table runner diy project with burlap

When the new year rolls around and January 1 rolls out the red carpet….

…..some of my friends adopt a word of the year.

Have you every tried it?  Doesn’t that sound incredible and purposeful and a great way to start off the year with a little inspiration?


Except every year I began the challenge, I discovered that a year is a really long time to date a word.


January I’m totally in.  February I’m starting to lose steam.  And by March I’m so over it.

Ironically my word this year was “resolute.”


And we all see how that’s working out.  🙂

fourth of July decorations

So I’m trying something I little different.

Instead, I’m choosing a word of the day.

Something to live by.

Something to inspire me.

Like today’s word, “Just do it.”  Okay.  I see you totally counting the words.  I know there’s three, but sometimes a girl has to have words of the day instead.

Just call me a rule breaker. 🙂

burlap table runner

In the spirit of my word of the day, here’s to getting things done.

Like the letter I was going to mail.

And the yoga class I was going to go to.

And the new lipstick I want to try.

And the projects.

All those projects that are sitting there waiting for a start…..

….and a finish.

Here’s an easy, simple project that took less time to make then it does to actually decide on a word of the day.

How to make a DIY burlap runner.

ribbon for burlap table runner

1.  Start with the ribbon

I went with the red theme for the Fourth.

Choose a variety of sizes and patterns.

Note.  The largest ribbon in the picture, the stripe was too wide for the project and had to be cut in half.

ribbon cut for burlap table runner

2.  Cut the ribbon

Cut your ribbon in 12″ sections.

Better to cut a little longer than you need and you can trim off the excess later.


3.  Prepare the burlap

This can be done in a variety of ways.

You can cut the burlap for the size table you need and simply fray the edges.

You can cut the burlap for the size table you need and iron the sides down with fusible iron-on tape.

You can cut the burlap for the size table you need and sew the edges down.

I chose option number two.

And I left the ends of the runner unfinished to make the project easier.

burlap table runner project

4.  Make a hole in the burlap

Don’t follow this picture.  I took it before I figured everything out.  This hole is too close to the edge.

Instead, do as I say, not as I did and make your hole about 4″ in from the end.

This gives it a little more burlap to stabilize the hole.

burlap table runner diy

5.  Add ribbon

Loop your ribbon in half.  Insert the loop through the hole in the burlap.

Next, bring up the ends and tuck them in through your folded loop and pull tight.

Again, this picture shows the ribbon waaaaaaay too close to the edge of the burlap.  This ribbon looks like it’s about to fall out any minute.  When you start about four inches back, it works out so much better.

burlap table runner diy

6.  Keep adding ribbon

Alternate your ribbon pattern and add another ribbon following the steps above every three inches.

You could put them closer together if you wanted more texture at the end of the runner.

After you’ve added all the ribbon, trim off the excess ribbon so all ribbons are approximately the same length.

table runner diy project with burlap

Here she is in all her finished glory.

It’s such an easy project and it took me only about an hour from start to finish.

Let me know if you try it.

And if you want to pick a word of the day, here’s a suggestion for you….

…..I think yours should be “Amazing.” 🙂

PS  Want a little more burlap Fourth of July inspiration?  Be sure and check out my burlap flag tutorial over on

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Peg Peg

    Cute as a button is right! Simply adorable! Word for the day? Hmmm, I'm going with smile. I've taken to smiling at strangers in the grocery line, on the street, at the bank, etc. It makes me happy when they smile back! : )

  2. Image for Barbara Barbara

    So cute and looks easy! I have lots of burlap left over from wedding items:) Will do for the Fourth also! My word today is HAPPY:)

  3. Image for Marian@CMShawStudios Marian@CMShawStudios

    I busted up laughing with the "do as I say" convo. I am so like that. And I always choose a theme for the year...well, actually it chooses me. I let the year tell me what it will be. Then we don't end up fighting over it. This year is the year of doing what I want most. So I spend a part of every day working on the things that are most important to me. Some days it really is the bills or cleaning that super nasty bathroom that I can't stand anymore. But mostly it has been aggressively finishing all the design projects in my house. I need the chaos inside to stop, so I can have mental space to create art again. And blog again. It's amazing how much you can get done when you still your mind enough to figure out what you REALLY want. I love the red zebra ribbon. Good call. Have a festive day with your word, sweet lady, The Other Marian

  4. Image for Betsy Betsy

    Fabric stores in our area now sell burlap in colors. They had a sample in a store of navy burlap trimmed on the edge with red rick-rack! It looked like summer and the 4th of July!!!

  5. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    Everyday I can't wait to see what you have to say. Your blog is a ray of sunshine in a world of clouds and rain. Thank you for wearing red lipstick and standing out in the crowd.

  6. Image for Michelle Rudis Michelle Rudis

    I agree with what everyone said but especially Stephanie...your posts just make me happy! I would also add that I adore the tree stump bandana covered seat--how cute is that??? Oh, and I need to mention I fell in love with fabric glue last year when I was making Renaissance costumes for my son and daughter-in-law and the Christmas tree skirt for a friend. All three items had sooooo much trim and I had sooooo little time. I thought the glue might make the fabric stiff but not at all! I say all this only to suggest that maybe you could 'finish' the edges of the burlap with fabric glue and therefore get as close to the edge as you wish.

  7. Image for Vicki Vicki

    Actually the word "resolute" is perfect for the 4th! Just add the resolute eagle to your runner and it is the perfect combo of your words for patrotic 4th. (The resolute eagle is from the front of the presidential resolute desk. When my husband retired from the fovernment i ordered him a tie with the resolute eagle for a keepsake).

  8. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    I don't think I could do a word for the year -- I mean really, things change all the time and I don't think I've ever said one work let alone think it. Okay, if brevity is the soul of wit, a long paragraph should make me a real comedienne ;-) A word for the day is an excellent idea. That way you're not tied down in case that word just doesn't fit for a week. Take the word humility -- what if you did something really amazing!! Well, you should shout for joy and pat yourself on the back -- humility really wouldn't work. Hmmm! Maybe a word of the hour. I could open up the dictionary, close my eyes and pick one. And I can't end this short comment without thanking you from the bottom of my heart. You sacrifice your time to make up the projects and then tell us how to do them without goofing up. That is really self-sacrificing. Especially since you didn't have a chance to try on your red lipstick!

  9. Image for Celeste Celeste

    I'm one of those that chooses a word of the year. I started this three years ago. I also keep a little inspirational journal of how I'm living out that word. When I get side-tracked (which is so easy), I just read some previous entries and I feel inspired again to live out my word. This year is "revel". Having this word has reminded me to enjoy the here and now - to revel in living. Your post reminded me to look at my journal and add some things I've recently reveled in. Whether it's yearly or daily, it's good to focus our minds on how we want to live instead of just letting the days pointlessly pass us by.

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