We see the “Family Established” signs everywhere these days, and we wanted one. We decided to make our “Adams Family” sign using framed burlap. Printing directly to the burlap material sounded like more fun than “paint by stencils”, so I decided to give it a try. Here’s the finished product.
Here’s the basic steps I used to create the 8″ x 10″ framed sign:
1. Design the layout on the computer
2. Cut a piece of burlap about 13″ x 13″
3. Iron the burlap, using steam to help remove wrinkles
4. Attach a fabric stabilizer to the burlap (I used Heat ‘n Bond)
5. Cut the “paper burlap” to the size of an 8-1/2″ x 11″ piece of printer paper
6. Insert the burlap “page” into the printer, and print the design
7. Remove the Heat ‘n Bond paper backing
8. Frame it and marvel at your awesome work of art!
First, I created the layout using the Make-the-Cut software that came with my KNK Zing. I could have used a graphics design program such as InkScape, or a standard word processor such as Microsoft Word to create the layout. Since I’m trying to learn Make-the-Cut, I decided to use it.
Next, I cut a piece of burlap roughly 13″ x 13″. This gave me plenty of material to work with. I then ironed the burlap on a high heat setting with steam to remove the wrinkles.
I used Heat ‘n Bond to give the burlap enough rigidness to pass through the printer. I found this at Walmart for around $8. There’s many products that would work, but the Heat ‘n Bond worked well for this project.
Applying the Heat ‘n Bond to the burlap is easy using a warm iron. I simply followed the instructions on the bag. I pre-cut the Heat ‘n Bond to a size slightly larger than a piece of printer paper. It took me two times to get it right. The first time, I pulled at the burlap while attaching the Heat ‘n Bond, thinking it would prevent wrinkles. It actually made the weave uneven and “wavy” – it didn’t look natural. So, I tossed it into a scrap pile and started over. The second time, I didn’t touch the burlap once I laid the Heat ‘n Bond paper on top to iron. That worked.
Next, I cut the burlap and Heat ‘n Bond to the exact size of a standard piece of printer paper (8-1/2″ x 11″). I made the cut on an 18″ x 24″ cutting mat using a Fiskars rotary cutter. The green Omnigrip grid kept everything aligned and in place. It was a fairly simple process, especially considering I didn’t even know what a “rotary cutter” tool was before Michelle handed it to me.
I then placed the adhesive-backed burlap directly into the rear loading tray of my inkjet printer. This particular model is a Canon MP620B. It’s nothing special – just an average home inkjet printer. I used the back tray because it has a more direct printing path than the front loading tray.
The printer handled it with no problem. Here’s the burlap as it came through the printer.
I then removed the paper backing. It left a thin shiny film on the back of the design, but it doesn’t show through the burlap when placed in the frame.
Finally, I painted an 8″ x 10″ wooden picture frame that I bought at a garage sale for $1, using Rust-Oleum flat black spray paint. When I put the burlap into the frame with the cardboard backing (that comes in the frames), it was too tight and I couldn’t get the back of the frame to lock in place. I removed the cardboard and tried again. This time, it was too loose. So, I compressed the corrugated cardboard backing by rolling a 15-pound weight over it. That reduced the thickness so it all fit nicely in the frame.
Here’s a few more photos of the finished product.
I plan to try this with another design. Next time, I’ll use color to see how it turns out.
What do you think? Have you tried printing a design on burlap? If not, give it a try.