Who doesn’t enjoy seeing a jolly Santa face during the holidays? This DIY pillow will be a Christmas favorite in my home for years to come. To make this Santa pillow, we used a burlap pillow flat, tea dyed pre-made yoyos and a bit of homespun fabric. My very talented friend, Annetta Gregory, painted the face. I love the personality she gave my Santa! Then I stitched the hat fabric into place and then glued the yoyos on. Taking care, of course, to avoid stitching or gluing through to the back side of the pillow. I had a 16″ poly fiberfil pillow insert that I used to stuff my pillow but you could also use any 16″ – 18″ size pillow that you had on hand which you might be tired of. This Santa pillow now sits on my fireplace hearth. Notice how well he goes with our burlap and homespun initial charm stockings?
Shall we all agree that ivory lace and fabric looks so amazing and feminine when combined with the color and texture of burlap? These cute ruffled burlap and ivory Christmas trees were super simple to make and can be displayed during the holidays or at a wedding or even as everyday decor with a rustic theme. I recently made several trees to sell at an October craft show and I was surprised at how easy and quick these trees were to put together when I used our pre-ruffled burlap ribbons. Following is a brief outline of how I created one of these tree designs. The basic process is the same for all of them and you can change up the look by changing your materials or fabrics. The possibilities are limitless!
- These instructions are for the larger burlap and ivory fabric tree on the far right in the image above. For this tree, you’ll need:
- a 9″ x 1″ styrofoam disc,
- packing tape,
- newsprint or scrap paper
- 1″ wide burlap ribbon
- 2 rolls of 4″ ruffled burlap ribbon,
- about 6 inches of 2″ ruffled burlap ribbon,
- 1 yard of Osnaburg fabric (or any fabric of your choice),
- 1 puffy star ornament,
- about 6 inches of 4mm plastic ivory bead garland
- 1 small diameter dowel rod about 6 inches long
- jute string
- glue gun and glue
- If you can find a pre-made tree form at a craft store that is the correct size, you can spend a little extra money and save time by skipping the next few steps. However, if you take the time to make your own form, you can be picky about the size and get exactly what you want. It’s very simple.
- Roll your poster board into a megaphone shape with a small opening about 1/2 inch on one end. You can make it either short ‘n’ fat or tall ‘n’ skinny. If you’re making more than one tree, it’s cute to make several different sizes. You’ll want the styrofoam disc to fit loosely into the bottom of the cone. But don’t wedge the disc up in there yet, just test it for size right now.
- Once you’ve got a shape/size you are happy with, tape the poster board into the cone shape. Use lots of tape to cover any poster board overlaps.
- Crumple up newsprint or any type of paper filler and stuff into the cone. Make sure you get some small pieces stuffed all the way up to the top. You can stuff the top inch or two from the top opening.
- Loosely place the styrofoam disc inside the cone and mark the cone around the bottom of the disc. Try to make the disc as level as possible but don’t worry too much. You will be able to adjust it for levelness in a minute.
- Now trim off any extra poster board around the bottom. Keep trimming until the cone can sit snugly down over the top of the styrofoam.
- Adjust the placement of the cone until it stands straight on the styrofoam. This is an important step because if you don’t get it standing upright now, you will forever have a leaning Christmas tree! It’s ok for the disc to show under the posterboard. You are going to cover all that soon. Just keep messing with the placement of the cone and the disc until you get the disc wedged tight and the tree straight.
- Glue the disc into place with a hot glue gun or regular crafter’s glue and give it time to set up firmly. From this point on, all gluing should be done with a hot glue gun.
- Now double down on the styrofoam by taping it into place also. Use a generous amount of packing tape and tape multiple times across the bottom of the cone until the styrofoam is mostly covered in tape.
- Now your base is finished! If you purchased a base, you can pick up with us now on the next step.
- Glue a band of the 1″ wide burlap ribbon around the bottom of the cone. Make sure that the lower edge of the ribbon comes all the way to the table so that the poster board and styrofoam are fully hidden at the bottom of the tree.
- Now take your 4″ ruffled ribbon and begin gluing it around the bottom. Place it so that the bottom edge just brushes the table. Make one complete row around the bottom. When you get back to the beginning, keep going but begin gradually moving the row up until the bottom of the new row is just touching the top of the old row. This is the spacing that you want to keep now all the way up the tree. Be sure to gently hold the burlap against the cone for a moment or two to give the hot glue time to set up. This will keep the rows from sliding around after they have been placed.
