Burlap Crafting Ideas, Tips and Tricks (Illustrated)
Welcome to our guide to DIY burlap crafts!
In this extensive post, we set out tips and tricks that are important to know before you dive headlong into cute burlap crafts you find on Pinterest!
Speaking of social media, there are hundreds of burlap crafts and projects circulating around the internet, from stenciled placemats to elaborate wreaths and wedding decor. As with all projects, some are easier than others, but crafting with burlap, which tends to fray and turn into a mess even for the most experienced crafter, can be just as tough as taking care of the burlap after the craft is complete.
We’ll cover detailed tips to make working with burlap (whether it’s your first time or your hundredth) easier, and also show how to wash, care for it and store it after you finish. We’ll also suggest some easy ideas for crafts and a few quick pointers.
Enjoy the article and happy crafting!
Based on Dinah Wulf’s article (used with permission).
How to Remove Odor from Burlap
It can depend on the project you’re doing, but typically it’s all right to work with burlap without washing it. However, for those times when you choose to reuse burlap sacks that may have contained coffee beans or other fragrant objects, you’ll want to wash it.
There are three good ways to remove the toughest odors from burlap; the first is to simply leave it out in the fresh air for a few days, although you’ll want to make sure it’s in a dry place. The strength of the smell will determine how long you need to leave it out. You’ll want to keep the burlap out of the sun to prevent fading, unless the burlap has a stain. In that case, the sun will help to bleach the stain out.
If airing the burlap doesn’t seem to work, or you’re on a time crunch, you can sprinkle the fabric with baking soda diluted in water. Gently dab the mixture on the fabric and let it dry.
The third way to get rid of any offending smells is to steam-iron the fabric. You’ll simply place the iron on a high setting and using the steam-function if you have it. If you don’t, a spray bottle will work. Iron very lightly, while allowing the steam to penetrate the fibers.
How to Wash Burlap
If you actually need to wash the burlap, you should so by hand. Place the burlap in the sink with cold water and a mild, gentle detergent. You’ll want to avoid any harsh chemicals.
Pro-Tip: Hot or even warm water may cause shrinkage. Handle the burlap gently to avoid fraying or unraveling.
Once in the sink, allow the fabric to soak for a few minutes. Then, let the water out of the sink and rinse the burlap with cold water until the water runs clear. You actually can machine-wash some burlaps in cold water on the hand-wash setting, but you’ll end up with a full lint trap and a lot of fraying, and you’ll even need to clean the washer later, so it’s better to just avoid the mess.
To dry the burlap after washing, lay it flat between two towels and put pressure on it to absorb the water. You’ll want to avoid twisting and wringing out the fabric to keep the burlap from separating or distorting. You can also dry the burlap outdoors, but keep it out of direct sunlight.
Fraying: There are products available, like Fray Check, that you can use to stop the burlap from fraying. Cover your workspace with cardboard to protect it. After applying the sealant, allow it to dry completely (about 30 minutes). Some sealants don’t dry clear, so be sure to test the sealant on a scrap piece of your burlap first.
Wrinkles: Use spray starch to iron the wrinkles out of your fabric. A high setting for linen works really well. You can also steam it on high heat. To avoid wrinkles and creases in your curtains, table runners, or table cloths, roll the burlap rather than fold it.
Burlap Crafting Ideas & Tips
Burlap is a very popular material with crafters. It’s an inexpensive material that’s rustic, yet feminine. Burlap is one of those materials that may be trendy, but it’s also timeless.
It’s popular for use in weddings, showers, and for home accent decor projects including wreaths, pillows, and curtains. Burlap is also a perfect material for table linens, runners, placemats and napkin rings. It provides the sense of natural fibers for a chic country style in an everyday setting or for a special event.
Burlap is a handy material that can be used in virtually any project, but it doesn’t mean that using it is simple.
Before you begin your project, make sure you keep a spray bottle of water and a small handheld vacuum within reach. Shake off any excess debris outside or vacuum the burlap to remove dust and any loose fibers. You’ll be glad you did.
Don’t forget to protect your workspace too; you, your carpet, and your floor will be covered in burlap by the time you’re finished. Prepare accordingly.
Cutting Burlap: There are a few things to keep in mind when cutting burlap. To reduce dust, lightly mist the burlap with water from the spray bottle we talked about earlier before you cut it. A rotary cutter with a straight edge is less messy and more accurate than scissors, but if you use scissors, choose a thread line in the burlap where you want your straight edge to be. Gently pull that thread all the way out of the fabric to reveal a clear line to guide your scissors.
How to Create a Burlap Wreath
Burlap is really easy to stencil. You could stencil a monogram on your projects to add a little extra personal touch. Stenciling is simple, dries quickly, and it rarely bleeds.
When stenciling on burlap, use a spouncer brush and acrylic craft paint. Cover the brush completely with paint, but before you start stenciling, dab the excess paint on to a paper plate.
Use an up-and-down motion to stencil to reduce bleeding as much as possible. Two light coats of paint are better than one very heavy one. The paint will dry in approximately 15 minutes. You’ll want to wash your stencils immediately to keep them clean.
For smaller projects, consider using burlap ribbon. This can greatly reduce the mess, and burlap ribbon comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns. You can use it for gift wrapping, wreaths, to wrap around vases, or embellish pretty much any accent in your home.
Speaking of wreaths, to make one you’ll use a wire wreath form. Loop the burlap ribbon through the form to create small bunches of large loops. Weave the ribbon, alternating in and out of the rings of the wire wreath form. Secure the ribbon with floral wire when finished.
Burlap is a timeless fabric. You can use it with antique furniture, or with more modern pieces. It’s a material that is naturally rustic, but can be transformed into something elegant. With these tips and tricks, you can create and care for all the burlap craft projects you’ve ever wanted to make–and make less of a mess doing it!Images and content used with permission by Fix.com
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