Peace [of Flammable Burlap]

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! 


craftmates said...

Your project turned out really great. Love the texture of burlap and your cross stitching. Good you managed to get a photo before it got caught on fire. And good to know that everything is okay. - Irma

GirlieBlogger@Beauty Fashion Blog Seattle said...

Beautiful work. Too bad it caught on fire.

Duni said...

That is gorgeous! You are multi-talented :) How sweet to give the banner to your Mom (so sorry it got burnt, though).

Stephanie @ henry happened said...

love the banner! it's so much fun when you plan on doing something, and a whole new project turns out :)

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

Your banner turned out great! I'm glad your mom got to enjoy it for a few minutes before the But in all seriousness, I'm glad your parents are okay and this wasn't a disaster!

Leslie Andersen said...

I love this project, and it looks really great with your mom's decorations. What a great story to go with it--I'm glad everything is okay!

Pam Fields said...

I love the banner! Too bad it went up in flames! I am so glad the house was rescued...and yes, I have set a fire over decorating before. Several years ago, I had a candle in a tall decorative holder burning and the flame had gotten really long. Long enough to set the cabinet top it was under on fire! Thankfully we smelled something scorching just as it started to flame. Stan to the rescue! I have learned my lesson. I can't wait to see the other banners.

Trekky said...

Very pretty! What a lovely idea. Thank goodness that your folks were home, and that everyone is ok!

Helen said...

WOW - I love this! Glad disaster was averted.

Thank you for posting this - DH bought me a roll of something similar for my birthday LAST year, because I wanted to do a wall hanging but I haven't done anything with it yet - but has given me inspiration on how to do at least some of the wall hanging, and has been very helpful :) Thank you again, and I hope your mum takes better care of any future banners you make for her :)

meet.make.laugh. said...

Love the cross stitch on the burlap! And so glad that your parents stopped the flames and averted a disaster!

Erica said...

Oh my gosh, what a story... lol! Too bad it went up in flames, because it was so pretty. Embroidery is something I am just now starting to experiment with so this post is super inspiring to me right now. Of course, note to self... keep projects away from fire. ;)

Jenelle said...

Oh no! It's very good thing they were home to put the fire out, but crappy that your banner got destroyed. I'm glad you took lots of photos though to share with us. It was beautiful!

Anonymous said...


Emma said...

Absolutely gorgeous, wow you've been busy I have a ton of your beautiful projects to check out.

I have an 80's craft mag that has some Christmasey sayings on Burlap always wanted to try cross stitching on it, the texture soft and smooth look amazing together.