March 8, 2012

Burlap Door Hanging

The materials to make burlap door hangings are
inexpensive.  Your main investment will be your time.

A friend of mine showed me a burlap hanging and
asked me if I knew how to make them.  I had never seen
them before but they didn't look very complicated.
I also looked up some examples on Pinterest.
It seemed to be a shape cut out of burlap that was
then painted, stuffed, and topped with a wire for hanging.

My friend was willing to be my burlap door
hanging "guinea pig". She asked for a
hanging in the shape of a cross in the colors
of brown, cranberry and green.

Here is my first attempt:

If you would like to make a burlap hanging, here are the steps:
First, make yourself a pattern.
Since I hoped this shape  would be symmetrical, I sketched one side of a cross shape...

...folded the paper over in what would be the center line of the cross...

...traced the first side onto what would be the corresponding side and cut the cross out.

Pin your paper pattern onto folded burlap.
In this way, you will be cutting two shapes at once.

Cut around the pattern's shape.

Remove the pins.
You will now have two burlap shapes.
One will be the front and the other will be the back.

Join the front and the back together either by sewing them 
together or hot gluing them together. These are going to have a unfinished edge to them that you can trim up after the painting
step. These hangings do not get turned inside out;
their shabbiness is part of their charm.

Be sure to leave an opening (or two) about 3" long
 to add the stuffing if you want it to be dimensional.

I have seen other burlap hangings since my first burlap hanging encounter that are not stuffed but more like a flat stiff surface
to paint on.  I haven't made one of those non-stuffed hangings but they look even easier.

Although you could, of course, make these to be used inside your home, the one I saw was made to be used on an exterior door. 
 If you are going to make one of these to be outside, your stuffing needs to be weather resistant.  I used plastic bags but you could also use polyester fiber fill.

After stuffing your burlap shape, paint it however you want to. 
It's your canvas and you are the artist. I used these craft paints:

Even though I used brown burlap for the cross I still needed to give the whole shape a good coat or two of the brown paint.  I think that the paint is what gives the burlap hanging it's stiffness and uniqueness.
Before the paint is added, you can see through the burlap and the stuffing is showing.

After two coats of acrylic brown paint, the cross is stiffer.  The paint also
fills in the spaces in the burlap's weave so that you don't see the stuffing.

Add more painted details on top of the base coats.

I don't know why I did not go on and close up the gap left for adding the stuffing before painting the burlap but here is the photographic evidence.
Especially if you are sewing your edges together (dry paint can be tough on
 sewing machine needles), close up the stuffing gap before you start painting.

Add a wire loop for hanging. I like this aluminum wire from Michael's (it's easy to bend and cut but sturdy) 
but you can use whatever you want.
Just poke the wire through the painted burlap.  Leave enough on the end for coming
back around to join it to the loop (and for adding a curly-Q if you like those).

My friend seemed to like the finished
product (even if it didn't turn out quite symmetrical).

When I heard that my church was having a craft sale to raise
 money for missions, I had visions of making lots of burlap
 door hangings for the sale.
I dreamed of me making more crosses, Easter-themed hangings,
 St. Patrick Day hangings.  Yes, I might make enough to use up all my plastic bags.

Guess how many got made.
One.  I gave a monetary donation to make up for my
guilt of lack of crafty items to contribute.

 I used the same method of making a pattern
and cutting out the burlap.

I made this one using the hot glue method of joining the two sides together.  Keep in mind that the glue will come through the burlap's weave a little bit so keep your fingers out of harm's way.

Be sure to leave an opening for stuffing.
After stuffing, just hot glue it closed.
The hot glue method of joining leaves a little
bit of a flat edge around the shape.

I painted the shamrock with various green colors and added 
the wire for hanging. This time I left more wire on the ends for bigger curly-Qs

If you type "burlap door" in the search box on the Pinterest 
website, you can see lots of examples of
different events and holidays they can be made for.

Added later:  To see more instructions, photos and a 
 burlap  door hanging made in the shape of a baby onesie, 


  1. Really cute. The projects are sweet and simple. I cannot for the life of me work with burlap. My skin has some kind of reaction to it and I itch like crazy. xo Diana

  2. I may try this with an Easter theme. Thanks for the tut! ~ Maureen

  3. I love them both. I've never worked with the colored burlap. My mind is working now on some cute ideas. Thanks for sharing and for stopping over!

  4. What a fun project and excellent use of all those plastic grocery bags!

  5. You are so talented. I love that your mission is to find/create cute things and then detail how to make them. I am a fellow copy-catter, too, thank you or great ideas and directions. Plus nice to meet another Queen of the Dollar Store items. I could not create my VBS decorations each year with out $ Store 's affordable inventory. Craft on my friend! I'll keep coming back for more ideas.

  6. These are so great! I, too have an extreme allergic reaction to burlap. I have seen something like this done with soft screen material but I have not found any tutorials on how to deal with those materials. Any ideas?

  7. It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


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