- Somewhere about 2/3 of the way up the tree, you will want to start adding a few extra pleats to give the ribbon a little more fullness. This can easily be done by pinching up the burlap after you’ve glued it on but before the glue is set.
- Wrap all the way to the top in a continuous line. When you reach the end of the first roll of ribbon, just glue that down and overlap the new one over it by approximately 3/4 inch. Remember to continue to pinch in some extra fullness as you get to the top so that your layers are fluffy.
- When you reach the top, cut the ruffle at an angle from the top to the bottom as shown below. Then glue the raw edge to the top of the tree, pinching and ruffling it with the glue.
- Now tear (don’t cut) 5 – 6 strips of fabric. Each strip should be about 4″ wide and 44″ long.
- Gather the fabric by stitching with a machine along one side with a long spaced running stitch. Pull the thread from the back side to gather the fabric to create a ruffle.
- You will glue the fabric ruffle to the cone about 2″ above the burlap ruffle all the way around. But first, start at the bottom where your burlap ruffle first began to incline. Tuck the fabric ruffle up out of sight there and glue in place. Let the fabric ruffle slowly begin to appear under the burlap ruffle until it is about evenly spaced between the burlap ruffle above and the burlap ruffle below.
- Glue a small piece of the 2″ ruffled burlap all around the top to finish it off and to hide the top of the cone from sight.
- Now for the star topper. Clip a small hole in the bottom of the star ornament and insert the dowel rod. Push it fairly far up so that it will keep the star secure and upright. Secure with glue. Wrap the plastic pearl beads around the base of the dowel rod. You could also use jute for this if you wish instead of beads. After all glue has set, insert the bottom of the dowel rod into the top of the tree. If you don’t feel it hitting some of the paper stuffing, then stuff a little more into the cone from the top. Small pieces work best. Use a generous amount of glue to glue the dowel rod into the cone. Like a LOT of glue. It’s going to have to fill up any airspace left around the papers to hold the star securely.
- Now this step is not always necessary. But if you find that the top of your tree is kind of messy looking where the star goes into the tree, you can glue some coiled up jute into place around the stem of the star to hide any messiness. I made several trees this weekend and some needed this little extra cosmetic and some didn’t.
There you have it! A great easy way to make a holiday burlap tree with lots of “wow” factor. Of course, this design can be developed in so many different directions. One of my favorites is to leave out the white fabric and just make the burlap rows closer together. If you do that you’ll need twice as much of the 4″ ruffle and you’ll want to space the rows about 2″ apart. Another great version is to cover your cone with burlap first and then glue the 2″ ruffle around in a spiral pattern with about 1″ between the rows. Both of these alternative designs are included in the picture below.
Are you inspired to give this a try? Will you make one just like one of these or will you put your own special touch to it and make something uniquely yours? We’d love to see pictures of what you make!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will direct your paths.
I’ve been looking at these Simple Burlap Stockings in the studio for quite some time now thinking what a great canvas they would be for Christmas colors. Last weekend I finally found some time to “play” with the stockings. When you start with a basic element like the Simple Stocking, the majority of the work has already been done for you. You can just jump right into the fun part of embellishing! This is especially good if you want to make a variety of similar but different products to sell as a craft. The stockings I made will be placed in a local craft store and hopefully finding new homes before Christmas but I wanted to show them to you here and maybe inspire you to get your Christmas craft on!
I’ve in love with this tea dyed vintage style Venetian lace that we have now so I used it on most of my stockings. I think the soft, elegant but shabby style of the lace is a great combo with the rougher, rustic burlap. I also used homespun yoyos, ribbon, and fabric to create a variety of different styled designs.
Today I took a good look at our Ruffled Burlap Stocking and decided maybe it could be a good canvas also. The oh-so-cute ruffle at the top of the stocking seemed to give it a more playful attitude so for this stocking, I embellished with our new Christmas color wood buttons, brightly colored rick rack, fabric, burlap flowers and jute string.
