Monday, May 16, 2011

creating JOY! - a lesson in burlap!

Next weekend I will gather with 700 of my closest friends for a women's retreat.  It's a yearly event, and always proves to be lots of fun!  I have the joy of being assigned to assist with the "Cup of Joy Coffee & Karaoke Bar" on Saturday evening.  My task is to provide table decorations for the event.  I was provided vases and earthy dried natural elemants to fill them.  I felt they could use just a bit of color, so I've added a simple stem to complete the filling of the vases.  I wanted something to place under the vase to help to fill the table area.  SO, drawing inspiration from the natural elements, as well as a current trend in home decor, I decided to make burlap table squares. 

Now,. you may ask (as the cutting table attendant at Hobby Lobby did this morning) - WHY BURLAP?  Here are my simple reasons.

1.  It is earthy, natural looking.

2.  It is inexpensive (I purchased the burlap I'm using at Hobby Lobby for $3.99/yard).

3.  It doesn't have to be sewn - making this an easy, no sew project.

I decided that I would make each square approximately 20" square (give or take).  After cutting the squares, I simply pulled a few of the pieces of weaving so that the burlap would fray. This is the square following squaring and fraying.

Then I took this handy dandy stencil that I also found at Hobby Lobby.  (I was really glad that I found a stencil that said "JOY" - it was perfect for this project!)  I applied stencil adhesive to the back of the adhesive and used this pie crust roller brayer to make sure that all of the edges of the word were pressed down well.  I also made sure to put a piece of paper underneath the area that would be stenciled so that ink would not seep through the burlap.

Now, this is where I went commando.  I had purchased stencil paint and daubers.  I carefully applied the paint to the first square.  It looked great.  However, because of the texture of the burlap, the dauber was messed up after just the first square.  I didn't want to have to go buy a boatload of daubers.  SO, I improvised.  I pulled out my bag of sharpies.  After testing a small patch, I realized that the sharpie would work on the fabric.  That helped me to decide to complete the project with sharpie instead.  I'm really glad that I did, too.  Each square were very quick to stencil using the sharpie.

After the stencil is filled

And with the stencil removed

With a completed square and the sample vase (the real set up will have coffe beans sprinkled around on the burlap square)

Rinse and Repeat - 15 times!  And this is what you end up with - ready to be on display for the wonderful women of Texas!

I've been wanting to do a burlap project for a long time.  Now that I know just how easy and quick it is, I'll be making up some projects for my own home.  I hope I've encouraged you to do the same!    If so, I'd love to read your comments on what you plan to create!

Go make some JOY!


  1. What a great idea! I love how the burlap looks are frayed and decorated...great ideas!

  2. This is a great posting I have read. I like your article. Thank you
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