April 19, 2013

How To Make A Burlap Door Hanging

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 
upside down "U" shape and repeat on the other side.

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)

I am sharing this post at 
Flaunt It Friday @ Chic On A Shoestring
Inspire Me Please Link Party @ Liz Marie Blog
Be Inspired @ Common Ground blog
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Anything Blue @ The Dedicated House
Weekend Bloggy Reading @ Serenity Now
Saturday Show & Tell @ Cheerios & Lattes
The Sunday Showcase @ Under the Table and Dreaming
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps On The Porch
Give Me The Goods Party @ Rain On the Roof
Open House Party @ No Minimalist Here


  1. This was an adorable (and doable) project for a baby shower.

  2. I love this, Gayle! You can do so much with burlap, but I never thought about painting it. Duh! I had to go back and read your post on the dotted items in burlap. I hadn't found you back then so I missed a lot! This is such a clever idea and so versatile! Do you think spraying it several times with a sealer would work for hanging outdoors?

  3. How cute! This would also be adorable for the baby's room or door.

  4. How cute is this! Love it! Great idea :)

  5. That just makes me smile and smile and smile. How cute is that! You could make mini ones to use as a banner at a shower, too! SWEET idea- xo Diana

  6. Soooo very cute! And something I might be able to do. LOL What a creative and inspiring idea!

  7. This is so cute. Thank you so much for stopping by My Dream Canvas and your kind words. Its great to connect with you.

  8. SO adorable! Great idea! Would love it if you would link this up to Give Me The Goods Monday: 1 Party, 5 Blogs! http://www.rainonatinroof.com/2013/04/give-me-goods-monday-link-party-5.html
    Jenna @ Rain on a Tin Roof

  9. The burlap onsie is perfect for a shower. You did such a beautiful job.

    I just became your latest follower and am looking forward to reading your older posts. Please accept my invitation to come over to visit my site.


  10. What a wonderful wall/door hanging! Any mother would be proud to hang this in her baby's room. I especially like the way you personalized it. Thanks for posting the tutorial!

  11. Hi Gayle, What a cute idea and perfect for a baby shower! Great job and thanks for linking to the Open House party.

  12. This is SO cute! I love it! You should totally sell these! :)

    If you open a Etsy store let me know. I'll be the first to promote you on my blog!

    Thanks for sharing at Give Me the Goods link party! Can't wait to see what you bring to the party next week. And don't forget to checkout the features which will be posted on Sunday.

    ~Chelsea @ Married Filing Jointly

  13. You've been featured, my dear! Be sure to check this link and grab a button ;)http://www.somuchbetterwithage.com/2013/04/give-me-goods-features-5.html
    Jamie @ somuchbetterwithage.com

  14. That is adorable. So stinking cute. Found you through Savvy Southern Style.

  15. Your door hangings are so cute! I love this onesie!

    Thanks for the mesh wreath tutorial, too. We have a neighbor who makes them for every occasion, and I love driving by her home to see her latest creation!

    Thanks for your birthday wishes~

  16. That is absolutely adorable! Wish I had a baby shower to host, so I'd have an excuse to make one :)

  17. Wow, and this is cayuuuute!
    (BTW, I've been a little MIA so I'm trying to catch up!) :)

  18. These are totally lovely burlap door hangers, especially the baby dress one! It's so cute that it will automatically send a smile to anyone's face who would pay your little one a visit. Anyway, since we know that burlap soaks in a lot of paint, which makes it a little more difficult to paint, maybe you can try dying them next time. It's easier, and would ensure that the color is evenly distributed. I hope you try that next. Still, good job here!
    Retta @ Turf Signs

  19. How do you keep the paint from bleeding through and drying causing the two layers to stick together? I've had this happen to me several times trying to make burlap hangings.

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