands at either side. This will leave a perfectly straight line and prevent it from fraying.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Follow one of the methods below to finish the edges of the table runner.

Make a Fringed Edge

Determine how long you would like the fringe to be and add approximately 1/2 inch. Unravel strands of burlap until you create a frayed border to your desired length.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Gather approximately four to five strands and tie a knot. Continue this process to form a fringe along the entire edge of the table runner.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Leave a Clean Edge

Lay the table runner on a flat surface and squeeze a thin line of hot glue onto the underside of the runner along its entire length. Repeat on the other side.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Alternatively, you can add a small amount of non-fraying fabric solution onto the edges of the table runner and allow it to dry for 30 minutes.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Add the Finishing Touches

Gather the end of the table runner, leaving approximately 12 inches at the bottom and tie a simple bow with jute twine or burlap ribbon.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Accessorize by tucking a piece of greenery, wheat stalk or even rosemary sprigs inside the ribbon or twine.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

The look of burlap can be dramatically changed by the accessories you use, from beachy casual decor to a formal Thanksgiving table and even dramatic wedding table settings. Enjoy and explore the versatility of this natural fabric.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

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