How to Make a Burlap Picture

burlap tractor artwork diy home improvement project

For those of you who know me, you know I have an obsession with burlap. I think it is because of its texture and it goes with everything! It also reminds me of when I grew up on a farm in Maryland.

I also like the idea of repurposing things so this project met multiple objectives for me. I get to use burlap, reuse something I already have (old picture frame), and I get to MAKE SOMETHING! Life is GOOD!

Here are the steps I took to make this framed burlap tractor.

Materials:

    • old or new frame (the more rustic, the better!)
    • burlap
    • foam board
    • ruler or tape measurer
    • exacto knife
    • computer or picture of an old tractor silhouette (or whatever you want to make)
    • printer
    • vinyl cutter (optional)
    • black sharpie markers
    • tan/brown craft paper or an old paper bag
    • mud podge
    • foam paintbrush (for glue)
    • paper or alligator clips

Prepare the Frame:

First, I removed the old glass from the frame. I found this frame in my Dad’s barn when we were cleaning out after he passed away. ? Dad would be pleased with how I am using this, especially because he had a red Farmall tractor he was restoring before he died.

Cut the Foam to Fit the Frame:

I measured the foam board to fit snuggly in my frame and used an Exacto knife to cut the foam board.

Cut the Burlap:

My frame was 10.5″ x 8.5″. I cut a piece of burlap 17.5 x 13.5″. In other words, cut your burlap so that it is approximately 2-3 inches larger than your frame ON EACH SIDE.

Then, I ironed the burlap to create a smooth surface.

Create Tractor Picture:

Find a picture that you want to use. I found this tractor on google images. I resized it to proportionally fit my frame and reversed the image. I printed it on white paper.

Transferring the Tractor Image:

This was a little more challenging – – a little trial and error.

I thought about using a fabric transfer sheet and transfer this to the burlap by ironing; however, I was worried it may not transfer very well due to the texture of the burlap.

I ended up printing the tractor as a “cut image” on my Cricut and then traced the outline of the tractor on the burlap using an ultra-fine point black sharpie. If you don’t have a vinyl cutter, you can just print the image and trace it against a window it as I did below.

Next, I printed the tractor image on the printer. I taped the paper to a window and then taped the burlap over the paper. (The sunlight helped me see the image through the burlap to trace/color in.) I alternated between the ultra-fine point black Sharpie and the fine point black Sharpie.

Because there were so many details with this particular tractor image, I did some of this freehanded. I am not an artist by any means; I still draw stick people. However, I was able to fill in some of the details. It does not have to be perfect!

Gluing the Burlap to the Foam Board:

Initially, when I began to glue the burlap on the white foam board, you could see the white through the holes in the burlap. Neal suggested I put a piece of brown paper between the burlap and the foam board. Fortunately, I had a piece of recycled brown craft paper in my stash! I put this between the burlap and the white foam board and it worked like a charm! Thank you to my smart Neal!

I then used a foam brush and mod podge to glue the burlap to the foam board. I made sure the foam board was centered on the back of the burlap.

I folded over the edges, trimmed the corners so it would fold over easier, and glued these in place too.

I used large clips to hold it in place until it dried.

Insert the Picture in the Frame:

Once it dried, I inserted the burlap in the frame and hung it as part of a gallery wall in our basement. I hung it using hangITstrips to ensure it is hung level.

Here is the first version using a different picture of a tractor (and a thin piece of cardboard, not foam board). ? Neal said it was fine, but I wanted more detail . . .

So as you know, I chose another tractor picture, and here is the final result!

I hung it using hangITstrips which pinpointed the exact location for my nail.

And here it is as part of our new gallery wall in the basement.

Happy Crafting!

9 Comments

  1. Marcie on 05/07/2020 at 9:45 AM

    SUPER CUTE!

    • Suzanne on 05/12/2020 at 10:59 AM

      Marcie,

      Thanks!

      Suzanne

  2. Kate on 05/07/2020 at 10:55 AM

    Does it matter what type of burlap you use?

    • Suzanne on 05/12/2020 at 11:00 AM

      Kate,
      I think any type of burlap will work, just make sure it is not too thick.
      Happy Crafting!
      Suzanne

  3. Jayne on 05/07/2020 at 11:21 AM

    What a smart idea!

  4. Maggie on 05/07/2020 at 1:50 PM

    Could you use cardboard instead of the foam board?

    • Suzanne on 05/12/2020 at 11:07 AM

      Maggie,
      I initially used cardboard and it did not look good but I think the cardboard I used was to thin. It crinkled when I added the mod-podge. However, I think it would work using really thick cardboard.
      Let me know how it goes.
      Suzanne

  5. Tamera on 05/08/2020 at 8:54 AM

    This would be perfect for my kid’s silhouettes!

    • Suzanne on 05/12/2020 at 11:08 AM

      Tamera,
      What a great idea! I might need to try that!
      Suzanne

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