No two are the same which is what made this project so fun. Using the pre-made burlap stockings as a canvas for embellishing is what made these crafts super quick and easy. These stockings are great for family craft night yet they are economical enough to sell them at a craft show for a little Christmas cash.
If the Christmas craft bug has you now, make sure that you are on our mailing list. Stefanie is planning some Cyber Monday specials in the Homespun & Burlap Christmas category this year.
So plug in a little Christmas music, grab some hot cider and tour my embellished Christmas stockings. Enjoy!
”May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.”
Did anyone plant a garden this year? Hubs and I both have parents that have always delighted in growing veggies each summer and they loved sharing the fruit of their labors with friends and family. We, however, have never really been able to grow much of anything. Truth be told, we probably just never really gave the garden our full attention as it requires. However, this year was our first year with an “empty nest” and thus the garden became a very welcome focus.
We took the simple route and created some raised bed gardens around our house which had little or no landscaping. We’ve enjoyed seeing the foliage develop although we probably got a little carried away with some of it. I think next year will spread out our plants a little more.
But the most fun thing that we did was creating a straw bale garden. Yes, straw! A friend told us that we could line up straw bales (not hay but straw) side by side and put a metal cattle panel in between them as a trellis. The straw holds the trellis in place without an additional support. We watered the straw for 1 week and fertilized twice during that time. Then we planted tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, sweet peppers and marigolds in the straw. No dirt. We just pushed the little baby plants right down into the straw. Then we just watered the straw when we watered the rest of our gardens. Yes, the garden grew and we had some nice produce grown in STRAW! :-) Who knew….
The sweet thing about this style of garden is that it can be done anywhere that you have sunshine and a little space. The soil can be poor or rocky and it doesn’t matter because your plants never contact the soil. You can even do this on a driveway or concrete if you have space. If you don’t like your location, you can place it somewhere else next year.
We’ve had our straw bale garden now for about three months. We have found that the tomatoes did not do well. Neither did the sweet peppers or the marigolds. The cucumbers went CRAZY! Thus I’ve been making a lot of pickles this summer. :-) The sweet potatoes and the pumpkins have not harvested yet but they are growing nicely and I’m expecting good results. The straw is starting to disintegrate now and by winter, it’ll probably just be a nice organic heap for the compost pile. Hubs is already talking about doing several more next year. It’s such a novelty and makes interesting conversation among other gardeners.
We’ve enjoyed our raised bed gardens and our straw bale garden so much this year. It’s been fun to experience the principle of sowing and reaping that God established in our world. I’ve often thought of the scripture that says: To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.
There’s a lot to be learned from the garden if a person will just listen.
I took a LOT of pictures during the growing and the harvesting. I won’t bore you with all of them but I’m going to post some of my favorites below. Some of them may or may not have grandchildren pictured also.
By the way, did you notice the cute “Garden Blessings” burlap bag? This is a product we sell in the JubileeFabric.com store. With any purchase of $15 or more from Jubilee Fabric, you can get a free Garden Blessings bag using this coupon code: blessings. Offer ends Sept 30.
First the Straw Garden:
The Raised Bed Gardens:
I was so excited to see our new Homespun Kitchen Towels in the studio this week! I just love these soft, classic woven towels. Not only do they look great in your kitchen but they can be the basis for some fun and easy handmade craft ideas as well.
So as we are celebrating “Christmas in July” this month, I thought I’d pull out some of my favorite holiday towel craft project pics and share them with you.
One super quick and easy holiday craft is to applique some Christmas shapes onto the towels using the frayed edge technique. Just leave the raw edges of the appliques exposed and make a few little clips into the loose seam allowance. Add buttons, bows or fabric patches to embellish. Then machine wash/dry your appliqued towel and the holiday design will come out all frayed and shabby style.
I’ve made these in the past to give as teacher gifts, hostess gifts and I’ve also sold many of them at craft shows. Do these towel projects inspire any good ideas for you? What craft would you do with a homespun kitchen towel? I’m sure I’ll be doing up some new ones too now that we have a fresh stash of homespun towels on hand.
One of our customers, Michael E., recently sent us some pics of his rag style quilting projects. We featured a couple of those in our last post and I was so inspired by his creativity that I decided to do a similar wall hanging design with a simple tutorial. A big shout out to Michael for letting me be a “copy cat” and do something similar!
