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!
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.
Follow Life with Neal and Suz: