Burlap door (or wall) hangings are so very easy and
inexpensive to make that you might end up with a
whole collection of painted burlap shapes for
different occasions and seasons.
Here's a couple of my other burlap hangings:
The one I made most recently was for a baby shower.
It ended up being a simple design since it was for a boy
and I didn't want to "gussie it up" too much but depending
on the theme of your burlap hanging, you can add lots
of colors and/or designs to your creation.
Start out with a basic shape. I chose a baby onesie.
I admit that I "googled" the internet to find a simple onesie
shape to copy. You might be more creative than me and
not need to do that (but it is a good source for getting ideas).
Draw your shape our on a piece of paper the size that
you want your hanging to be.
I wanted the onesie to be the same shape on both sides so
I drew one side on a folded piece of newspaper and cut it out.
This will be your pattern.
Place the pattern on a double thickness of burlap
and pin it into place. Cut around the pattern.
This will create the front and back of your hanging.
Remove the pins and the pattern.
You can use natural colored burlap for your hanging.
For this project I got white burlap since it was the same
price as natural and I was going to be painting it a light color.
To join the front and the back burlap pieces you can sew
around the edges or you can hot glue them.
Whether you are sewing or gluing, be sure to leave an
opening if you want to stuff the hanging later.
Actually, I left an opening in one side and on each of the
sleeves so that I could get the stuffing in the arms easily.
If you are hot gluing, remember that the burlap has a fairly
open weave. The glue will come through the layers so be
careful not to burn your fingers. Only glue a few inches at
the time then make sure the top and bottom layers are joined
before moving along the edges to glue more.
You will not be turning the shape inside out. The burlap
will fray some but you can trim the strings off later.
After the front and back are joined, you can start painting.
The paint is what gives the burlap the stiffness that makes
this project seem like it is more difficult than it is.
You probably don't have to paint the front and back if the
back is not going to show but it will add good stiffness.
Plan on having at least two bottles of regular craft paint
if you want the back and front painted the same color.
The burlap soaks up a lot of paint. It seems to be easier to
spread the paint if you have some water to occasionally
dip the brush in to make the paint a little less thick.
This onesie is all one color so it was easy to paint.
If you are going to add circles or dots to the design, I would
just go on and paint the shape all one color then add the do-das.
(To see circles on painted burlap click here.)
If you are going to have areas of color or stripes, you
might want to paint them in as you go. To have enough
coverage and stiffness, plan on at least two coats of paint.
Dry each coat of paint before adding more. Drying can take
time since you are painting on fabric so this is not a good
last-minute project ....take it from a last-minute person.
After two coats of dried paint the hanging was stiff
and looked good but I probably should have put three coats.
The main design element of this burlap hanging is the
baby's name so I wanted it to be big and in a cute font.
The one I decided on was "Fontdinerdotcom".
After printing it out from the computer and OK-ing the size
on the onesie, most of the paper around the text was cut away.
Then to transfer the text to the painted burlap, pencil was
scribbled on the back side of the paper behind the text...
...and then the edges of the text was traced onto the burlap.
Usually that technique works better to transfer a design.
The painted burlap did not "take" the tracing very well but
it was good enough to follow if you looked closely.
The baby boy's nursery fabric is light blue, dark blue and
tan colors so I went with a tan for the lettering. Acrylic
paint was applied with a small brush for the name.
For the final paint step, I like to outline the design in a thin
line of puffy paint. I don't know why but it seems to "finish
off" the painted burlap hangings well. White was used since this
was for a baby but black looks good on more colorful pieces.
The shoulder seams were not the way I intended but after I
had done one side wrong, I had to do the other side the same.
To make the burlap hang-able, add a length of aluminum
wire to the piece. Just poke the end of the wire through
the painted burlap and fashion it into a curl then make a
You don't have to stuff the hanging but it just seems to add
some dimension to it. There are probably lots of things you
could use to stuff the hangings with but I like to use plastic
bags from the grocery store, etc. The only problem with them
is that if your paint is not thick enough, bright writing on the
bags can show through the burlap. You can cut the writing
off the bag before stuffing if you like.
Try not to stretch and fray the burlap at the openings you
have left. It helps to use a ruler or yardstick and not your
hands to push the stuffing in to accomplish this.
After you have the hanging as puffy as you want,
sew or hot glue the fronts to the backs at the openings.
Trim away loose burlap strings and frayed edges.
The hangings will do fine on a covered door but probably not
on a mailbox out in the rain (or snow or sleet or hail).
At the actual shower, the baby boy burlap hanging
was used inside the house.
After the shower, the mommy hung the burlap onesie on the
soon-to-be-born baby's door and added a bow on one side
of the hanger...a good finishing touch.
Sources and Costs
1/2 yard 45' burlap @ Hobby Lobby $2
3 bottles of acrylic paint @ Michael's $3
Aluminum wire @ Dollar Tree $1
(I already had the puffy paint from JoAnns...
to purchase would be about $4 if I remember right
but one bottle would do many hangings)
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