So here’s my version of the Americana Ragged Style Wall Hanging. This project is easily adapted to any size that you want. Mine ended up being about 30″ x 24″. The fabric yardages listed are estimates but if you have left over fabric, you can always create some coordinating “accessories” like I’ll show you at the end of the tutorial.
- 1.75 yards Red Delicious 6 homespun fabric
- 1 yard Ecru Solid homespun fabric
- 1/2 yard Twilight Blue Stripe homespun fabric
- approx 32″ x 25″ thick felt or thin loft batting
- 1 roll of 2″ Frayed Edge Burlap Ribbon
*Homespun fabric is highly recommended. It is the only fabric that will fray as shown in the pictures.
- Cut 6 strips of red fabric: 3″ x 32″
- Cut 6 strips of ecru (or white) fabric: 3″ x 32″
- Cut 6 strips of ecru (or white) fabric: 3″ x 17.5″
- Cut 8 strips of red fabric: 3″ x 17.5″
- Cut 14 strips of blue fabric: 3″ x 15.5″
- Cut 1 piece of red fabric approx 33″ x 26″ (backing)
- Cut 1 piece of batting approx 30″ x 24″
- Print your star pattern pieces from this PDF file
- Cut 4 of the star side pieces from the ecru fabric
- Cut 4 of the star bottom pieces from the ecru fabric
- Cut 2 of the star top pieces from the ecru fabric
- For this project, all your fabric stripes on the front of the flag will be two layers thick. This will help make your frayed seams fluffier. So when the directions say to stitch a white strip to a red strip, keep in mind that each strip needs to be two layers thick. All seams will be 5/8″ unless otherwise noted.
- Do all your “tie down” stitching at the beginning and ending of each seam about 5/8″ away from the edge. This is because the last 5/8″ of all seams will become fray when it is washed. As with all rag stitching, lighten the pressure of the presser foot if your machine allows that or stitch with a walking foot. If you don’t have either of these options, just pin very closely so that the fabric won’t slide while stitching.
- All your raw seam allowances are going to have to be clipped at some point. Most of the time, I prefer to clip at the end but in this case, I found it very easy to clip the long strips before I started sewing. You may either do as I did in these pics and clip now or you can clip at the end if you’re more comfortable with that. I found that I could clips several layers at once this by clipping now. To “clip” the seam allowances, you’ll want to make small clips in the raw edges about 1/2″ deep and about 1/2″ apart. Don’t clip the short ends yet. You may be trimming those.
- Stitch the 6 long strips of red and 6 long strips of ecru together lengthwise, alternating colors. Each strip will be doubled so you’ll have three red and three ecru stripes when finished as shown in the image.
- Stitch the 8 remaining red strips and the 6 remaining ecru strips together in the same way.
- Stitch the 14 blue strips together just like the other sets.
- Now stitch the blue strips to the shorter red strips matching up the seams. Lay the seam allowances all in one direction.
- Clip the seam allowance loose after stitching so that the seam allowances are free and not stitched down.
- The upper part of the flag base is complete. Now stitch this to the long red strips keeping the blue portion on the upper left. Press the flag out flat and preferable keep all seams folding in one direction.
- At this time, you may realize that some of the strips have ended up being a bit longer than the others. That’s fine… “close enough is good enough” in rag stitching. To remedy this, just trim your flag base slightly on both right and left sides so that all the strips line up nicely. Use a yard stick to draw a line if needed and make sure that the length of the top edge is still the same as the length of the bottom edge after trimming.
- Place the batting material on the pressed flag on the side WITHOUT the seam allowances. The seam allowances of the flag should be facing your table, away from the batting. Trim the batting so that it is at least 1.5 inches smaller than the flag on all sides.
- Place the red backing material on top of the batting to form a “sandwich” with the batting in the middle. Pin the edges to hold it all in place and flip it over so that the flag is on top with the seam allowances up.
- Now trim the backing to fit the size of the flag if needed.
- Pin frequently along all the outer edges and the seams. Stitch on top of the long stripe seams through all the thicknesses. This will “quilt” the wall hanging. A walking foot on your machine can be helpful here. If you don’t have one, just life the presser foot occasionally to ease the top layer of fabric in. If you have occasional tucks and puckers, don’t worry over it. The fray will fluff out over those seams and hide many flaws! “Close enough is good enough” in rag stitching!
