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.
- old or new frame (the more rustic, the better!)
- foam board
- ruler or tape measurer
- exacto knife
- computer or picture of an old tractor silhouette (or whatever you want to make)
- 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 really 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, trimming 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:
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!
And here it is as part of our new gallery wall in the basement.
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