DIY Burlap Art

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After completing my sisal lamp shades I’ve become a little obsessed with texture, so burlap seemed like an obvious next choice to try my hand at.  I decided to replace the pictures hanging over the credenza in the living room with a stenciled burlap art depicting the most important dates for our family (if you’ve been on pinterest lately you’ve seen the plethora of inspiration out there). I particularly love this project because it is cheap (it only cost me $3.19 total) and because it is so easy to customize for anyone. Oh, and it’s also super easy!

Here is what you will need for this project:

  1. A picture frame with mat
  2. 1 yard of burlap (this did all 3 of my 11×14 mats)
  3. black acrylic paint
  4. a paint brush (I used foam but a stiff bristle brush would be even better)
  5. an exacto knife
  6. a cutting board or mat
Burlap art tools: 1 yard of burlap, card stock, paint brush, black acrylic paint, an exacto knife, and a cutting board.
Burlap art tools: 1 yard of burlap, card stock, paint brush, black acrylic paint, an exacto knife, and a cutting board.

The first thing I did was create my stencils. I decided on 3 dates (our anniversary and each of the girl’s birthdays) and I picked a picture to symbolize each (a heart for our anniversary, a tiara for princess Sophie, and a teddy Bear for Lizzie Boo Bear). I created them using PowerPoint, 1 slide for each stencil. I used that standard Stencil font, but you can really use any font just make sure that you will be able to cut away the negative space. Enact the grid lines to make sure you have centers the symbol. Once you are done print them onto card stock.

Create your stencils in PowerPoint
Create your stencils in PowerPoint

Next get out a clean cutting board or mat and using your exact knife remove all the black areas from your stencil. I find it easiest to keep the knife straight and turn the paper when cutting. Do not worry about perfection here. You are going to dry brush the stencil on which is a very forgiving process.

Once all of your stencils are cut you’ll need to cut your burlap to size. I used my matting as a template. This will ensure that you have room to rim if need be.

Use your mat as a template to cut out the burlap to size.
Use your mat as a template to cut out the burlap to size.

Now, center your stencil on the burlap and tape it down to keep it from shifting. I placed my mat over the stencil to make sure I had it place correctly before taping.

Center your stencil on the burlap and tape it in place.
Center your stencil on the burlap and tape it in place.

Painting time. Squeeze out a small amount of paint onto a paper plate and dab your brush into it. Usually, you would use a stiff bristle brush ( a great use for brushes that you didn’t get all the paint out of), unfortunately I couldn’t find any so I used foam. Next, dab the brush onto clean parts of the place a couple of times to remove most of the paint. Hold your brush vertical and dab and the stencil, do not brush the paint on. The goal is to make the paint look worn and allow some of the burlap to show through.

To dry brush hold the brush vertical and dab at the stencil.
To dry brush hold the brush vertical and dab at the stencil.

When you are done it should look something like this. Note that the paint application isn’t thick or cohesive. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Remove the stencil and voila! It’s that easy. The burlap will absorb the paint quickly but I still allowed mine to absorb for about an hour before framing them.

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Here’s the finished product. I love how simple and yet rich it is.

Custom DIY stenciled burlap Art
Custom DIY stenciled burlap Art

Here’s all 3 of them in the Living room.

Trio of custom DIY stenciled burlap art
Trio of custom DIY stenciled burlap art

 

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