In today’s post, we’re sharing how to create a simple patriotic inspired grain sack table runner that can be used multiple ways. I don’t know about you guys, but we don’t have a lot of extra room to store seasonal items which sometimes gives us pause when it comes to decorating. Especially, around certain holidays. This year though, we’re bound and determined to celebrate every drop of summer and I know so many of you are too.
I must confess, this patriotic grain sack table runner was completely inspired by a conversation I recently had with one my girlfriends. She called me on the way home from the bookstore to lament seeing, “an overabundance of bold, bright colors on every glossy page,” of home decorating books and shelter magazines. She followed that up with, “there’s nothing I can even relate to in the catalogs that come to my house now either.”
I can totally understand this sentiment because decorating with neutrals will probably always have my heart no matter what is trending. Our lives are so full outside of these walls. At the end of the day we just want to be surrounded by calming colors, nubby textures and a layered collection of new and antique finds that brings us joy every time we remember where we were when we bought a specific piece of ironstone, tarnished silver, horse trophy or portrait painting.
That being said, variety is the spice of life but if you find yourself in a similar situation, don’t lose heart! Creating a home and a life you love can absolutely be tailor made specifically just for you, your personality and the needs of your family – no matter what is considered “in style” – be it bright colors, new traditional, boho chic, French Country or modern farmhouse.
So, today, I’m kicking it old school and bringing back one of our most popular fabric painting techniques as a gentle reminder there’s room for all sorts of decorating ideas, styles and the combinations that make your signature style – completely you. Here’s a look at how you can make your own patriotic grain sack inspired table runner…
Patriotic Grain Sack Table Runner Supplies:
- Canvas drop cloth that has been washed several times (do this step in advance)
- Tarp or large garbage bag to protect surfaces
- 1776 graphic (you can also use a monogram for this project or different year) *we printed this out on our home computer
- Tape measure
- Graphite pencil
- Ink pen
- 3 rolls of washi tape (thin width)
- 1 roll of painter’s tape (wide width)
- Your choice of craft paint color (we used primary blue, black and country red)
- Craft paint brushes
Patriotic Grain Sack Table Runner Steps:
Step 1 – The length of your table runner will depend on the length of your table. We’re doing two smaller table runners as opposed to one long table runner, but you can do whatever works best for you. Our table runners are approximately 46 inches long and 18.5 inches wide. I used an actual grain sack to help with the sizing.
Step 2 – Using caution and care as scissors will be sharp, cut the washed drop cloth to the desired size.
Remember to leave a bit of an overhang for each end of the table runner.
Also, using caution and care make sure you cut off any seams the drop cloth my have as you don’t want them to show on your finished table runner.
Step 3 – Place a tarp or large garbage bag underneath the cut drop cloth table runner to protect your surfaces from paint.
Step 4 – Decide how thick or thin you want the grain sack stripes to be. We used various sizes of washi tape to help keep paint lines neat and tidy. It does feel like a pain at first to have to tape all the lines off but it’s actually faster in the end because you don’t have to keep measuring out each line.
You’ll want to make sure to put the washi tape on the entire length of the table runner.
Step 5 – Mix up your craft paint colors, if needed. We created a “midnight blue” which is primary blue mixed with black to get a close match to an original grain sack blue.
Step 6 – Carefully pull up the washi tape that is holding the spot you want to color with craft paint.
Step 7 – Apply paint with a craft or sponge brush.
Keep in mind you’ll want your brush strokes to be thick in some places and thin in other places because fabric usually does not wear in the same spots at the same rate (think the knees in your favorite pair of jeans).
Step 8 – Using your home computer, print out the number or letter graphic you want to use. We’re using 1776 to keep it patriotic but you can use whatever has a special meaning to you. Then using caution and care cut around the graphic to make the transfer process easier.
Step 9 – Shade the back of the graphic with a graphite pencil.
Step 10 – Measure the center of your patriotic grain sack table runner. Our center was approximately 16 inches. Then use a ball point pen, to fill in each letter. Be very careful while completing this step or you’ll risk smudging the graphite onto your table runner.
Step 11 – This will transfer your graphic onto your table runner.
Step 12 – Fill in the transferred graphic with your choice of craft paint.
Step 13 – Once the paint from the grain sack stripes and the transferred graphic is dry, remove the washi tape from your patriotic table runner.
Step 14 – At this point, your table runner will look new and you’re more than welcome to leave it that way.
But, if you want to give your table runner some age, like an actual grain sack would have, you need use a high grit sand paper (we used 220) to smooth out any paint that might have pooled or that’s scratchy.
Keep in mind, the painted stripes on your table runner will become even more textured the more you sand it. It may even pill a bit.
Step 15 – I wanted to further age our patriotic table runner, so I frayed the edges a bit as well. Then I placed both table runners in the dryer to set. Make sure you don’t have any other clothes or linen in dryer when you do this part!
As I mentioned at the top of this post, the beauty of this grain sack inspired technique is that you can completely customize your table runner with the colors and graphics that match your decorating style best. You can also use it for any seasonal event you’re hosting, like a 4th of July bash.
In addition, you might want to consider using this grain sack inspired fabric for pillows, napkins, wall hangings, towels or I’ve even seen some people use this technique to upholster chairs and it’s really pretty.
We’ll be using this patriotic grain sack inspired table runner in our breakfast nook for Independence Day. Here’s a sneak peek…
Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.