Today's project is going to show you a sneaky little way to give burlap more of a feminine touch. Because of it's generally neutral colors and rough texture, I think of it as more of a masculine fabric, but my house is full of mama and three pink-lovin' girlies, so almost everything in our house gets a pink or ruffled or flowered make-over! Burlap is no exception.
Now I will tell you a story. We'll call it, "The Ugly Boxling".
Once upon a time there was an ugly Ziploc bag box -- no offense, Mr. Zip, that packaging may help your product fly off the shelves, but it's purdy darn ugly as a countertop decoration and diaper holder in my laundry room -- The little box felt sad that all the other items in Charlie's laundry room were getting make-overs and fresh coats of paint. Some of the new door handles poked fun of the little box, and the front-load washer complained excessively about having something so "ugly" placed upon her. The poor little box would cry herself to sleep every night.
One day, the Charlie Godmother came to visit the ugly boxling. Charlie thought of many different ways to transform the ugly boxling. A coat of spray paint? No, the rough edges would still show. Maybe adding cute trim after? Nah, it would take too many coats of paint to get it to look uniform. What's a girl to do? Toss the little ugly box? NO!!!
Hmmm... Perhaps I could create a beautiful dress for the little box, and then she wouldn't feel so out of place in the new laundry room?! Perfect!
All she needed was a little burlap, some scissors, hot glue, and some embellishments!
Step 1) Cut the top flaps from your ugly boxling and measure it from top to bottom and then around the entire box. Like this:
Add a couple inches to each measurement just in case... Always better to have too much and then cut it down than to not cut enough. You can always use the excess for flowers or other fun small things.
Cut out a rectangular piece of burlap using those two dimensions you just took.
Step 2) Decide how long you want your pleats and then cut out a strip that would wrap around your box 3x (so using your measurements, take the second number and multiply it by 3 to figure out how long to cut the pleat strip). It's okay if you can't find a piece that long, it's easy to patch in a new piece right along with your pleats. If you'd like more details on measuring, cutting, and sewing the pleats, visit my tutorial I did on pleated basket liners. :)
Step 3) Once your long strip of pleats is sewn, place the right side of the pleats facing the wrong side of your rectangle piece. Since we're using burlap, there isn't really a right and wrong side, but I thought I'd clarify this just in case.
Step 4) Flip your pleats over the top of the rectangle piece, so now the wrong side of your pleat should be touching the right side of the rectangle piece, and it will give you a nice little edge along the top without the extra step of adding another piece of fabric!
And measure it up to your box to decide how far down you want to take it and how wide you'd like the top section. You can always just trim right along the bottom since we're leaving the bottom edge rough anyway. Since I was just discovering and figuring it out as I went along, mine ended up being shorter than my box, so I just cut a bit off of my box! Don't worry, Ugly Boxling was grateful for the trim. ;)
Step 5) Once you know how wide you want the top to be, go ahead and glue the pleats down. I just put a strip of hot glue right along the seam allowance and then pinched them together with my fingers. Since I was just using a low-heat craft glue gun, this wasn't a problem. Please remember to use something other than your fingers if your glue comes out very hot! Burlap has lots of little holes, so the glue goes through and WILL burn you!
Step 6) Now go ahead and glue the entire piece to your box! My extra couple inches came in handy when I wrapped mine around since I wanted a really clean finish, so I went ahead and took it right to the edge and then cut off the excess and glued it down. I also gave myself about an extra 1/4" at the top of the box, and when I was finished wrapping around the edges, I folded the top in to cover the raw, corrugated edges that were showing up top. :)
Step 7) EMBELLISH!
Once Charlie Godmother had worked her magic, the Ugly Boxling was transformed into a beautiful Boxerella...Errrr...something like that. And then she was stuffed full of baby diapers and wipes, and they lived...