Burlap is everywhere these days. How did that happen? The only burlap items at my house when I was growing up were the shrubs in my parents’ yard that got wrapped with it every winter to protect them from snow and ice. Back then I had no idea that the scratchy fabric could be used to add texture and pattern to otherwise boring household items.
But it can, and over the past two evenings (and one quick breakfast painting session) I upgraded the oh-so-sad cork board in our family command center. Honestly though I’m not sure if this “center” really “commands” anything as the cork board was completely covered in expired coupons and toddler “art” and the file folders desperately need to be cleaned out.
Never mind though. On to the burlap treatment. Here’s how to transform a basic framed cork board into a focal point of textured burlap goodness in a few simple steps.
- Not counting drying time, all the steps totaled about an hour. Allow another hour for the paint to dry. I could have done this in a single evening if I’d gotten the kids to bed on time and had sanded the board’s frame more thoroughly (you’ll learn why below).
- Framed cork board (like this one)
- Burlap (like these)
- Sandpaper (fine-grit)
- Spray glue
- Painter’s tape
- Craft knife
- Craft paint
- Hot glue gun
- Twill tape (like this)
- Ruler or yard stick
- Brass flat-head thumb tacks from any office supply store
1. Gently sand the board’s frame to remove the glossy finish so that the paint will adhere. Note: I sanded after gluing the fabric on, but it would be best to do this step first.
2. Completely cover the board’s frame with painters tape. This will protect it from the spray glue.
3. Lay your burlap out on the cork board and cut the fabric an inch or two larger than the cork board.
4. Take your board and spray glue outside to a well-ventilated area and try to keep your three year-old away from the glue (this part isn’t so easy). Spray the board and secure the fabric, smoothing out any wrinkles. There will be a little wiggle room before the glue dries, but it does dry quickly.
5. Give the glue a few minutes to dry (mine dried while I made dinner for Big D).
6. Using a craft knife, slowly cut along the inside edge of the frame to release the extra fabric, which is now stuck to the painter’s tape. You may need to use your scissors to cut the over-hanging fabric and tape. Gently remove the tape, and you’ll be left with a nice-looking board, but it’s still not done yet. The frayed edges left by the craft knife will be covered by the twill tape.
7. Lay your board down on some newspaper and run the tape along the inside edge of the frame, covering up the fabric right next to the frame to protect it from the paint.
8. Paint the frame. Two coats should suffice if you sanded well (mine needed a third coat). Leave an hour to dry between coats. Big D was very disappointed that I painted after he went to bed!
9. Cut the end of the twill tape at a 45 degree angle and use the hot glue to secure it to one of the bottom corners of the board. Slowly glue the fabric along the frame sticking the tape down as you go along. When you come to a corner, fold it as follows to create a neat corner.
Dab a little glue to secure the corner. Later, you’ll stick a thumb tack over that spot. Continue gluing the tape and folding at the corners until you reach the spot where you began. Cut the tape at a matching angle and secure with glue.
10. Finally, stick in a few thumb tacks to give your new board some faux nail-head trim. Use the ruler or yard stick to distribute them evenly. Mine are 2″ apart.
I’m so happy to have a little Greek key in my kitchen! It looks so good that I don’t want to put anything on it.
Projects always seem to have a domino effect around here, and now I’m brainstorming different ways to add some interest to that plain-Jane file sorter…I’m thinking something with the Silhouette Cameo that’s been gathering dust in my pantry for over a year.
What have you made with burlap recently, or is it too itchy-scratchy for you? What tips do you have to keeping your “command center” clutter free? Seriously, I thought it was supposed to end my clutter problem and yet somehow my organization system hasn’t remained organized.