Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hopping on the Burlap Bandwagon

So everyone seems to be using burlap lately. I feel like I can't open a blog without seeing something burlap.

I've had an aversion to burlap that I couldn't put my finger on, but I decided to go for it today and went out and picked up a yard of the stuff to make some place mats with.

Here we go!!!

Materials used (and picured)
  • 1 yard of burlap, bought at JoAnns for $2.50
  • Red yarn, inherited from mom who knows when
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Tapestry needles.
Step 1 - cut the burlap to your desired size, making sure to first cut off the selvage so you've got no threads bound at any edge. After seeing some awesome square pace mats while out to lunch in Vegas the other day, I decided to go for 15.5"x15.5" squares. (I'd love to show you a picture of the ones I saw, but it was a business lunch with my boss sitting next to me and I didn't think it was really a good idea to whip out my iPhone and take a picture of them right then.)

Step 2 - allow the edges of the burlap to fray a bit, but NOT to the finished point you are hoping for, throughout the rest of the process here, it will fray more... so if you want a half inch fray, and you get a half inch fray off the bat, you'll end up with an inch fray. Be forewarned. Oh, and be prepared for lots of fuzzies.

Next up - and I'm sorry for the super blurry picture, I didn't realize 'till downloading that they looked like this... Anyway, Next up, measure in about an inch, and pull on one of the strands of burlap. Then pull the whole sucker out. It might break, that's ok, just fish out the rest with a needle and keep pulling.

Then pull out 2 more...

Step 5 - Thread your tapestry needle with your desired color of yarn and begin weaving the needle through the space you opened up being sure to go opposite of the threads to the right and left of where you are weaving.

Step 6 - Keep on weaving all the way to the end. 
Step 7 - Count over a bit, I counted over 7 strands, and then pull out 3 more strands from the burlap and weave another length of yarn through. (You can see here what I mean about additional strands fraying on the edges while you're working.)

Step 8 - From here... do whatever you want... you might want to keep right on going all the way to the other side of the place mat with the stripes. You could turn the mat and go perpendicular to the first 2 strands you've woven in (which is what I did.) It's up to you.

I decided I only want to frame the top and side of the mat, it seemed how ours were meant to look. After I'd gotten everything the way I wanted, I clipped the ends of the red yarn, and cleaned up the fray.

Here are our finished place mats:

I'm pretty happy with how they turned out, we don't usually do place mats on this table,  still want to see every inch of it after all the hard work that went into it. But I did want a little color and texture on it right now. I imagine after Valentine's day is over I will store this away and perhaps do a runner down the middle.

Linking this up to Saturday Night Special at Funky Junk Interiors and Make Your Monday.


  1. Super Cool, I can't wait to try this. You have inspired me, I love your idea to use red yarn. You did a great job, thanks for sharing.

    Cha Cha

  2. These are just soooo cute...luv the red! Hope you have a FUN weekend!


  3. Great job! I have not seen that technique yet with burlap.

    I too have seen it everyone, but have not done anything with it yet. Maybe someday.

  4. These are great!
    Project Runway had designers make dresses out of burlap last week or the week before. Maybe that will be your next burlap project! LOL

  5. What a great idea!!! I just got a bag full of burlap from a friend...guess I know what to do with it now! :)

  6. Whil eyou may have had an aversion, I have been obsessed with burlap lately and have been rackign up quite a "to do" list of projects involving burlap. Consider your placemats added to the list! Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. So glad you decided to confront your aversion to burlap because those place mats turned out SO great!


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