Inspired by a rooftop garden party, I made a table runner for our craft table at The Cream Event NYC using yellow “slats”. After endless trips to the paint store and a shelf stocked with buckets of paint, I was left with a healthy amount of paint sticks. As anybody would, I kept them all. Until this herringbone table runner came to life. You can arrange the stirrers in different patterns and paint them to match you color palette, or create a colorblock or ombre effect across the table!

paint stick table runner

DIY paint stick table runnerDIY paint stick table runner

DIY paint stick table runner

What you will need:
paint sticks (or wood trim)
primer + paint or stain
glue gun
saw or miter saw
sand paper
roller brush

DIY paint stick table runner
DIY paint stick table runner

Start out by cutting the odd end of the paint sticks. For the arrow table runner, you will just need to cut the paint sticks in half. To make a herringbone pattern, you will need one extra cut, making three pieces per paint stick.

DIY paint stick table runner

Lay the pieces flat, spacing them out a bit so paint won’t stick. Using a large roller brush, start with primer.
DIY paint stick table runner

I used primer to hide the wood grain. Give one coat paint for now (I used Citrus Splash by Behr). Once they are dry, you can paint the edges. Stack the paint sticks sideways. With a clamp or just holding a few pieces at a time, run a few coats of paint. Let them dry, repeat on the other sides. Try a metallic gold or neon edge!

DIY paint stick table runner
DIY paint stick table runner

Once your pieces are painted, you can start playing with patterns. The herringbone pattern needs all pieces (mainly the center ones) to be as close to exact length as possible to ensure there are no gaps in the runner. The arrow pattern is a bit easier, so if the length of the pieces don’t really match, it won’t be noticeable. If you’re feeling handy, you can also cut the pieces at an angle to create a chevron pattern.

DIY paint stick table runner

With your chosen pattern in place and glue gun in hand, start gluing the wood pieces on a sheet of felt. I used felt because it’s thick enough that the glue won’t bleed through yet it’s not noticeable on the table, but you can use anything here. Trust me when I say gluing the pieces directly onto each other won’t work – it will come apart if you place them on an uneven surface. Glue all pieces in place on the felt. Flip it upside down and cut excess fabric.

herringbone paint stick table runner
DIY paint stick table runnerherringbone paint stick table runner

I bought sheets of felt at a craft store, and made the runner in tiles of 5 lines each. By making them in tiles, it will be much easier to transport. All you need to do is place them on the table next to each other, like a puzzle. You can also paint each “tile” in different colors to create a colorblock look. Once they were glued in place I sanded them again and gave one last coat of paint. After the wedding, you can take them home and use them as trivets! An all around win-win.


Comments (6):

  • Carolyn on August 14, 2014

    Love the look of this runner. Going to try it myself.
  • krystie on May 24, 2013

    this is such a great idea! love it for outdoor use too! I am pinning to my diy board!
  • kimi mischke on January 13, 2013

    Love this, but also wondering where those lovely little plant holders come from!
  • judy on September 4, 2012

    Any suggestions for getting your hands on that many pain sticks?
  • Nancy Ryder on September 2, 2012

    Well crafted and lovely.
  • Julia on August 31, 2012

    Very nice idea! I love the simplicity of it and how the table runner can be a little color splash on a table!


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