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At the recent 100th birthday party that I planned, we came up with this stunning table top in order to marry the vintage elegance theme with a touch of rustic gardening. It is a perfect fall look for your tables and so easy to do (and affordable!) that I wanted to share with you how we did it.

When Beckie, our event decorator, suggested burlap runners, I did an image search to see what she was talking about. And sure enough, burlap runners are apparently all the rage at weddings these days.

But what I noticed is that they are all using the more traditional dark colored burlap over white linens. I wanted a softer, warmer look so we decided on the cream burlap over brown (khaki actually) linens. Yeah, burlap comes in many colors; black, all shades of brown, even green! I had no idea!

The bolts of burlap fabric came in 48″ widths, so I was able to make 4 lengths of  runners from my purchase – at about 12″ wide apiece. All I needed to do was make 3 cuts lengthwise. What length do you buy? I measured the diameter of the table and then added two feet so that they would hang down one foot on each side.

Seems simple enough, right?

But when I was at the fabric store I noticed the gal at the cutting table used a cool little trick that made it even easier! I was awed!

Now I must tell you that I am a terrible cutter. If you want something cut straight, don’t come to me. No matter how careful I am, nothing I cut ever comes out straight. Even when using a straight edge I am challenged! (Luckily for me, I have a very precision-minded hubby who, if sweet talked, will usually do my cutting for me! More, I think it actually pains him to watch me do it.)

But with this little trick, I did it on my own – and so can you! All you do is:

1. Unfold the fabric and lay it out flat.

2. Cut lengthwise, end to end, on the existing fold.

3. Measure to the center of the width of each newly-cut piece and start to pull on one lengthwise strand of the jute.

4. Keep pulling the thread as you bunch up the fabric, loosening it up and making it easier for the strand to come out.

The thread may break – but this is okay – just grab the new end and keep going. If the thread is resistant, or too small to hold onto, you can use a sewing pin to assist you.

5. Pull the thread all the way out and you will see that you have a guide for cutting.

6. Cut along this guide from end to end on each of the two pieces and you will end up with 4 runners.

7. Pull some of the fraying edges off to clean it up, and let it lay over your table so that the wrinkles come out.

To top the tables, we used three beautiful cut glass goblets in varying sizes then filled the taller one with cuttings from the garden and two smaller ones with tealights.

Simple, yet beautiful!