Sunday, October 6, 2013

No Sew Chalkboard Fabric Table Runner

What a wonderful way for family and friends to have fun writing expressions of "THANKS" during the holidays!

Chalkboard this and chalkboard that is all the rage now.  Everywhere you look someone is making something using chalkboard - especially the painted kind.  Recently I discovered what's called "blackboard" fabric while shopping at JoAnn's. Never seen it before and was curious about it.  I came home and quickly looked it up on the internet. There's quite a bit about what most of the creative folks do with the fabric and that is to "sew" placemats or runners. There were also lots of images of people selling items on their etsy sites but none of them were willing to share exactly how most were made.

Blackboard fabric or chalk cloth is what's called a utility fabric and is something like oilcloth.  It's heavy duty and in my opinion, rather difficult to handle - hence, that's why there're so many placemats done out of it. And for those brave souls who really want to sew table runners out of chalkboard fabric there are several videos available to show you how. Well, not me! Even though I pride myself in being able to use a sewing machine and can make a few things using it, I wasn't about to go in that direction.  I thought since the fabric doesn't fray when cut and you can't iron it to fuse, why not just glue it on whatever backing or fabric you want to use.

Here's how I made a no-sew chalkboard fabric table runner:

In addition to the blackboard fabric I got on sale at JoAnn's, I found some printed burgundy chevron burlap fabric at Walmart that I've been wanting to make something with. Note to allWalmart has the best prices and patterns for printed burlap in case you're interested.


Chevron Fabric:
 Measuring:  Measure the buffet, table or area where you want to use your runner - length and width.  From these measurements decide how long and wide you want your runner. For example:  My buffet is exactly 72 inches long and nineteen inches wide.  At first I thought I wanted my runner to fit the top of my buffet with the same measurements or have an overhang.  But after laying the fabric out I didn't like the way that would look so I decided to make the finished runner a bit smaller at 69 inches long by 17 inches wide. This is the finished measurements for the chevron burlap fabric. I allowed for a one inch (added to the measurements) fold, to glue down on all sides. 

Cutting:  Here it got a bit tricky for me.  Burlap fabric can be cut crooked. In fact, whenever I've had a piece cut for me at the fabric store, rarely is it cut straight - either from the previous cut or the way it is folded on the bolt. And this chevron piece was no exception.  There's always the method of pulling out a thread to get the fabric even, but this fabric was woven tighter than most burlap and I didn't want to take a chance with the thread breaking.  The cut was off from the previous cut so I decided to use the nearest points (V tips) to my measurements on the chevron fabric. In other words, to me, chevrons are V's grouped together so I cut from V tip to V tip to keep the fabric straight. I hope this makes sense to you.  By doing this I was able to get a straight cut.

Gluing:  Fold over (1") one side at a time and glue down the edges. I tried Aleene's Fabric Fusion glue first but found that very messy and not holding. Then I remember when I upholstered table legs with regular Aleene's Tacky glue and switched to that for the burlap.  After gluing down the long sides I mitered folded the ends first and then glued them down, too.  I also used clips to hold the fabric together while drying.  Clips became my friend for this project.


Blackboard Fabric:
 Measuring and Cutting:  This fabric proved to be easy to measure and cut since I was gluing it on to have one inch borders all around.  I measured and cut it out at 67" x 17".

Gluing:  I used Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky glue for this fabric. I first laid the blackboard fabric on top of the burlap exactly where I wanted it, making sure to have a one inch border all around.  I used clips to keep it in place as I glued, starting at one end, gluing it and moving around lengthwise to the next end.  I used clips to help keep the fabrics together and also smoothing the fabric along the way as I glued. I allow one side to dry a bit before moving to the final side.  It doesn't take very long for the fast grab glue to take hold and stick.

After the glue dried (about an hour) the chalkboard fabric had to be "primed" before use.  I could have done this before gluing but I didn't want the chalk dust to interfere with the glue in anyway.  Instructions came with the fabric and it says to rub the side of a piece of common chalk over the entire surface from top to bottom and side to side.  Using a soft cloth wipe off the chalk and repeat the process (I only did this once) The fabric is now ready to be use. (write on) In my research, some said it was ok to use a damp cloth to clean the board.  I had to do this because the chalk dust was so messy.  *Remember in elementary school beating the erasers?

After cleaning off the chalk:
Sorry for the blurry photos. I tried to get a shot of the entire length.  I couldn't get all of the lumps out of the fabric even though I laid it out on the floor for a couple of days.  They may come out if I put the runner out in the sun for a few hours.  I thought about the garage floor but there's a rubber floor covering with ridges in it that might transfer to the chalkboard. Anyway, the runner has to rolled up for storage when not in use to prevent any creases and rolling will not prevent any additional lumps.