- Now stitch your star together. The star has one point at the top, two points on the sides and two points on the bottom. The pattern pieces are marked accordingly but they are very similar in size so if you get them mixed up, it really won’t be very noticeable. The pic below shows how the star pieces lay out. The short sides are the ones that stitch together, the long sides are the points that extend and the arrows show you which end goes to the center of the star.Just like the stripes, the star pieces will also be two layers thick. Your seam allowances on the star will be 1/2″. The small star on the pattern pieces shows you which end goes to the center of the stars. The other end of the point is on the outer part. Press the star flat after stitching. The “front side” of the star is the side with the seam allowances.
- Pin the star onto the center of the blue stripe portion of your flag. Stitch about 1/2″ from the outer edges.
- Stitch around the entire perimeter of the entire flag about 5/8″ from the raw edge. I call this a victory lap because it always seems to be the last sewing step!
- Clip any raw edges that you haven’t clipped already. If you didn’t clip in the first step, you’ll have a lot to clip now. If you did clip in the first step, you’ll need to clip the right and left sides, the backing, the star and the seam between the blue and the red/white stripes. Be very careful that you don’t clip through any stitching when making your clips.
- Wash your flag hanging in a washing machine. I recommend using a high water level even for this one item so that you’ll have minimal color bleed from the red fabric. I also recommend using about 1/4-1/2 cup of table salt in the wash water to help set the fabric dye. Liquid fabric softener will help loosen the strings but it’s not required. After washing, take the flag outside and shake loose the remaining strings before you put it in the dryer. Tumble dry and then shake loose even more strings! You’ll also want to stop the dryer at least once or twice and clean the lint screen.
- After washing and drying, check to make sure your flag is hanging fairly straight. You can gently stretch any short sides if necessary. You can also wet it again and lay it out flat and square to dry. Press from the back side if any ironing is needed.
- Cut seven pieces of the burlap ribbon (6.5″ – 7″ long) and stitch them onto the back side of the flag to make some loops for hanging. These I applied after the washing and drying was done. I just stitched through all thicknesses (flag and burlap). I made the loops long enough that I could stitch them twice, once following the the first seam of the flag and then again following the second seam. I think there are many ways you could find to hang this wall hanging or you could display it on a table or coffee table as is without any loops.
When you are rag stitching, scraps are never just scraps… they are pieces of fabric begging to become a coordinating accessory! These are a couple of goodies, a cute Americana heart pillow and some Americana star quilted coasters, that I made with my left over fabric from this project. They will look great with my wall hanging and decorate my house so nicely for Memorial Day and then again on Independence Day. The star coasters can even embellish a decorative banner for the wall. Oh, the things you can do with scraps and rags!
While the vast majority of our fabric customers are female, we do have a few occasional guy customers. One of these guys recently surprised us with some pics of his recent projects. All I can say is… wow! Michael E.’s quilts were beautiful and creative! Michael tells us he is a beginner and is just learning to use the sewing machine that he’s had for over a year. His first rag style quilt project was for his daughter and he did the quilt in our bright homespun fabrics. Now that Michael has demonstrated his sewing skills, he says his wife is thrilled to be lining up some “projects” for him!
Here’s what Michael said about his first project:
“I’m a 40 year old man who just learned to load a bobbin last month. I think I sewed my very first stich a little over 30 days ago…. if I can do it, pretty much anyone can. The quilt is roughly 60″ x 60″ (my daughter wanted it larger than a throw) and the seems are 5/8″. It was a great opportunity to learn a new skill while having a project I could work on with my daughter.”
Michael recently sent us a pic of his most recent project, an American flag design! This quilt is absolutely beautiful and he used several of our red, white and blue homespun fabrics to create it with. This was his own design concept and he worked out the dimensions and pattern pieces using this link to the specifications of the American flag.
I’m thinking that Michael shows a lot of promise as a quilt designer! Too bad it’s only his hobby and not a career but I’m sure he will enjoy designing quilts for years to come. Rag quilting can be quite addictive!
This American Flag quilt has inspired me to create a similar wall hanging. I’ll be posting a basic tutorial for that soon along with a few other “stars ‘n’ stripes” inspired accessories.
