I recently remembered making burlap flowers with my mom when I was in my early teens and decided I wanted to try to make them again. The burlap flowers were easy enough for us as kids to make and our mom was good at teaching us DIY projects and crafts. As a trip down memory lane, I set out to reproduce the DIY burlap flowers that I remembered.
Materials and Tools to make DIY Burlap Flowers
- Burlap cloth
- Florist stems
- 18 gauge raffia-wrapped
- 18 gauge string-wrapped
- 22 gauge coated wire
- Florist tape
- Tacky glue
- Freezer paper
How to Make Your Own Beautiful DIY Burlap Flowers
Step 1 – Cut the Burlap
When cutting burlap, you need to cut between the fibers… cut in the weave. This prevents most of the fraying.
Cut a piece that is about 4″ x 10″ (about 10cm x 25cm).
Step 2 – Remove the Center Burlap Fibers
Lay the piece out and, starting in the middle of the short side, pull out one of the threads. I prefer to use tweezers to grab the end of the fiber.
I make sure I lay my hand on most of the burlap piece to hold it still while I pull out the fiber.
The fiber will slide out fairly easily.
I have a very short video to show you how easily these pull out.
The result is that you will have a whole “row” of burlap fiber that is now gone from your burlap cloth. Time to pull out some more! Oh, and if you end up losing the end fiber while you are pulling these out, don’t worry. Having one or two of these fall off is not a big deal.
Continue until you have about half an inch (a little over 1cm) remaining on each long edge. I keep all those leftover pieces of burlap. They make interesting tassels or ties for other projects.
Step 3 – Glue
Because burlap is a very open-weave cloth, working with glue will seep through those openings in the burlap. I have found using freezer paper (shiny side up) under my messy glue projects works to protect my project surface and my project is less likely to stick to the shiny side of the freezer paper.
Lay down a bead of Tacky glue along one edge.
Fold the other edge over to the glue edge and press with your fingers as the glue takes hold.
You will only need to hold it for about a minute.
Step 4 – Roll onto Stem
I found a few types of florist stems at the craft store and bought more than one type. For my first flower, I used a raffia-wrapped florist stem that is 18 gauge. I liked it because it was close in color to the natural color of burlap.
Lay the stem down perpendicular to the glued edge and begin rolling the glued edge onto the end of the florist stem.
And more rolling…
When you get to the end, simply hold it for a few seconds as the glue begins to set.
Step 5 – Flower Center
User your fingers to open up the flower by pulling back on the burlap loops.
When I was a kid making these flowers, my mom had us put brightly colored pom poms into the centers of the flowers. I have a lot of odd buttons and decided to try using those instead of the pom poms. Squeeze some glue into the center of the flower.
Place a button into the glue and press into place.
Step 6 – Enjoy Your New Burlap Flower!
Except for some dry-time, this flower is done and ready to become a part of your home décor.
Another Burlap Flower — With Leaves!
I am happy with how my first burlap flower turned and it was a fun walk down memory lane, thinking back to my youth and doing crafts with my mom. But, I wanted to try to do a little bit more. I wanted to add leaves to my flower stem.
Step 1 – Make the Leaves
The 22 gauge coated florist wire pieces are 18″ (46cm) long. I cut two of them in half to make four (4) burlap leaves. Starting at 4″ (10cm) from the end, bend the wire with your fingers or pliers to form the point of the leaf. Slightly arc the two ends to form the leaf shape. Cross the two ends of the wire at approximately one inch (2-3cm) from the end of the shorter part of the wire.
Twist the ends together. This forms the leaf shape and gives you some leftover wire for the stem of the leaf.
Repeat for the remaining leaves.
When working with the wire, it can get a little bent out of shape. Do your best to make sure the leaves lie flat. You’ll get to curve them later in the project. For now, they need to be flat to attach to the burlap.
Cut a piece of burlap to a size that will hold all your leaves with a little bit of space between the leaves. Put this piece of burlap onto some freezer paper.
Run a bead of tacky glue around the leaf part of the leaf — not the stem part — then lay it glue-side down onto the burlap.
After gluing all the wires to the burlap, lay another piece of freezer paper on top of the leaves and press with a book or similar object. Keep it there for about three (3) minutes. After those few minutes, remove the top layer of freezer paper. Also, lift the burlap up a bit to ensure the glue is not sticking the burlap to the freezer paper. I haven’t had it happen yet but I think it’s because I catch it before it sets too much.
Set the leaves aside while they continue to dry and you make another burlap flower.
Step 2 – Make the Burlap Flower
This burlap flower will be very similar to the first one I described but there will be some differences so you can see that there are other ways to make these.
The steps are the same up through gluing the edges of the burlap together.
For this flower, I used the string-wrapped 18 gauge florist stems and I attached the button to the stem before rolling. Using a shank button, slip it over the end of the stem and bend the end of the stem using the pliers.
Lay the stem against the glue edge of the burlap and roll up as before.
Step 3 – Prepare the Leaves
When your leaves are dry enough (mine took about 10 minutes), cut them out of the burlap, leaving a small amount outside the wire. Don’t cut right up to the wire.
Using the florist tape, start at the base of the leaf, where the leaf meets the leaf stem (where you twisted the wire) and begin wrapping the florist tape. If you have never used florist tape, you need to give it a slight stretch as you wrap the stems and it will stick to itself. Keeping the tape at an angle as you tape to the end. Cut the tape when you reach the end.
Step 4 – Wrap the Stem and Add the Leaves
Starting at the base of the burlap flower, start wrapping with the florist tape.
Getting from the bulky burlap base of the flower down to the stem requires some back and forth and some building up of a taper using the florist tape.
Once you have transitioned down to the stem, continue to wrap for a couple of inches (4-6cm) then lay a leaf stem against the flower stem. Continue to wrap the stem and the bottom inch (3cm) or more of the leaf stem.
After a little more wrapping, incorporate another leaf and work your way to the end of the stem.
After both leaves are on, you can shape them.
Step 5 – Enjoy!
You now have a second burlap flower! You also know a new craft and can make more burlap flowers so you can make a bouquet of burlap flowers. I made four burlap flowers for this DIY with TLC project, one of which I made with white burlap. Burlap takes dye well. I also made Ombre Burlap Flowers. You can make your own by following the steps I describe here!
For the holidays, I dyed burlap red and green and made these loopy burlap flowers into a centerpiece lit with LEDs.
If you liked making these burlap flowers, you can also try making burlap calla lilies.