DIY, Holidays, Home

Handmade Holiday: Burlap Throwdown

Woah—there’s a million things to do with burlap, and boy, is it hot this year! We’ve seen so many factory patterned burlaps— but you know we’re gonna make our own! So here’s our Awesome 2014 DIY Burlap list, jam-packed with easy projects you could do with a few simple materials like fabric paint, stencils, and sewing stuff!

When we happened upon some busted coffee bags up for grabs outside our local shop, we had to up-cycle them somehow! Their graphics ranged from badass 3 color art, to one color informative text—but the back sides were all blank. Our heads swimming in ideas since summer, we just recently were able to begin craftin’. And since we each had ambitious ideas, we followed our individual aspirations instead of combining forces—But our common goal was to make the cutest, easiest DIY projects anyone could repeat!

Awesome 2014 DIY Burlap Projects

Ornaments

I made these adorable red, black and green Burlapped Trees this season and had so many leftover, we’re giving them away with every $60+ purchase on our Etsy shop! But you can make them at home with a few materials and some time. All you need is burlap, fabric paint, stencils, string, beads or buttons, a needle and some thread!

Materials

Scissors
Burlap
PVA or Aleene’s Glue
Acrylic Paint or Fabric Paint
Stencil (optional)
Needle & Thread
Sturdy Fishing Line, Cotton or Hemp string
Decorative beads and embellishments

Process

Paint: Use your fabric stencil paint, or hand paint that burlap, and let it dry.

Cut: Cut the burlap and a backing material in the shape of a tree about 1/4″ – 1/2″ larger than the final size.

Sew: Hand sew your small decorative beads on, adhering the backing and burlap together. After both sides are beaded, face their fronts together, so the backs are showing. Place your string in between the burlap pieces, with the knot at the top of the tree, and the loop the ornament hangs from at the bottom. That way, when you invert the tree after sewing, the loop is right side up! If you use decorative beads with a single hole, instead of a button with 2 holes that can be sewn on afterwards, you’ll want to knot and hand sew the beaded string into the trees first. Pin everything together with sewing pins, if you like. Starting at a bottom corner, hand or machine sew the tree up to a point at your string, and around to the other bottom corner. Don’t sew it completely together!

Invert it: Invert it through the opening you left! Using a crochet needle, skewer, or something sharp but not too sharp, poke those corners out from the inside so they’re nice and pointy.

Stuff & Finish: Stuff that sexy tree with pillow filler, hand stitch the bottom, and sew the shining star and trunk on—that’s it!

Cards

Cards are even easier than ornaments! I spray painted fabric paint atop snowflake stencils my friend Garrett cut out from online templates. After all, these intricate snowflakes required planning, and why not memorialize them after the paper is gone?

Materials

Scissors
Burlap
Glue—PVA or Aleene’s
Acrylic Paint or Fabric Paint
Stencil (optional)
Paper
Bone Folder or Metal Spoon

Process

Cut out your snowflake or stencil, and lay it flat on top of ironed burlap. Cover the areas you don’t want painted, and spray fabric stencil paint atop the stencil. Pull the stencil up, and flip it over to use on another card! After the paint dries, glue some paper to the burlap for your personalized message. Fold your card and use a bone folder or smooth, hard surface like a metal spoon, to rid air bubbles and really adhere the burlap and paper. Voila—cute lil cards!

Gift Tags

Use those painted burlap scraps for gift tags! I used Aleene’s tacky glue for these guys, but if you can work without making mistakes, I recommend  PVA glue—it’s awesomely strong and made for these kinds of jobs.

Materials

Scissors
Burlap
PVA or Aleene’s Glue
Acrylic Paint or Fabric Paint
Stencil (optional)
Paper
Hemp or Decorative String
Embellishments, Cutouts, Rub-ons (optional)
Wax Seal, Stamp and Low-temp Glue Gun (optional)
Bone Folder or Metal Spoon

Process

Reuse your card scraps, or spray fabric paint atop paper snowflake cutouts. Peel off the snowflake and press it onto another piece of burlap for 2 tags! Let them dry, then back them with paper. Let it dry again, then punch a hole through the tag and if you’re feeling saucy, add a rivet or wax seal. Finish it off with a string, and you have a hella cute handmade gift tag!

Wall Art

I’m not talking about simply hanging the burlap as is— I’m talking awesome fabric spray painted stencil art mounted on your wall! I used a paper ‘snowflake’ my neighbor Garrett designed last year from a Nightmare Before Christmas online template as a stencil. It’s a spider inside his web!

Materials

Scissors
Burlap
Fabric Paint
Stencil
Wood Board
Spray Paint
Staple Gun

Process

I couldn’t have done this so easily without Garrett’s spider snowflake, but after painting it with fabric stencil spray, all I had to do was stretch the burlap around a balsa wood frame, and staple it! I sewed a 1″ strip of leather around the edges by hand. Then I drilled 2 small holes on the inside back of the frame, and added picture hanging looped screws with wire. Glue some rubber stoppers on to keep the wall clean—and that’s it! You have amazing handmade art without drawing a thing!

DIY by Christmas!

We hope the Awesome Burlap list helps you with any last minute handmade ideas! Maybe next year we’ll tackle this hot material again, but for now, these are the best projects of our 2014 season. Thanks for looking! And stay tuned for our last few days of Handcrafted Holiday Gift Ideas!

—Catfight Craft

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