Although it’s not quite as ambitious as designing and creating your own quilt, my nephew-in-law, Bryan, did a bit of sewing not too long ago. He and my niece, Amanda, were celebrating their first Christmas together and they wanted to create their own Christmas stocking using our ragged style stocking pattern and homespun fabrics.
Bryan and Amanda each picked out their own stocking style and the fabrics they wanted to use. They were both beginners on the sewing machine but they both managed to stitch up their own stocking very nicely. The results were great and Bryan and Amanda will have these handmade stocking heirlooms for years to come.
So I’m inclined to think that many of our guys are more creative than they are letting on! Do you know a guy who sews? I’d love to teach a “for guys only” sewing session some day. I bet that would result in some really creative projects!
Looking for a creative way to display pictures for events such as wedding showers, graduations, etc? Perhaps you would like to spice up your home with a creative display of family pictures. This wall hanging project can be decorated any way you like to fit your occasion or home theme. I will be describing how I made my couple-themed wall hanging. This wall hanging would be a great decorative addition at a wedding shower!
1. Prepare your wall hanging backdrop: For this project, I used a burlap table runner with lace for the backdrop. I cut the runner directly in half and folded the raw edge 3 inches over. I then sewed across to make a hole large enough to slide a rod through. The hole size can be adjusted accordingly.
2. Design your header: I started the decorating process by creating my header. I cut out a 6″ x 10″ piece of Milano Damask printed burlap and tore an 8.5″ x 18″ piece of black solid homespun fabric out of a fat quarter. I placed the printed burlap in the middle of the fabric and folded the sides of the fabric over to touch the edges of the burlap. (This should make the width the same width of the runner at 14″). Then I folded the top and bottom flaps over the printed burlap and sewed to attach them together. That secured the sides and created a frame around the printed burlap.
3. Make a title for your header: For my theme, I printed the word “Together” on a piece of card stock and glued the word into the center of the framed printed burlap header. I then glued the entire header onto the burlap runner adjacent to the seam for the rod.
4. Find a layout for your pictures: I laid out the pictures to find a layout that worked well. Once I knew where the pictures were going, I cut out 1.5″ x 12″ strips of the printed damask burlap. I glued the strips just above where I wanted my pictures to hang. Once the strips were glued in place, I cut segments of jute twine that were a little longer than the 12″ printed burlap strips. I rolled the ends of the twine to make a small pinwheel and glued the pinwheels to keep them from unraveling. Then I glued the pinwheels on the edges of the strips so that the twine lay across the middle of the strips. I did this three times until I had created the correct amount of lines for my chosen pictures to hang on. Using mini clothespins, I pinned the pictures on the twine.
5. Add embellishments. I glued 3 whimsy heart buttons to either side of the header. The last embellishments I added were printed on card stock and mounted just above the lace at the bottom of the runner and to the sides of my middle picture. I glued the words directly to the burlap runner. The sentence, which I framed with black solid fabric, was also glued to the burlap runner.
6. Add extra support (if needed). For more support to keep the wall hanging from bending inward, I glued 3 strips of sturdy cardboard to the back of the runner.
I also have created this family-themed wall hanging. Sticks were used to give the hanging more of a rustic feeling. The materials used for this wall hanging were Sassafras red homespun fabric, red chevron burlap ribbon (which was cut down the middle), assorted fabric yoyos, various buttons, and Kraft Scripture tags.
Spring is coming soon and that means it’s time to line up your spring holiday crafting projects! We’ve been doing a few St. Patrick’s Day themed project in the studio the past few weeks. I’m sharing three of them here in this post and the last one, the Blessings Wall Hanging, has some step by step photos of the entire project. We are also be giving away some St. Patrick’s Day bling in our Jubilee Rhinestones store so be sure to check that out if you enjoy the giveaways.
Chevron, anyone? Jubilee Fabric has some really cute chevron burlap ribbons in stock now. This green chevron was just begging to be implemented into a St. Patrick’s Day craft! These two projects were incredibly simple and they both turned out very nicely. The grapevine wreath was purchased at our local craft store and then simply wrapped with the green chevron burlap. The edges of the burlap are wired so it stays where you put it and the bow is easy to shape. After the ribbon and the bow were secured with hot glue, we glued a random assortment of our wooden buttons to add interest.
