Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Burlap Art

By-Jenny2

Hello!! I hope you had a fabulous long holiday weekend. After an insane week last week, with friends staying with us, helping one of them move into his new apartment, dealing with car troubles, etc, I was so happy to have a somewhat relaxing weekend and make some progress on a big project.

You see, I've had this project in mind for, oh, at least 6 months. I finally decided to move forward with it a couple of weeks ago and have advanced pretty slowly with it. Unlike most projects, on which my practical side takes over and zooms forward, this was an ART project and as such, it intimidated me. The result of my art projects never quite matches my vision and it's made me reluctant to get excited or motivated for them.

Jenny: Burlap Art

This art project was intended for our bedroom which still does not feature a headboard but did feature a big empty white wall. I knew what materials I wanted to use: burlap coffee sacks and fabric scraps. I have so much burlap left over from making the buckets by Maya*Made, and her projects and style inspire me so much.

Also, we barely had time to enjoy our bedroom makeover in Tennessee before moving last year, so I drew the rough idea for my design from that mural. I started browsing the web for some good images and found a few on iStockPhoto.

Jenny: Burlap Art Jenny: Burlap Art
Jenny: Burlap Art

I drew up my plans, then gathered my fabrics and ironed then onto lightweight interfacing.

Jenny: Burlap Art
Jenny: Burlap Art
Jenny: Burlap Art

I cut my burlap to the desired size (25 x 25 inches), then pinned and sewed it onto a layer of muslin. One of the pieces of coffee sack I used had a big gash, so I patched it with another small piece of burlap. I thought the rugged patchwork look would work with my vision, I'm not so sure about that decision now. A note about the burlap: for this project, I used the back and inside parts of the coffee sack. They feature a lighter version of the prints and stamps (what leaks onto the inside of the bag) which worked better for this project than the bold prints featured on the front of the sacks.

Jenny: Burlap Art
Jenny: Burlap Art
Jenny: Burlap Art
Jenny: Burlap Art
Jenny: Burlap Art

Then came the fun part: I started to cut and assemble my shapes. I had to revisit the sizing a bit, because my shapes overwhelmed the "canvas".

Jenny: Burlap Art
Jenny: Burlap Art
Jenny: Burlap Art

For the birdies, I went back to iStockPhoto and looked for bird shapes that pleased my eye. I used a combo of bird designs to draw mine (with a highlighter on the back side of the fabric, i.e. the interfacing).

Jenny: Burlap Art
Jenny: Burlap Art
Jenny: Burlap Art
Jenny: Burlap Art

When I was happy with the placement of the items, I began sewing them in place with a contrasting dark brown thread. I started with the tree trunks, then pinned the leaves and birds and sewed those on too. I attached all those pieces by top-stitching roughly 1/8 inch from the edge. I can tell you, it was a good exercise in using my machine with precision. Whew!

Jenny: Burlap Art
Jenny: Burlap Art
Jenny: Burlap Art
Jenny: Burlap Art
Jenny: Burlap Art

I love the way the back looks!

Jenny: Burlap Art

But I think the front looks pretty cool too:

Jenny: Burlap Art
Jenny: Burlap Art

I ironed everything nice and flat with a hot, dry iron. Then, it was time to attach my art to wooden frames (that I found at Ikea!). My poor downstairs neighbors... As Ben said while I was hammering away: "Mommy, you makin' a YOT of noise!". It takes a lot of nails to stretch that art onto the frame!

Jenny: Burlap Art

I'm pretty pleased with the final result. Here is my burlap art, hanging over our bed. I am so sorry for the poor light, we had a terribly gloomy weekend and it looks like the clouds are hanging on for the week...

Jenny: Burlap Art
Jenny: Burlap Art
Jenny: Burlap Art
Jenny: Burlap Art

I am curious to see the response to this project. I ended up having a lot of fun with it and have about a million other ideas for similar burlap art. I wonder if it's something people would be interested in buying on Etsy... Would love to get some feedback from our readers on this one!

What have you been up to this weekend? Sewing a meeeeellion sandwich bags? ;) Can't wait to see!

Angel-mini-buttonJenny, I absolutely love these pictures!  I had an idea to do something similar with paper to make something for the bathroom walls.  I never quite got there, and I see I could learn a lot from the way you gathered inspiration and planned out your pieces.  They look great with the pillows!

This weekend was good, but there's never enough time!  I am in Fall cleaning/declutter mode, which could bode well for garage salers and etsy shoppers in the near future!  I have too much stuff, and I am drowning under it all!   

20 comments:

  1. Wow! Those are absolutely amazing! I would totally be interested in buying something like that on Etsy, and it would be awesome if you could do customs. My bedroom is very bare right now, so I'm going to have to do something like this for myself. (Poor college student aka can't afford artwork from Etsy...)

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  2. I love the piece you created for your bedroom! I love birds and I love nature (which is related to how I spent my weekend...hiking five miles one day with a loaded backpack to see if I'm possibly up for my Grand Canyon trek around the corner and hanging out in the yard a lot birdlistening and watching). This is inspires me to create so thank you, thank you!!!

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  3. I love those! They are super cute! I'm sure people would buy those on Etsy!!

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  4. Thank you all so much for the kind comments and encouragement! I'll keep you posted on the Etsy shop...

    ChiliMango and Dawn, please share pics of your projects when you complete them, so we can see what you've been up to! You can post to our Facebook page or give us a link here!

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  5. oh my goodness! I love these! where do you get burlap coffee sacks? Is there anywhere to get them for free? I am so into 'recycled' projects...

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  6. Hi Jennifer! Thank you! I got my burlap bags off of Craigslist. I think I paid $8 for a dozen. If you look often enough, you're bound to find some. Another good option is to call your local coffee shops. If they do their own roasting, they should have some bags.

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  7. Lover-ly! I think a delightful trip would be spent climbing through the creative hollows of your mind! The endless number of clever ideas you come up with is inspiring. Thanks, as always, for being willing to share.

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  8. I LOVE them!! One of my favorite projects that you all posted on the site was the burlap baskets and now this is also on my list of favorites!

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  9. These are awesome, Jenny! How about a trade? :) You would do great selling these.

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  10. I love it as a canvas but when I first saw it on Flickr, I thought it was a pillow (one of them) and I think it would work well for that too! Wonderful and inspiring.

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  11. Thank you all so much for your kind comments! I am feeling very encouraged, and my artistic confidence is very much boosted at the moment. :)

    Becky, a trade would be lovely.... I'll keep you posted!

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  12. ...Heading over to Craigslist now to look for burlap bags... :) These are just lovely -- thanks for sharing!

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  13. How did I miss this? These are awesome!

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  14. Beautiful work, I think I can do this!! Thank you for sharing. I love it!

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  15. These are so wonderful, Jenny! Love how you used iStock Photo for inspiration and that you recycled bags rather than buying burlap. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Elnora! I'm glad you like this project! :)

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  16. This is SO cute!!! I absolutely love it. You are oh so creative. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  17. i found the picture of these on a google search, I was hoping to be able to buy them... how much would you sell them for?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Justine, thank you so much for your interest in my artwork! I sell a few pieces of burlap art in my shop on Etsy: http://jennybartoy.etsy.com. I also do quite a bit of custom work and would be happy to replicate this duo piece for you. Please email me at jennybartoy AT gmail DOT com so we can discuss! :)

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  18. Hi,I just found your lovely art on the canvas bags- while, I really like the pictures you created, it is your pincushion that caught my eye- I was wondering if you made it, also or did you purchase it? I like the idea of having everything in one spot- I would appreciate any information you have about it. Thanks Grammar

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