Scanning the shelves in Michaels with a 55% coupon in hand, I looked around for something I could make an easy, do-it-yourself banner with.
My eyes landed on a pad of burlap card stock.
There were 24 individual sheets of burlap, backed with cardboard.
Being the worst at cutting straight lines, I figured that individual sheets would save a lot of frustration.
And, I had been looking for an opportunity to work with burlap.
People love burlap – and it’s everywhere. I’ve seen mason jars wrapped in burlap, curtains made from burlap, flowers wrapped in burlap, and entire weddings crafted from burlap.
I even worked with a teacher who covered all of her bulletin boards in burlap.
I had never crafted with this material before – but I do agree that burlap brings a natural warmth and texture – so I was excited to check it out.
So, I got started on my project – which was to teach myself how to make a burlap banner for St. Patrick’s Day from homemade stencils and burlap.
Materials for the Burlap Banner:
- Foam brush
- Acrylic paint – I used the two pictured below, mixed together.
- Burlap – I loved using the cardboard backed sheets from Michaels. Here’s a similar one.
- Scissors – A good pair makes a big difference!
- Stencil of your choice – You can make these. I made a shamrock. You can use letters or hearts – or anything you’d like! (See below for shamrock template)
- Tape – scotch or painter tape (more about this below)
- Ribbon – for stringing the letters together
- Hot Glue Gun
How to Make a Burlap Banner
The instructions for making this banner are quite simple: preparing the burlap material, making the stencil, painting the burlap, and connecting the burlap pieces.
Preparing the Burlap
First, I simply made a triangular cut on the bottom of each sheet.
The burlap was easy to cut into with the cardboard backing.
Making the Stencil
Then, I traced a shamrock onto card stock – and carefully cut out just the middle. This made the shamrock into a stencil.
I then taped it onto the burlap, making the cardstock as flat as possible.
Painting the Burlap Banner
Next, I used the foam brush (probably should have used a 1/2 inch foam brush – but I like to use what I have) to dab on the green paint.
Be careful to keep your brush straight, so it doesn’t slip under the stencil.
As a side note, I tried this using a regular paint brush also. While it worked, it took a lot longer and didn’t give a consistent coat. You can definitely use a regular paint brush, but the foam brush did a nicer job.
For the stripes, I used strips of scotch tape to create the lines. Then, I just dabbed on the green paint onto the burlap.
Immediately after, I removed the tape and moved on to the next sheet.
I also recommend doing a test with the colors/stencils you will be using. I tried a few different shades of green to see what would work best – and a few different shapes to see how they would look.
Pictured below is the edge of my desk, with my stencil and scotch tape strips. Rather than use a ridiculous amount of tape, I used the same four strips over and over, and I hung them here while not in use.
I also went back and forth with painting a shamrock, then stripes – this gave the stencils/tape a little dry time before more use.
Here are two of the burlap pennants, in the process of drying.
Both the card stock stencil and the tape worked really well. The paint looked very neat, and I had a nice, clean outline on every pennant.
Connecting the Pennants
After the individual pennants were dry (only took a few minutes), I used burlap ribbon and hot glue to connect them into a banner.
I found the burlap ribbon at Michaels during a 70% off sale prior to the holidays. I bought loads of ribbon then, without a use for any of it.
Ecstatic to find the burlap ribbon during this project, I knew I had the perfect use for it. And, I love that I got it when it was a great price. That’s why I love stocking up on craft supplies 🙂
So, I lined up my stripes and shamrocks in the order I liked and flipped them over for gluing.
Then, I used my handy glue gun to do two drops of glue on either side of every pennant.
Before you glue, make sure you have your banner in the right order. I once glued an entire banner in backward order – and let me tell you, I wasn’t happy when my “Happy 40th” banner said “40th-Y-P-P-A-H.”
Also, remember to leave extra ribbon on both sides for hanging.
I LOVED the way the sign turned out – it was so festive and added much more to our mantel than some of the store-bought St. Patrick’s Day decorations.
I don’t know which shocked me more – the fact that I made the banner for less than $5 or that I made it in less than an hour.
It was a total naptime creation, with time to spare 🙂
I shouldn’t have waited so long to start working with burlap. It was easier than I expected, took a small amount of time and effort, and yielded great results!