Here is a quick tutorial on some burlap valances I made this past week for our dining room.
I’m still trying to decide if they were worth all the sore muscles afterwards! They may not look like a difficult task, but they were no easy feat!
Here’s how it went..
I cut the burlap the width of the window and the length I wanted it to hang down. I had previously washed the burlap to make it softer and easier to work with.
I also frayed the edges by pulling the separate strings out until I had enough of a tattered edge.
The next step was applying the French grain design, which I downloaded from The graphics fairy. I was able to get the jpeg as a reversed image, since you need a reversed image for this technique.
I then printed it out first on regular copy paper, just to see if it’s the correct size for the valance. (later it will be printed out on parchment paper to transfer)
Since the largest size my printer prints is 8.5 x 11, I cropped the photo in two, and enlarged both sections to fit an 8.5 x 11 paper. I then taped it together.
I found the center of the valance and marked exactly where I want the image to be with pins…
Since I needed to act kind of quickly with the parchment paper image, the pins helped in getting it aligned.
Next I printed out one half of the image on the parchment paper, which I cut to 8.5 x 11.
I laid it on the burlap, ink side down and carefully pinned it in place, trying not to scoot it around. (this would smear the ink)
The next step was the challenge for me… to get the ink onto the burlap by rubbing a marker, or any object hard and easy to grip, over the paper.
After rubbing as hard as I could, without tearing the paper, this is how it turned out…
As you can see, it’s a little faint. I fixed this by using a magic marker (a paint marker would work great too) and darkening the image.
After printing out the other half and aligning it with the one I had just done, it was rubbing and rubbing all over again. I needed three curtains, and each one got two separate images, so that’s six transfers. Call me wimpy, but I had sore arm muscles the next day! I realize transfer paper would probably have made this easier, but who wants to pay $7.00 for a few sheets of paper?
After I had all three curtains done, I still felt they needed more, like a little color maybe?
I decided to paint stripes along the edges. I made a stencil to do this..
I tested different colors on the other side of the valances, just to see how it would go with the image and burlap..
I loved the red but thought it wouldn’t go quite with the green accented kitchen. We don’t want Christmas colors year round, do we?
I tried green…
Each time I tried the different colors, I would hang them up to see how it went with the dining area. I sure did not want to mess up these curtains after putting all that effort in the transferring!
Green wasn’t quite right either. (I can be really fussy about matters like this :/)
Finally I settled for a dark gray-blue that I made by mixing three different colors of paint together (a combination of craft paint and regular water based paint)..
And.. they were ready to hang…
I was a bit worried that the feed sack, burlapy look would make the dining area look too primitive, which I didn’t want, but I think there’s enough white, French country to even it out.
For the complete dining room makeover, click here.
Thanks for visiting & have a great week!