Sunday, November 27, 2011

Can She Really write MORE about Burlap?!?!

(my Leaf Chronicle article  for a day in novemeber . . .)


As I type this, we are preparing for a fall decorating workshop. Kendall will be teaching how to make a burlap wreath and I will teach how to make a banner echoing the sentiment of the season, “grateful.” The banner also incorporates burlap.

burlap wreath

grateful banner

Have you noticed a theme here? Heck, I think I mention it in most of my articles—burlap. I love it! I use it in a variety of ways, I buy products made out of burlap for the shop and I would probably wear it if it were softer!

“Wear it if it were softer, you say, Paige?”

Well, darn if Patty didn’t bring in some of the softest burlap I’ve ever felt! She told me she had heard that you could wash it in hot water, dry it and it would soften-up like linen. So I gave her a piece we had lying around and she experimented with it.

She washed it in hot water, with detergent and an extra amount of liquid softener. Then she tossed it in the dryer. Viola! A soft, slightly shrunken piece of burlap emerged. She said it did make quite a mess of her washer and dryer (so don’t do this with a load of black socks), but I do believe I’ll be trying this for my table topper this year.

The reasons I love this fabric are many, but the two top reasons are it is cheap and it is neutral in color. It works in every room of my house and has been used accordingly!

So, other than as a topper for my holiday table settings, the other projects I’ve used burlap for are:

“Aprons” for my dining room chairs. I draped a length of burlap across the back of the chair, added a length of ribbon to the bottom edge of the chair, which I use to secure the apron in place. I also added our monogram to the back side.

apron close-up

Curtains. I’ve made full-length curtains in my bedroom, which subsequently went up in flames—reference a blog post for Jan 2010—and haven’t been reproduced. I’ve made café curtains for my dining room. They lay flat—no gathering—so the stiffness of the fabric works very well.return projects 003

(These are the curtains that existed for a brief shining moment in our bedroom—if I do it again, I’ll wash the fabric first.)

dinner table settings 005

(here’s a shot of the full array of burlap used in my dining room—the table runner—as wide as the table—the chair aprons and the café curtains.  The valances are an aqua toile with a taupe print—I added taupe tassels to “gussy them up.”)

Placemats. The easiest project ever! Simply cut out rectangle slightly larger than your desired finished size, then you pull the threads to fringe the ends. Done! This works for a table runner, as well.

So, here’s an idea that you can use for gift giving. Make coaster-sized burlap squares, then tie together a set of six—heck, twelve, they’re cheap—with some ribbon. There you go—a gift for almost anyone. If you want to take it to the next level, you can stencil the monogram of your gift recipient on the coasters.

So, I hope you have enjoyed the many wonders of burlap today!


I’d love to hear how you’ve used burlap in your décor.

Thank you for your indulgence.


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