Get Shabby Chic for Less! How to Decorate with Burlap?


Shabby Chic Burlap Seat Bottoms

Burlap is such a cool, rustic material. It’s an excellent textile to use in shabby chic, cottage decor, because it gives your home accessories a natural, roughened look. It’s also a very cheap textile, so it’s great to use when you’re doing shabby chic on a budget! Check out these tips for how to use burlap in home decorating.

- Use burlap when you are on a budget. At $2 to $10 per yard, burlap is the bargain of the material world. Burlap’s quality varies with its price. Cheaper burlaps typically offer a loose weave and rough texture, while more costly grades are tightly woven and smoother in appearance and feel.
- Capture burlap’s versatility. Burlap comes in widths from 36 to 50 inches. Pair it with other materials to add texture and interest to any room. Burlap is also the ideal fabric for embellishments such as buttons, ribbon, braids, cords, tassels and other goodies from the fabric store.
- Utilize color when decorating with burlap. Burlap is now available in a rainbow of hues, including reds, blues, greens and pinks. Patterns are also available. Burlap also readily accepts most dyes.
- Inquire at your local fabric store to see its selection of burlap. While it used to be the province of specialty stores and custom houses, burlap can now be found in most places that sell fabric.
- Use eye-protection when working with burlap. The same fibers that give burlap its pleasing natural texture can float into your eyes and cause irritation, so it’s a good idea to wear protective eye gear when cutting or sewing the material.
- Deodorize. Some burlap has a slightly unpleasant odor when new. Spray it with a product formulated to eliminate odors from fabrics.
- Use discretion. Even finer weaves of burlap can be a little scratchy, so you probably don’t want to use it to cover seating that gets frequent use.
- Watch for fading. When using burlap at windows, keep in mind that the colors will fade, but you may not discover it until you take the panels down. Then you’ll notice the original color within the folds of the fabric.
- Line the material on most projects. Because burlap has a tendency to stretch a lining will help to retain the original shape.