What a fun way to use this runner when having family and friends over.  And if you have kids or grandkids - WATCH OUT!!!  You'll never get them to stop marking on it and having fun.

And guess what?  The chalkboard runner is REVERSIBLE!!!

 Yes! You can turn it over and use it like a regular runner.  How cool is that?

Chalkboard fabric is really quite unique! Since it's no fray you can make all sorts of things with it.  Cut different shapes out of it and use your imagination.

I truly enjoyed making this.  For the non sewers out there, this is for you!

Take a little time to enjoy!


Linking To Some of My Fav Parties:
Mellywoods Mansion for Raising Imperfections Party ,  By Stephanielynn  for the Sunday Showcase Party ,  The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday ,  VMG206 for DIY Sunday Showcase , Sewing Barefoot for The Weekly Creative, Alderberry Hill for Make the Scene Monday , Clairejustineoxox for Creative Mondays ,  Craft and Repeat for On Display Monday Link Party ,  The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday , Feeding Big and more for In and Out of the Kitchen Monday ,  I Should be Mopping the Floor for Mopping It Up Monday ,  Making the World Cuter for Making the World Cuter Monday , Newlywed Pilgrimage for Moonlight Mason Jars linky party Monday Night ,  So Much Better with Age for Give Me The Goods Party ,  Thrifty Decor Chick for Before and After Monday , Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday , Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday , Home Coming for DIY'ers , I Gotta Try That for Linky Party Monday,  Mod Vintage Life for Mod Mix Monday , Pursuit of Funtional Home for Monday Hop , One More Time for Share It One More Time , Twelve O Eight for Pretty Things Linky Party Monday , Todays Creative Blog for Get Your Craft On ,  Be Betsy for Brag About It Tuesday , DIY Dreamer for From Dream to Reality , Flusterbuster for Creative Muster  Tuesday ,  Kathe With A E for You're Gonna Love It Tuesday ,    The Stories of A2Z for Tutorials and Tips Tuesday , Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday , A Stroll thru Life for  Tabletop Inspire Me Tuesday , Cedar Hill Ranch for The Scoop on Tuesdays ,Homework for Inspiration Board Tuesday , My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday's Treasures , Romance on a Dime for Take on Tuesday , Debbiedoos for Tuesdays Top Talent Pinterest Party ,  Hickory Trail for Assets and Efforts ,  Hope In Every Season for Make,Bake,Create ,  Mad Cap Frenzy for Totally Tuesday Link Party ,   VMg206 for Brag About It Tuesday , Love Grows Wild for Time to Sparkle , The Blissful Bee for Work It Wednesday ,   Cass-Eats for Linky & Drinky Wednesday ,  Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at Our Home ,   Eclectic Red Barn for The Pinterest Power PartyPrimp for Primp Your Stuff Wednesdays , Ginger Snap Crafts for Wow Me Wednesdays ,  
Life With the CrustCutOff for Two Girls and a LinkUp ,  Pink Recipe Box for Creative Wednesdays ,   Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays ,The Shady Porch for Rock and Share Wednesdays , The Taylor House for Pinterest Power Party Wednesday ,  We Like To Learn As We Go for What I Learned Wednesday ,  DIY by Design for Swing into Spring , All Things With a Purpose for Thursday Link Up , Krafty Cards,Etc. for Krafty Inspirations Thursday ,   CSI Project for Challenge of the Week Thursday , Dysfunction Junction for Linkin With My Ladies Thursday ,  I Gotta Create for Wildly Original Linky Party The Frugal Girls for Chic and Crafty Party ,  Glued To My Crafts for Thursdays Obsessions , Lamberts Lately for Create It Thursday , Katherine's Corner for Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop ,  A Peek Into My Paradise for TGIF Link Party ,  The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursdays , Marigold's Loft for Tutorial Thursdays ,  My Fashion Forward Blog for All Things Pretty ,  No Minimalist Here for the Open House Party on Thursdays , Posed Perfection for All Things Thursday ,  Sparkles and a Stove for All Things Pretty Thursday ,  Stone Gable for Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits on Thursdays , Chic on a Shoestring Decorating for Flaunt It Friday , The Dedicated House for Anything Blue Friday . Happy Go Lucky for Shine on Fridays ,  Jennifer Rizzo for Fabulously Creative Friday ,     My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday , French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday , Common Ground for Be Inspired on Fridays , The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday , Craftberry Bush for the Inspiration Gallery on Friday ,  Diana's Rambles for Pin Me Linky Friday 504 Main for Tickled Pink Fridays , Happy Go Lucky for Shine on Friday , Happy Hour Projects for Happy Hour Friday ,  Mellywoods Mansion for Freaking Awesome Fridays ,   Obsessive and Creative for Craft Frenzy Friday ,  Rooted in Thyme for Simple & Sweet Fridays , See Vanessa Craft for do something crafty Friday ,  Shaken Together for What's Shakin' Friday ,   Whipperberry for Friday Fair Link Party ,  DIY Showoff for That DIY Party ,   Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special, Love of Family & Home for Inspire Me Please Weekend , A Bouquet of Talent for Life on Lake Shore Drive on Saturdays , Classy Clutter for Spotlight Saturday , Crafts a la Mode for What To Do Weekends , Debbiedoo's  for Get Blitzed on Pinterest , It's Overflowing for Share Your Creativity Saturday ,  Just Us Four for Pinworthy Projects Party Friday , Mommifried for Ladies Only Blog Share Link Party , My Snippets of Inspiration for Pin It Saturday ,  Natasha in Oz for #Say Gday Saturday Linky Party , One More Time for Share It One More Time Saturday ,  Serenity You for Serenity Saturday , Tutus & Tea Parties for a Pinteresting Party


