Give your next craft project a little shabby chic flair with some burlap! Burlap is inexpensive and it’s an eco-friendly fabric to boot! Here’s how to sew burlap plus some DIY ideas to get you started.
Burlap fabric is made from jute which – like hemp – requires little water and few pesticides to grow. That means that even conventional jute fabric is leaps and bounds greener than conventional cotton. Also like hemp, jute is a CO2-absorbing superstar. It grows fast and actually improves the soil where it’s planted, rather than sapping the nutrients like cotton does.
You can find burlap online by the yard pretty inexpensively. If you’re friendly with the folks at your local coffee shop, you can also ask them about snagging a few of their burlap sacks. Green coffee beans, like the ones pictured above, usually come in burlap sacks and many coffee shops don’t reuse those bags when they’re empty. Just ask nicely, and chances are you’ll come away with a burlap sack or two for crafting!
Next: How to Sew Burlap
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by DeaPeaJay
How to Sew Burlap
Burlap is a loose weave fabric, and it loves to unravel. That means that once you start cutting up burlap for your sewing project, it’s a good idea to see that thing through to the end. Burlap also sheds like gangbusters when you cut and sew it, so make sure you clean your machine after a burlap sewing session. You don’t necessarily need to lubricate, but you definitely want to pull up the slide plate, pull out the bobbin, and brush out any dust and lint that’s in there.
You can iron burlap just like any other plant-based fabric, and you definitely don’t want to skip pressing when you’re sewing jute. Kick that iron up to high, just like you would for cotton fabric, and don’t be shy about using steam!
The other trick to sewing burlap is choosing the right stitch. Since it’s a loose weave, a zig zag or embroidery stitch is going to work better than your machine’s straight stitch. You can top stitch with straight stitches, but use that zig zag stitch to sew the initial seams for a stronger finished product. The idea here is that these stitches will do a better job of grabbing all of the loose fibers.
Next: Burlap Craft Projects
Image Credit: Photo by Becky Striepe
Burlap Craft Projects
From eco-accessories to home decor, burlap is a versatile fabric that’s a joy to sew! Here are 10 burlap ideas to get you started. Do you have any burlap craft projects in the works? I’d love to hear what you’re sewing!
1. Grab some scrap fabric and vintage buttons to go along with that burlap and sew yourself up a set of burlap flowers!
3. The Painted Home shows you how to make a burlap bulletin board from old coffee sacks.
4. Hit the thrift store for a funky old footstool and update it with a burlap cover!
5. Got some smaller pieces of burlap? Make some freezer paper stencils and turn them into coasters!
6. Whip up a sweet burlap sunglasses case for your shades.
7. Green your decor with some sassy burlap pillows.
8. Sew a coffee bag apron for the caffeine addict in your life.
9. Grab some masking tape and paints and transform your burlap into a mod art piece.
10. Turn an old coffee sack into a burlap fabric box.
Image Credits: Photos by Becky Striepe