Today I am going to teach you how to stencil these lovely runners for your wedding or your home! Being from the south, I can’t really get enough of monograms, especially at weddings. What better way to debut your new last name then at your wedding reception with a monogram! These runners are perfect for your wedding tables (banquet only please, maybe sometime in the future we will chat about why you should never put a runner on a round table). You can put them on just a few tables, like the head table or family tables, on just decorative tables like cake or buffet or all of your tables if it works with the rest of your décor. It can be a great way to decorate buffet tables without being cheesy (I wouldn’t recommend doing all the tables, plus buffet, pick and choose what fits best). Plus, after the wedding you’ll have a wedding keepsake to put on your own dining table at home. If you have several extra give them away to your new family for their homes, or sell them to brides about to inherit your same letter (I recommend selling on Ruffled’s recycle your wedding page).
1. Burlap Runners ($5-$11 each on Etsy, or make your own for less than $4.00 each)
2. Black acrylic paint (or a different color if you choose) ($0.50)
3. Spongy paint brush ($1.79)
4. Hobby Knife ($2.50 after 40% off coupon at Michael’s**see note below)
4. Stencil Kit ($4.00 after 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby**see note below)
3. Cardboard you can throw away (free)
Your total cost for one runner is going to be around $14 (or $13 if you make one). If you make multiples, say 6 runners, you would be at around $6.50 per runner (or homemade for $5.50 each). These go on Etsy for $26-$40 each. Convinced yet?
Get the Runners. The first step is to get the runners. You can buy them on Etsy or at several hobby stores. I made this one. I’ll do another blog in the coming weeks about how to make this runner yourself (sew and no-sew version). Making them yourself is handy if your picky about the color of burlap, need a specific size for tables, or are making several. For now, let’s assume you have the runners.
Pick out a stencil. Michael’s and Hobby Lobby sell pre-made stencils in all patterns. I sadly couldn’t find a “B” that I was super happy with. So, I bought this handy dandy kit that allows you to cut your own stencil. You can search on google fonts or just look through your Microsoft Word fonts to see if there is one there that you like. If you are super artsy, just search on Pinterest for ideas and hand draw your letter (that is what I did). If you find a stencil at one of these two stores that you love, great! Don’t you dare buy that stencil without a coupon, girl (see note below). Congrats, move two spaces past go and you can keep the 40% you just saved with the coupon!
Cutting the stencil. If you found a stencil you liked, you can skip this section. If you are cutting the stencil yourself, keep reading. I traced the letter onto the stencil plastic. I also bought a handy little hobby knife to cut the plastic with. I had to cut two separate pieces to get the outline of my “B” and to keep the center without paint.
I considered (as you may be also) just cutting cardboard or something sturdy to make the stencil. The reason I opted out of this option was for several reasons 1) if you are tracing your letter, not hand drawing it, it is so much easier to do through the semi see through stencil plastic 2) you can keep the stencil for future use (I have done pillows with that same stencil) 3) the plastic wipes clean super easy to make clean up a cinch 4) the thin material helps you to get really close to fabric so the edges of your letter are clean and crisp.
Attaching the Stencil. Next, you place your stencil on the runner in the placement that you desire. Make sure to put cardboard (not newspaper, it will glue to the back of the fabric when drying) under your burlap, paint will definitely leak through the fabric. I used masking tape to tape down the stencil to keep me from accidentally scooching it. It also helps to iron your burlap with a good steam, you don’t want the wrinkly fabric to cause you to smudge. Jonah my kitty decided she would help…
Painting it. Choose a permanent paint, like acrylic paint. I prefer not to use fabric paint as it seems to get a little gunky with the fibers on the burlap. I recommend using a spongy paintbrush. It helps to blot the paint instead of stroking it to keep the stencil in place. Go for the method of multiple blots with the spongy brush instead of large amounts of paint on each blot. Too much runny paint on your sponge will cause it to bleed under the stencil onto the fabric outside of your letter. I recommend doing a practice run on a spare piece of burlap to get the hang of it.
Allow the paint to dry before removing the stencil or it will smear. Same with the card board, make sure it is totally dry before removing the burlap, or it will smear on the back side.
You have your beautifully stenciled runner! Plus extra paint and a perfectly good stencil to use on other items that need monogramming! This technique will work on other fabrics and with other paint colors as well. Feel free to change it to whatever fits your theme best.
**DON’T YOU BUY THAT STENCIL WITHOUT A COUPON. Michael’s and Hobby Lobby ALWAYS have a coupon. If you are planning a wedding or are into craft projects at all, just download the Michael’s app and the Hobby Lobby app on your phone. Then you will have access the coupon anytime you need to pick up something. I went to Michael’s and Hobby Lobby at least 40 times in the 9 months I was planning my wedding and never bought a darn thing without a coupon. They usually have a 40% off one item, or 20% off your purchase. It adds up, trust me. Even if you aren’t that worried about $2.50 here and there, if you go half as much as I did you will have save $50. That 10 extra gin and tonic’s, or 5 really strong margaritas on your honeymoon. See what I mean? Mmm… Margaritas….