Monday, March 15, 2010

What's the flap, Burlap?

I have seen a lot of {burlap} things with the word "Lucky" printed on them out there in blogland. I like that! So, I combined some burlap experimentation and "Lucky" with a little luck of my own and this is what I came up with.

It's cute, isn't it? Not a show-stopper, but cute!

 I can't say I was excited to work with burlap, but I am always up for a new craft medium. Since I have kind of skipped St. Patrick's Day this year (Who I am kidding? I have kind of skipped most of my life for the last couple of weeks just to get my Etsy going!), I thought I would at least do a craft or two so I am not completely negligent. This craft fits my two essential crafting criteria: It is easy to make and very quick.
I got my green burlap at Joann's (super cheap--$1.49/yard I think), low-loft batting, cardboard from a cereal box (Lucky Charms, of course! Way to recycle BTW), paper heart pattern (after you make one you like, trace and cut out two more--mine were each about 6 inches wide.), green embroidery floss (Garden variety DMC floss--you could also use a contrasting color.), glue or carpet tape, black or green Sharpie, wire, raffia, and cream paint.
 (Could there be any more parenthetical references in there?)

I'll just start by saying I am sorry about the pictures. I've been crafting at night and that means night pictures. It's this way or no pictures. As it is, I took as few as possible!

To make this, tape your hearts together to make a shamrock. Pin to two layers of burlap and cut out so you have two shamrocks exactly the same size. Oh, yeah--I just drew the stem on with a Sharpie on one piece of burlap and then cut around it as I cut around my pattern. Then, I flipped that one to the inside and matched the other one up to it so I didn't have any pen marks showing.

Next trim around the pattern about 1/2 inch all of the way around. Then, trace it on your cardboard. Lay the cardboard over the batting and cut both out together. It may help to tape the edges of the batting to the cardboard. I didn't worry about the stem for the cardboard, but I cut it out of the batting. You can use the cutout "frame" from the burlap to trace the stem on your cardboard--don't forget to make it smaller, too.

Trace your letters onto your top piece of burlap using a pencil. I just printed out what I wanted on regular paper which allowed me the trial and error of getting the sizing right, then cut it out and used the stencil that was left over. This would also be a great place to use your freezer paper stencils.

Put the burlap over something to catch any seepage and paint the letters--be sure to stay within your marked lines. Once it is dry, you can go back with a Sharpie and trace around the letters to help define them and neaten them a bit, if you would like--I didn't, though.

Next, glue or tape the batting to the cardboard with strong tape. This is a good place for carpet tape and I highly recommend it. It is double sided and super strong.  Just be sure to put the tape on the cardboard and peel off the backing, the batting and burlap aren't stiff enough for this. Then using your carpet tape or glue, adhere the cardboard to the back layer of your shamrock so nothing shows through where someone might see. The back side will be facing the wall or door. 

(Yes, I taped to the burlap and yes, it was difficult!)

Hand sew around the outside (about 1/4 inch in from the edge) using your embroidery floss. I chose to do a basting stitch because it is quick and easy the look I wanted. Unfortunately, my green floss was so close in color to the green burlap that it is hard to see in the pictures. It is probably better that way because you would be blown away by my nice, even stitches. (HAHAHAHAHA)

Add a hanger to the back. Because you used that sturdy piece of cardboard, you should be able to use whatever kind of hanger you like since you don't have to worry about the sides flopping around. I chose wire because I could also put a raffia bow on it and that raffia just seemed like it was supposed to go with the burlap. You could use raffia alone, jute, ribbon, a dowel-type hanger, or whatever else you can think of.

There you have it. It seems like a lot of supplies, but they are pretty easy to gather and the craft itself is definitely quick and easy. So, just in case you thought you were going to skip this fun holiday, now you have a cute craft!

As for me, other people can use burlap--I do not like it at all. Next time I do something like this, I will use felted wool or even cotton fabric. This stuff just makes my hands feel dry and the fuzz/threads get everywhere.

This would also be a great craft for children (ages 6-12?). None of it is all that hard and, with a little help, they could do all of it and feel quite proud.

Go get started on your lucky craft, whatever it might be!

I linked this craft here today:

Cottage Instincts: Make it for Monday

The Girl Creative: Just something I whipped up Monday


Two Shades of Pink,  said... March 16, 2010 at 7:26 AM  

Tammy! I totally missed this post! I love this and I have been obsessed with burlap for weeks now! I just posted on TTT burlap napkin rings made out of hair curlers...I start laughing every time I think of it! I so wish you lived closer so we could craft it up together.

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