Burlap Window Treatments

Working with burlap: making a burlap window swag and a burlap cafe curtain.

How to use burlap to make beautiful window treatments.I received some blue burlap to play with from BurlapFabric.com and my first project was to try a window swag for above our living room windows. I ended up also making some curtains for our master bathroom using the burlap as well.


Burlap is sort of fun and also sort of a pain to sew with. I serge it because otherwise it sheds. It still sheds a little despite this and I think there's ways to prep burlap first to avoid the shedding, but I mostly winged it. The thought of running burlap through my washing machine makes me shudder a bit.

That said- shedding. Make sure you clean your machine(s) after sewing burlap. THIS IS A MUST. The fibers shed into your machine and can build up, causing problems with your machine if you don't de-fuzz. This is pretty typical of burlap and also terry cloth. If I notice a lot of fuzz from a fabric that I'm sewing with, I always make sure that I thoroughly clean my machine after (or during).

Window Swag: I have three big windows in our living room and I made roman shades for them, but they needed something above them that was decorative. I have to say that this type of window swag looks a lot better on smaller windows, but I still don't dislike these enough to find the motivation to take them down. 

To make the window swag, I used a 22" wide strip of burlap fabric. I used the entire length of the burlaps that I had which was 6 yards. I serged the whole thing so there would be less fraying and shedding.


Then I just arranged over my curtain rod. I had some fabric that matched that I serged to make ribbons to tie the swag onto the rod.

With ribbons
Without ribbons
Master Bathroom Curtains: I believe these curtains are called cafe curtains. I had some curtains in my bathroom, but I was having the sneaking suspicion that perhaps they weren't giving me enough "coverage"... ahem... if you know what I mean. It wasn't a huge issue because there's no side windows on the house beside us, but I figured a well timed drive down our street at night might give someone a show they weren't looking for. I thought this blue burlap might look beautiful in the bathroom and also provide more privacy.

These were pretty simple and I used a coordinating beige fabric for the bottom. The top panel was a curtain that was already on the top rod that matched beautifully.

I measured my length from the rod down, then added a bit extra length to account for the pocket for the rod. I measured the width across my window, then made two panels that added up to a lot more than the width. I believe I did almost twice the window width in total width, but I think my curtains were a bit too wide given the thickness of burlap so I recommend going with less than I did. I may end up making these less wide eventually- the benefit to less width is that you can open the curtains and let some light in. Mine are scrunched so much on the rod that there's no option for that. I'm usually too busy to worry about opening curtains though and that window is over the big tub so it's a pain to get to.

To make this, I just cut my fabric to the measurements I calculated... I used two pieces of fabric so I right faced those and sewed together. I top stitched where they met. Then I serged all the way around the curtain. Again- shedding.



Afterwards, I folded over the short sides of the curtain and sewed a straight stitch to finish off the edge. I folded over the top about 2" to account for the curtain rod pocket. Then I put the curtain on the rod to check the length. I was happy with the results and left it as is. I may eventually hem this as well but it's pretty perfect as is so I want to enjoy them for now. 


My material from BurlapFabric.com came quickly and was what I expected for burlap. I've seen some "burlap" that I'm pretty sure is faux burlap that is nicer to work with- but again, I don't think it's real burlap. Real burlap gives a more rustic look and the website had a lot of options to chose from in terms of color, as well as premade items. They also sell fabrics such as terry cloth and muslin. I think it would be helpful if there was a tutorial on their website about how customers should handle the burlap to get rid of shedding before they use it for crafts... I always prefer some instructions directly from the fabric company when I handle a new fabric so I can make sure the fabric gets the proper care.

What is your favorite burlap craft? Do you enjoy working with burlap?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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DIY Danielle: Burlap Window Treatments
Burlap Window Treatments
Working with burlap: making a burlap window swag and a burlap cafe curtain.
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DIY Danielle
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