I was inspired by a sheet of screen printed burlap I bought in Seattle a few months back. Taking such an unexpected material, like a utility fabric and making it something beautiful really got my brain buzzing.
Needing an excuse to play with my new favorite material, I decided on a Burlap & Twine Christmas Tree. So here's what I made:
I went over to Joann Fabric and picked up about 10 yards of burlap for $1.50/yard (after 50% off coupon). I cut out somewhere between a one and a billion circles, folded them in quarters and wired the bottoms together (I didn't have any actual wire, so I unfolded a bunch of those cheap metal ornament hooks), and **poof** you've got flower:
Paper "Mod" Ornaments:
My studio already kinda looks like a paper warehouse, so when I saw this ornament tutorial over on Design Sponge a while back, I had plently of material to work with. Some ornaments I made from plain kraft paper, some from old time Christmas scrap book paper and my favorites, from pages of a vintage geography book I found at an antique shop.
Twine Wrapped Ball:
This ornament is pretty easy, although more time consuming than you might think. It's just twine wrapped around a styrofoam ball. If you try it, just make sure you add dots of glue along the way, it'll keep the wrap tight and also keep you from losing your work if you have to stop half way through:
Stringy Wrapped Bally Thing:
These stringy wrapped bally things are from Martha Stewart. I had some rolls of twine, some yarn, and funky textured string. All you have to do is wrap the string around a balloon and paint with glue, I used Elmer's, but a crocheting stiffener would probably work better. Martha's tutorial is here. The size of your stringy ball can be as big as you can blow a balloon, no need to limit yourself to "fist size" as instructed in the tutorial.
Some just tucked in between branches:
Now, I don't know about you, but I tend to find inspiration just about everywhere. Even when I'm in a doctors office...about to get an x-ray...to make sure there isn't a growth...on my SPINE (there wasn't). Anyhoodle, as I was sitting at the imaging center, I saw this fun thing hanging from the ceiling. I just loved it, so I took a picture to save for a rainy day:
Little did I know then, the lonely star hanging from that ugly drop ceiling was my future Christmas Tree topper.
The paper is from the same vintage geography book other ornaments are made from:
Here 'tis on the floor:
Here 'tis atop the tree:
And the final touch, a tree skirt. I still had yards of burlap left and just draped the unfinished fabric around the bottom of the tree. It totally worked, but it was missing something.
I had read about a freezer paper stencil technique all over the internets. It was easy enough, just cut a design into the paper or use an inkjet printer to print your image on the paper side (not the waxy side) and use as a cutting template. Then, iron the paper (waxy side down) to your material and brush or dab paint right on top. When you're done painting, just pull the paper up. No waxy or sticky residue left behind.
Oh, did I mention that a whole roll of this stuff costs all of $3.50? Make your own stencils for $3.50? Oh yeah, I'm all over it:
Here's the cut out:
And here's the painted version: I used printers ink, which I wouldn't recommend, it's way too sticky, fabric paint would do just fine and be much more forgiving:
Put it all together and you have a Handmade Burlap & Twine Christmas Tree:
Coming soon: Personalized Stockings and Burlap Holiday Wreath.