Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Give Thanks Burlap Bunting

Who doesn't love a good ol' burlap bunting?

I was terrified to do this project.  I've only heard scary stories about working with burlap, but let me tell you - this was cake!  All it takes is a little patience, an ounce of know-how and you'll be hanging this cute banner in no time!  And we all know I love an inexpensive project - this one cost me less than $10 to make.

1 yard Burlap
Brown Ribbon {Used: 12 ft of 2 inch wide ribbon}
Brown Thread
Brown Fabric or Multi-Surface Paint
Stencils {Used: 4" letters from JoAnn}
Fabric Scissors
I Sheet of Cardstock Paper
Sewing Machine
Sewing Pins
Fabric Glue

1.  Make your bunting template.  Using a ruler and pencil, make a triangle measuring 8" x 10".  Cut out your triangle.  Be sure to place your stencils on top of the template to check it is the right size.  While you're at it, lay out your stencils so you're sure you have all the letters.  :)

2.  Leave your burlap folded - we want to create a double layered bunting.  Using your template, cut out 11 triangles from your material.  Remember that you can save material by flip-flopping the template to share edges.

3.  Once all cut, iron your burlap.  Make sure it's nice and flat.  Iron burlap on medium-high heat.  If you have stubborn spots, feel free to mist with water.

4.  Pin together your layers of fabric with your sewing pins.  I pinned in three spots (beginning, middle and end).

5.  While you have the iron out, let's fold over your ribbon.  Completely remove ribbon from roll.  You may need to snip off the ends if the holding tape was a little too sticky.  Ironing over the sticky stuff will ruin your iron.  On medium heat beginning on the end, simply fold the ribbon in half and iron.  BE CAREFUL OF YOUR FINGERS!  Continue this along the entire length of the ribbon and set aside.

6.  Now it's time to stitch together your burlap.  Use short stitches with moderately high tension to ensure your thread catches the tiny fibers of the material.  Allow for a 1/4" edge.  You'll also notice that I did not reverse stitch on these - I make sure the thread doesn't unravel in Step 7.

**TIP: When you get the tip of your triangle, leave the needle through your fabric, release the presser foot and simply turn the triangle.  This will keep your stitches continuous and give a nice clean look to your bunting.

7.  Trim the thread off your triangles and secure ends with a drop of fabric glue.  Set aside to dry.

8.  Time to stencil!  Position your stencil in the desired position and tap on the paint.  Remember, do not overload your sponge brush with paint - a small amount will get the job done.  Also, tap straight up and down - do not swipe.  Swiping can cause paint to get under your stencil and ruin your design.  Finally, when ready to remove, pull the stencil straight up.

For the leaf, I used a fake leaf and tapped paint on the outside edge.

Set aside all pieces to dry.

9.  Once dry, pin burlap and ribbon together.  Start with your middle letter "T" in the middle of your ribbon and work your way out.  This will ensure your tails are long enough to work with and the spacing of your pieces is consistent.  Place burlap pieces inside the fold of your ribbon, so when sewn, the ribbon will be hugging your triangle.  I also positioned my triangles so they would be touching at the corners.
Keep pinning until all your pieces are in place.

10.  Time to run it through the sewing machine!  Starting on the end {again, I did not reverse stitch - we'll take care of that later}, slowing work your way down the middle of the ribbon.  Continue all the way down your banner, paying close attention to the alignment of the thread and ensuring all layers are being sewn.

11.  Now, we're going to snip the thread and melt the ends of the ribbon to avoid shedding.  Carefully, use a lighter to melt the end of your ribbon.  Don't burn it - just melt.

And viola!  You have your very own Give Thanks Burlap Bunting!

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