When I was a child, one of my favorite field day games at my school was the sack race. I remember the thrill of pairing up with my best friend as we climbed into that woven beige colored bag that would soon become our mode of transpo in a race to the finish line. Though somewhat rough to the touch, the burlap material I knew back then is not too different from the one that I use today for my unique one of a kind handcrafted bags. The difference, a little less abrasive, a little more color selection.
Tough enough to be used as a building material and loose enough to place over the ground as a weed barrier, burlaps versatility and potential are as endless as the artists imagination. From flexible draping paper and decorative wall hangings, rug backings and decorative dollies, record of burlap use dates back from the biblical days, all the way up to modern times. Its durable yet flexible nature makes it a great fabric for a wide array of uses.
A natural fabric made from jute, hemp or flax fibers, burlap is grown all over Asia and Central America. It prevents soil erosion, promotes plant life, and acts as a natural soil enhancer. On the go-green sustainable planet scene, burlap is recyclable and may one day surpass cotton as the most used natural fiber. In the meantime, post consumer burlap composts create a constantly renewable product that increases soil fertility rather than depleting it.
Weave it, wet it, embroider it, shred it, braid it, mold it, stretch it, fold it…..With so many positive attributes and usage techniques, burlap offers some great crafting ideas for the decorator, seamstress, agriculturalist, and artist in all of us.
Top Ten Burlap Craft Ideas
1. Use loose weaved burlap as a carpet backing.
2. Embroider with fabric scraps, yarn and other odds and ends to create beautiful wall hangings.
3. Shred into paper pulp and add to paint for a textured look on any surface
4. Sew up ends for a rustic and natural window dressing.
5. Lay over lawn to encourage grass growth.
6. Wet into a paper mache like texture to make bowls, vases, and sculptures
7. Laminate on card stock to make beautiful cards and paper art.
8. Stretch fine weave burlap on a frame to make a textured canvas for art.
9. Braid or weave strands and add beads for creative jewelry.
10. Sew up to make cute satches for potpourri or jewelry.
11. Create a potato sack.
12. Line and paint to make unique back packs and hand bags.
13. Line to make fun hats.
14. Leave raw and create great recyclable shopping bags
15. Sew up sides for a good old fashion sack race.
Whatever you are inspired to do with burlap, have fun doing it!
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Posts by J&O Fabrics Store