Who doesn’t love to see a little girl with a bow in her hair? Flora’s aunt made this St. Patrick’s Day bow for her out of the same green chevron burlap ribbon. We love the unique design of the bow and since this bow is simply green chevron burlap, it will keep Flora from getting pinched on St. Patrick’s Day AND it will be adorable with any green outfit for the rest of the year! I’m thinking this could even look really cute with something for Christmas as well.
This adorable door decor was created by our digital designer, Sara. Obviously, Sara’s design skills go well beyond digital art! She stitched together some 4″ squares cut from our Shamrock Green homespun fabric. Then Sara cut a clover design from the stitched squares, clipped the outer raw edges just a bit and washed it in the washing machine to fray those clipped edges. She cut a larger clover design from burlap and glued the washed fabric clover onto it adding a bit of polyester fiberfill in between the two layers. This makes the fabric clover just a bit puffy and gives it a 3D effect. Just a simple piece of burlap or jute glued to the back will make a nice hanger. The finishing touch of some green rick rack and a burlap bow makes this a totally unique and adorable door or wall decor.
In researching a bit about St. Patrick’s Day, I discovered a number of really beautiful “Irish Blessings” which have apparently been passed through the generations in Ireland. This inspired me to create a holiday wall hanging that quoted a phrase from one of the blessings. The hardest part was picking which phrase to use but I finally settled on “May God bless you and be with you.” I used the Custom Rhinestone Word option in the Jubilee Rhinestones store to create the text in sparkling green rhinestones. Following are some step by step pictures of the project in process and some brief instructions on how to make something similar.
Blessings Wall Hanging
You will need:
- 1 large size burlap drawstring bag
- 8-10 four inch squares of assorted homespun fabric
* Its important to use homespun fabric. Regular cotton won’t fray well.
- Small piece of burlap approximate 10″ x 10″
- Rhinestone lettering of your choice (or other type of lettering)
- 2 cute wood buttons
- 1″ frayed edge burlap ribbon or thick jute string for hanger.
- approximately 1″ x 12″ thick cardboard
- one piece of scrap canvas type fabric approximately 14″ x 14″
- green embroidery floss or thin green yarn for outline stitching on clover
- Lay out your four inch squares in a pinwheel design onto the center of your scrap canvas fabric. Pin the centers into place but leave the outer edges loose.
- Begin with any square and stitch the three visible sides down by stitching about 3/8 inch from the raw edge. Use a contrasting color fabric and a long loose stitch because you will be removing this stitching later on. For each square, you’ll need to fold the square next to it back so that you can stitch three sides.
- Continue all the way around the pinwheel stitching the three visible sides of each block individually.
- Stitch the last square as far as you can, folding back the first square and stitching right up to the stitch line.
- Cut a clover shape from the burlap piece and pin it into the center of the pinwheel. Stitch in place by stitching about 3/8″ from the raw edges of the burlap. Use a small tight stitch and a coordinated color thread this time because this stitching is not coming out!
- Now clip the exposed raw edges with small clips about 3/8 – 1/2 inch apart. Be careful that you don’t clip into the stitching.
- Machine wash and dry this piece to fray the exposed edges. After it’s removed from the dryer, press from the back side to remove wrinkles.
- Remove the outer stitching around the pinwheel but leave the stitching around the burlap clover intact.
- Cut away the scrap canvas fabric backing by trimming from the back side really close to the clover stitching.
- Use green embroidery floss or thin green yard to stitch some giant hand stitches around the burlap clover to outline it.
- Now use a hot glue gun to glue this onto your burlap drawstring bag with the drawstring opening at the top. Apply your lettering of choice to the top portion of the bag. We used iron on rhinestone letters from Jubilee Rhinestones. Now glue the cardboard piece into the top of the bag between the front and the back about 1/2″ down from the top edge. Glue both front and back sides. Then glue the very top together sealing the cardboard inside the bag.
- Glue the buttons onto the 1″ frayed burlap ribbon and glue each end of the ribbon to the top corners of the bag to make a hanger. This jute twine can be used in place of the ribbon if you wish.
There you have it! A cute burlap Irish Blessing for your door or wall. The advantage to using the burlap bag is that all the edges are already finished off for you and it’s such a perfect size for a door hanging. I may be making more of these for future holidays this year.
