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Make a Festive, DIY Table Runner for Thanksgiving

I spend much of Thanksgiving in the kitchen cooking all the dishes that we traditionally make to go with the turkey. As a result, my yearly table decor is nothing if not simple. Because I just don’t have time for anything too elaborate. This year likely will be no exception.

So when Walmart challenged me to share a Thanksgiving project, I knew I wanted to focus on the table, but something on the simple side of the spectrum that would look like it took a lot of effort. This Thanksgiving table runner fits the bill beautifully.

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DIY Table Runner Tutorial

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You’ll Need:

  • Roll of burlap
  • Scrap fabric in a neutral color
  • 6-12 felt squares
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun

For the past few years, I’ve had an ongoing love affair with burlap. It’s one of those textures that can go rustic and kitschy or feel modern and clean depending on how you use it. If I’m honest, I’m not a fan of most Thanksgiving decor that features turkey motifs and bright colors. However, this time, I decided to use the traditional red, yellow and orange because those colors are featured in our favorite Turkey Day tableware, as shown above.

To begin, lay your burlap across the table with 12-18 inches of overlap at each end. The roll was pretty long, so I just cut off the excess on one side. Burlap can fray, but because you’re using a roll, the end you cut should roll likewise and stay intact.

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Knowing that I would be using hot glue to attach the felt to the burlap, I knew I’d need some type of lining. Burlap has a lot of holes, so the hot glue will drip right through it and stick to your work surface without some lining. Of course, I didn’t realize this until I was already back home from the store with my supplies. Thankfully, I had some neutral scrap fabric on hand.

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I simply cut it slightly narrower than the runner at full length. I used hot glue to attach the fabric to the back of the burlap from end to end. Easy peasy.

Now for the fun part. You’ll need to cut out “leaf” shapes from the felt. I started at the corner of one piece of felt and cut out a narrow teardrop shape. Then I used the first one as my template to cut the others. There’s a lot of room for error and the shapes don’t have to be perfect or identical. Just similar in size and shape. However, you have a lot of leaves to cut. My daughter helped me with this part, and it still took a while. We used two sheets of felt in each color: red, yellow and orange.

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You’ll wind up with a stack of leaves to make you love fall all over again.

The good news? The tedious part is over. Attaching the leaves to the runner is easy by comparison. I chose a pattern based on my plates: orange, then yellow, then red. Feel free to use whatever colors you’d like and lay out the pattern how you see fit. Start with one leaf at a slightly diagonal angle. Glue it to the middle of the runner.

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Overlap the edge of the second leaf with the first at a mirror image angle. Do the same for the third, then fourth, and so on.

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This part went a lot faster than I expected, and in no time, I’d covered the center of the runner in leaves from end to end.

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It’s really that simple.

The rest of the work of making the table look good was left to our gorgeous dishes and a few other odds and ends I cobbled together from around the house: an orange bamboo vase containing a $1 bunch of decorative twigs from Walmart, a colorful olive oil container, a bottle I painted for another project and some cloth napkins.

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The finished look is colorful and festive and screams “Happy Thanksgiving.” Plus, I can pull this runner out every year when I want the table to look great without a lot of work.

Now that the table is taken care of I can focus on what really matters: The food. You know…and family and all that other good stuff O_O. Lmao!

Disclosure: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Affiliate links have been used.

About Author

I am a graphic designer by trade who has a strong passion for interior design and doing what we can to protect the environment. This blog and my other site, Green & Gorgeous, are my ways of giving back to the Earth.

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