Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fall in Love with Burlap

It seems burlap, formerly reserved for potato sac races, is now featured everywhere in decorating, from high-end furnishings and accent pieces to tables-scapes. I thought I’d give a nod to the trend and incorporate this humble and inexpensive textile in a few craft projects. The rustic texture and warm color make it a perfect accent for Fall. 

Plate- DIY pennyWise - other items found online: Restoration hardware and Pottery barn and Ballard Designs

Thanksgiving is one of those times to break out the fine china and serving pieces, but for a DIY more homespun platter this is a fun idea.I chose a basic round plate from the dollar store but any shape or size could work well. I chose to just accent the center section of the plate as sometimes decoupaging over curves or angles can be tricky and create wrinkles or bubbles.
Creating a template was a little tricky but as I didn’t have anything circular the right size to trace, it was the best I could do. Once I evened the template out by eye and was happy with it, I pinned it to some burlap and cut it out. 
Note to self: burlap doesn’t cut very precisely
I then roughed up the edges a bit to camouflage any uneven areas and selected stencils I thought would work.

 One trick I learned when working with lettering is to work from the center outward. Since THANKS has six letters I placed the space between the A and the N in the center then added the H and K etc, etc.. That way I don’t run out of room at the end of the word if I misjudge the starting point. These were self-stick stencils but you can use tape with traditional ones to hold them in place. I chose a dark brown color after trying a few shades on some scraps of the burlap.

Once the paint is dry, generously spread modge podge on the back of the plate, carefully place burlap circle and press firmly. Carefully paint another generous coat of Modge Podge over the back of the burlap. Wipe any spills from the glass with a soft cloth. The hardest part was waiting for it to dry- at least 24 hours -excruciating! Once the Modge Podge has dried completely to a clear hard finish with no white or opaque patches, you are ready to show it off!
Just remember this plate is not dishwasher friendly! If you serve cheese and crackers on top make sure you wipe it by hand. You can also paint or seal the back for extra protection.
as an accent

on a plate and charger

Gratitude Journal

Journals are wonderful ways to record life’s events, but why not start a new tradition with a Thanksgiving Journal. Pass it around the table after the last of the pumpkin pie has been devoured when no one can get out of their seat anyway and have everyone record something they are grateful for over the past year. 
These are always such fun to look back on year after year, (children’s contributions can be especially hilarious) and a great record of family events and accomplishments.
Of course book artisans would cringe at these imprecise instructions, but this process worked just fine for me.
Inexpensive journals and notebooks are easy to find. This was from Joanne's Crafts and I actually didn't mind the cover of this one but really wanted something that screamed Autumn! The fun part is the decorating. I kept mine simple but you can personalize it with any color scheme or design. Maybe stencil your family name, decal your anniversary date or handwrite a favorite quote. 
I used what I had on hand: old metal scrapbook labels that were rattling around my craft closet for ages. I also used Diamond glaze to create a nice jewel like finish over the writing but other suppliers make similar products so just follow their directions. I found Diamond Glaze dried surprisingly quickly.
Happy Journaling!


This is so simple to make and works well with Fall colors!

Helpful Hints: Once you cut burlap, it rivals glitter in the messiness quotient. I was picking up little burlap fibers for two days so putting down some newspaper before this project might be a good idea.
I used a big Sharpie marker ( I liked that the color wasn't too severe) but paint or paint pens work too. Try different mediums on scrap burlap and see what works for you!
This would work with any rustic or farm theme child's birthday party too!

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