Did you like the rhinestone lettering that we used? We are giving away a similar iron on that says “LUCKY” in the two tone green rhinestones. You can enter the giveaway here. Entries will be accepted until March 11, 2014.
So in honor of my new found fondness of Irish blessings, I’ll leave you with one of my favorites:
May God be with you and bless you.
May you see your children’s children.
May you be poor in misfortunes
and rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
from this day forward.
What could be more fun for the thrifty crafter than bringing to life some boring clothes with a little creative embellishing? This cute outfit that Flora is modeling for us was purchased from Ebay. The basic denim shirt and the plain corduroy skirt were gently used and very affordable but they were, well… boring. Just a little bit of homespun fabric and burlap made the two basic elements into a fresh, adorable outfit.
I am featuring two of my Ebay upcycles in this post and some basic instructions for each one. I hope this will inspire you to look at boring clothes as a canvas just begging for embellishment. This is a fun and rewarding challenge and I’m sure you will come up with some amazing embellishment ideas of your own.
Upcycled Outfit #1
To the denim shirt I added a cute ruffled homespun embellishment on the collar. It’s important to use homespun here because it’s the same on both sides and so the plain back side won’t show in the ruffles. We tore a long strip of homespun that was just a little narrower than the collar. Tearing is much preferred over cutting with scissors because it will keep the edges straight with the plaid and it will not ravel beyond the first thread or two when it’s torn. This long strip doesn’t need to be in once piece, you can connect various strips with a seam. If you tear your strips so that the plaid will match up, you won’t even see the seam.
The long strip of homespun was loosely gathered by stitching down the middle with a long stitch and then pulling the stitch thread from the bottom side to ruffle it. This “ruffle” was then stitched directly onto the top of the collar from one side to the other. Just cut the ruffle when you get all the way across the collar. Once it’s washed, the cut edges will soften to look like the torn edges.
For the skirt, I stitched a strip of the 2″ Frayed Edge Burlap Ribbon onto the bottom edge. Then I added another strip of the ruffled homespun which was created exactly the same way as the ruffle on the shirt collar. I overlapped the ruffled just a bit at the point where the two edges met. Then I stitched on a few flower shaped wood buttons to give the skirt some whimsical detail. A roll of our 1″ Frayed Edge Burlap Ribbon was used to make the tied belt.
By the way… our Frayed Edge Burlap Ribbons are great for adding some burlap to your sewing projects. It has no wire and the edges are frayed and then stitched securely so that they don’t continue to fray while you handle it or wash it.
The flower bow in Flora’s hair was super easy! I started with a gathered a 2″ strip of torn homespun again but this time I did the stitching on one side. I pulled this tight until one side of the strip was closed up and the other side spread out like a flower. If your strip is long, it can overlap some or if not, it’s ok to just meet the ends together. I glued the two ends down and put some glue on the back side to hold the center part in place. This is the outer part of the flower.
Then I cut a couple of pieces of the 1″ Frayed Burlap Ribbon and placed them over the center in an “X” pattern and glued into place. Finally I put a cute button to match the buttons on the skirt in the center of the burlap X and glued that into place. I then stitched this flower bow onto a simple bobby pin which allowed me to use it in Flora’s hair on as an embellishment on her burlap bag.
Upcycled Project #2
This little chambray shirt was another used Ebay purchase that I picked up very inexpensively. It was actually pretty cute as it was but with just a few simple additions, we made a super cute shirt that coordinated with Flora’s burlap shoulder bag.
First I trimmed off a thin edge of one side of some 1″ Frayed Edge Burlap Ribbon and stitched a zig zag stitch onto the raw cut edge to prevent further fraying. This burlap “trim” was then stitched under the edge of the existing ruffle on this chambray shirt. More of the 1″ Frayed Edge Burlap Ribbon was used to replace the fabric belt and that’s all there was to it!
Here’s a nice before and after pic of the shirt.
These particular projects were made last fall and Flora loved wearing her burlap clothes to fall events. Of course, I personally think burlap is a fun accent for any season. Are you inspired to embellish with burlap and homespun? Whether you browse through your closets or browse through garage sales or just browse online, you will surely find a perfect canvas for embellishing. So if you create something fun or interesting, please send us some pics! We love being inspired!