I picked up a roll of burlap garland this year with the intent of making a printed mistletoe banner. Like so many of my other projects, my original idea morphed into something else when I actually started working :).
The open weave of the burlap didn't make a great foundation for printing. However, the weave is similar to Aida fabric which got me thinking that I could try cross stitching on it!!
I searched through my embroidery books and found a lovely text pattern for the word "Peace" in Rainbow of Stitches. I gathered a few simple supplies including: burlap garland, worsted weight yarn, a large tapestry needle and a pair of scissors. I made a cozy spot on the couch and started stitching.
After a few hours of leisurely cross-stitching, I had this banner!
I learned a few things while experimenting with this project that might be helpful if you want to give something similar a try.
- My usual cross-stitch method of making all right handed crosses in a row then going back over them with the left leaning stitches didn't work well on the burlap. I found the stitches looked nicer if I made the full cross one at a time.
- Since the weave is so open, you can't carry the yarn in the back without it being seen. Map out how you'll stitch your rows to limit the amount of times you need to break the yarn.
- The more stitches you add, the more squished the weave will become (at least with the weight of yarn I used). To even things out, just give the burlap a good tug from the top and bottom every 5 rows or so.
- Don't obsess too much over the neatness of the stitches. Mine looked a bit sloppy close up but once you have the banner hung, you can't see any of the wonkiness. Proof of wonkiness:
Here's another tip, burlap if flammable (duh)!!
My Mom always does a beautiful job of decorating for the holidays. I gave the finished banner to her so she could use it on her mantle.
It looks lovely doesn't it? Well, notice the proximity to the candles.
Shortly after this photo was taken (thanks Dad) the banner caught on fire!! Thank heavens my folks were home and near by so they could put it out before it did any real damage.
My Mom is asking for another banner with the word "Joy" but I'm not sure she can be trusted! I mean, I can count 7 sources of fire in just this one cropped photo!! Good grief.
Despite the near disaster, I really did enjoy this project and I plan to make more cross stitch banners (even for Mom). I was thinking a banner of hearts would be really cute for Valentine's day! Stay tuned for that project.
How is your holiday crafting coming along? Are you finishing your gifts? Have you managed to avoid all crafty disasters? Hope so!