Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How to make a simple burlap flower

Remember these burlap flowers?

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I was asked by a reader how to make them and if I’d do a tutorial.  Seriously? Would I?  Well, okay, but don’t get too excited…there’s not much to it! 

First you’ll need some burlap.  For the larger flower, I cut a strip of burlap about 12 inches long and 4 1/2 inches wide.  For the smaller one, I used a strip about 10 inches long and 3 inches wide. 

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Fold the burlap in half lengthwise like this:
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Then stitch the open ends closed.  Use a thread that is close to the burlap color that you are using so that you can’t see the stitching later on.  Since burlap is such an open weave, I double threaded my needle and made an extra big knot at the end.  Stay close to the edge when stitching but not too close as the burlap tends to unravel easily.  See the pieces coming apart in the photo?

After your ends are stitched all the way closed, turn your fabric inside out.  Do this carefully, as the unraveling is bound to happen.

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Once you have turned it inside out, it should look like this:

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Now fold the fabric in half so that you have a folded side and a rough side.  It will now be half the width that you started with.
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Now, take your needle and thread and sew a basting stitch along the rough edge of the burlap circle.  Stay about 1/4 inch away from the edge, so that you don’t unravel and lose your stitching.  After every few stitches, pull the thread to gather and hold.  You want to pull tight enough to gather the flower, but not too tight or the thread will break.  TRUST ME ON THIS ONE.
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Continue all the way around until you have tightly gathered your thread and have reached the point where you started.  With so much fraying, burlap flowers are not going to be pretty on the back side.  With that in mind, I use several stitches across and around the back of my flower to be sure that it is nice and tight and that any loose parts are tucked in.

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Finished: Back

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Finished:  Front

Now, time to embellish.  You can use anything you’d like to dress up your burlap flower.  Buttons, small felt flowers, jewels, or whatever strikes your fancy. 

I used buttons in my original flowers, and I went to my button stash again for this new flower today.

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I didn’t actually sew this one on, but I wanted it to look like I had.  So, I cheated and took 2 pieces of the burlap that had frayed.  I hand threaded them through the button holes, and cut off the excess.  I then hot glued on my button.

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I still like my original ones best.  I think it’s because they are a bit smaller than this one and therefore, the flower folds are more pronounced.  And the hounds tooth buttons are just too cute!

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Sending you flowers,

Linking up to these great parties.

HomestoriesAtoZ; Under the Table and Dreaming

11 click here to comment:

The Loops

Hey Kim! Thanks for posting this. I do not have a sewing bone in my body, but I promise I will give this a try and let you know how it goes. They are so cute! If I can just learn to do I'm sure I will use your technique over and over!


I've wondered how to make these. Nice tutorial!

Kim Sturge

I love the idea of doing these with Burlap. I did a bouquet of flowers like this on my blog as well using regular material. I have some red and gold burlap, so I will be making something for Christmas with this. Thanks for sharing. Visit me at http://kim-sturge.blogspot.com/


Mel's Designs from the Cabin

Thanks! I needed a new way to make flowers....I'm certainly going to give it a try over at Mel's Designs from the Cabin blog....Mel...come over and see what I've been up to....getting ready for the fall craft fairs all over town...Mel

Rachel (Lines across my face)

Thanks for the sweet comments. I changed a lot of things around on my blog a little while ago and I keep changing a few little things every so often. You are also very talented and have a lot of great projects here! I would love it if you would stop back by on Monday and join in on the crafty link party.


Great minds think alike! :D (check out my post)


Angie@Echoes of Laughter

Great tutorial Kim! I am a visual learner, so this is sooo helpful! Angie xo

Munchie's Mama

Love this tutorial! I really like how they turned out.


Big D and Me

May seem simple to you but us sewing impaired need all the basic steps and photos - thanks for the tutorial - flowers look great


Ok something is seriously wrong because I don't get updates when you have a new post add me to your email list. Thanks for doing this tutorial I love the flowers and this is something I might actually be able to do.

Lisa Hazell

I've recently fallen in love with burlap!! I'm definitely going to have to try this kind of burlap flower. I posted a different one on my blog, Lisa's Craft Blog.
On a side note, could you e-mail me at virgotigergirl@gmail.com? I have a couple blog questions for you, if you don't mind.