  1. Wow that's really cool, my kids would have a ball writing and drawing on it. Interesting that its called black board, we call chalk boards blackboards here which makes me think it's probably from or available here. Going to keep an eye out.

  2. Super clever cool, Gail! I have not seen chalkboard cloth before. As a former teacher, I instantly thought of mats for each child's desk for daily work. Love that your guests can write a message to you.

  3. I've never even heard of chalkboard cloth! How awesome!! Your runner turned out just great, and I so love that it's reversible.

  4. Such a fun idea. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  5. I never heard of chalkboard cloth before now. Such a fun and practical item.

  6. This is such a good idea!
    I have a giveaway going on and today is the last day to enter, would love for you to check it out!

  7. I have never heard of chalkboard fabric before! What a great idea! I'm also in love with the reversible burlap. Might have to try it out myself : )

  8. Oh my goodness, I had no idea there was such a thing as chalkboard fabric! Now I have to make this!!! Thanks for sharing. I'd love to have you link up with me on Wednesdays if you're interested.

    1. Just wanted to come back and say thanks for linking up!

  9. I'd never heard of chalkboard fabric. What a fun table runner. Thanks for the idea.

  10. I absolutely love your chalkboard fabric runner. You did such a great job. I've tried to use the fabric fusion also but switched to the clear gel tacky glue by Aleenes, found it worked much better. The smell of the fabric fusion so strong I had to put it outside and run a fan where I was working, phewy.
    I have 2 yds of that and as yet haven't used it. Now I have a great idea I'll borrow from a talented blogger I found. So glad I did. I got mine at JoAnn's also. Had heard of it on some blog months ago and went looking for it at JoAnn's. We have Hobby Lobby, Michaels and JoAnn's in Grand Junction so at least I have some good sources for items. I'll be going to Walmart in G.J. to see what patterned burlap they have. The patterned burlap at Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's is more expensive so I'll be glad to see what Wally's price is. Thanks for the great tip. So glad Walmart got fabric back again. Again, loved your reversible table runner, perfect. Smart gal.

  11. That would be me..a non-sewer!! I love this and how fun is a runner that you can write on??!! I have never seen this fabric, but I'll keep my eye out for it! Love that it's reversible as well! Very cool project Gail!

  12. Love your fun runner! I've never seen this fabric but you can be sure I'll be looking for it now. Pinning

  13. This is a fantastic tutorial, Gail! Thanks so much for sharing how you made this great reversible runner. I have never seen or heard of the chalkboard fabric but I am going to take a coupon to Joann's and try to buy some today.

  14. Gail the border on this is adorable :) I love it!! Thank you so much for linking up your chalk board project with Get Your DIY on this week! I hope you'll join us today to link up any Thrifty Halloween Decor you have :)

    Mandy @ The Hankful House Blog

  15. What a cool project! And looks pretty easy!! Thanks for sharing on DIY Sunday Showcase! Im pinning this one to our board!!

  16. This is so so cute!! :)

    -Bonnie @ Revolutionaries

  17. This is such an original and genius idea!
    Thank you so much for sharing this on Tutorial Thursdays Linky Party. Your post will be featured in the Crafts Round Up post.
    Marigolds' Loft
    P.S. Pinned :)

  18. oh my goodness… I have been searching HIGH AND LOW for burlap maroon chevron!!! the Walmart where I am doesn't have it and I'm dying to get my hands on some!

  19. Thank you SO much for sharing your project at the Create With Me party!! I LOVE it! Pinned :)

  20. These are the people that take sewing to the next level, and have many different colors of thread, they may have tape measures, scissors, etc, that need to be kept organized. sewing machine table


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