Burlap and copper pipe wall art – Monthly DIY Challenge

You guys.

It’s Monthly DIY Challenge time and, boy, do I have an easy project that packs a punch in the impact department.  And it’s cheap.  Can you tell I’m enamored?   Swooning?   In LUVVV??  I haven’t spelled “love” with a U since grade school.   That says something.  Right there.

Anyways, first of all, for anyone new to our Monthly DIY Challenge, this is a challenge that I participate in with some of my bloggy friends.  Basically, we’re assigned an item or theme and must make something with it.  Period.  Super simple and the sky’s the limit.  My personal goal in these challenges is to also keep my projects pertinent to our home.  Stuff that we need, or that can improve on form or function.   Sometimes it takes a little creativity, but it always keeps the wheels turning which is a very awesome thing.

This month, our challenge item was fabric.

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I had a few ideas for this month’s challenge and after several failed attempts at other fabric-oriented projects, I ended up with a super simple tapestry wall hanging of sorts out of burlap.   See, I’d found some old burlap sacks at a thrift store a while back and I took them home with the intention of doing SOMETHING with them.   And then finally, ONE day before our pics were due for this month’s challenge, I had a lightbulb moment that put an idea to the notorious “something”.

A while back, I’d picked up the following stuff from Home Depot…

Copper pipe, brackets, and a pipe cutter.

My original plan with these items was to hang three burlap sacks side by side on one pipe, but I couldn’t find an appropriate place in our house to hang a piece that large without it making the space feel super dark (I’d initially wanted this for our hallway, but yeah, WAY dark).  So, the project kind of died.  I had this stuff on hand, just never used it.   The funny part about it was that I’d purchased a 10 foot piece of copper pipe for this very purpose.  I’m barely over 5′ tall, so here I was steering my way around HD with a pipe that was literally double my size.  You all should be proud of me.  I did not impale a single person, nor did I destroy any displays.   I did, however, collect a crowd of well-meaning passersby in the parking lot where I got many tips about how to fit the pipe into my car (through the car diagonally and out the front window for the win).  So, when I finally realized that I could still make the project happen, just with one sack instead of three, I slapped my forehead as I realized that my Home-Depot-Lancelot-Adventure was all for naught.  I totally could’ve purchased the shorter length of pipe.  Or maybe not… now I have plenty of pipe left for another project.  And another story to tell.   Glass half full, ya’ll. 😉

So, anyways, I hung my burlap sack with thumb tacks to figure out where I preferred it.   And it ended up being here…

In our guest room.   As you can see, I once again switched around the space and relocated my $7 Target-inspired bench to this wall.   It works much better here than the previous arrangement that I discussed in this post. Same story for my small dresser that was subsequently moved to the adjacent wall (ie: back to where it started).

I measured my burlap sack, which was 28″ wide.  So, I decided to cut my pipe 34″ to allow 3 inches of overhang on each side of the sack…

But, like any of my projects, there are always teeny hiccups.  Like when I went to open my pipe cutter package with a knife and apparently was feeling a little stabby…

PSA: Don’t play with knives.  I’m now on my 6th band-aid and it’s nearly bled through as I type this.   #justusescissors

Anyways, to cut my pipe, I used a hand-held pipe cutter.   You simply clamp it down on your pipe by tightening the little knob…

And twist it around the pipe a bunch of times…

As you spin the cutter around the pipe, it will begin to spin easier.  At this point, you’ll wanna tighten the knob more.  And repeat…  twist, tighten, twist, tighten, etc. until the pipe comes apart in two clean pieces…

Gaw-gee-ous. (triple-syllable Fran Drescher “gorgeous” = goodness around these parts)

Now, to deal with my burlap….

The back of my burlap sack had been cut open when the sack was emptied of its coffee bean contents, so I simply hand-stitched it up loosely with tan thread so that it wouldn’t sag once hung.

Then, I sewed the sack to my pipe with large stitches about an inch apart…

And I hung it on the wall with brackets and a few drywall anchors…

Which left this…

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I thought about steaming the burlap to rid it of its wrinkles or possibly depositing a bit of pipe inside the sack to weigh it down and allow it to hang flat and smooth against the wall, but I decided against both options.  I love how wrinkled it is.  Everything else in the room right now is so smooth and neat that it’s a nice contrast to have something that looks a bit aged and imperfect.   I especially love it against the bold, bright fabric of the bench.  Me-Ow.   And now I’m one step closer to a finished room.   Or is it really EVER finished??  THAT is the question… 😉

So, anyways, that’s one more Monthly DIY Challenge in the sack bag!!    Now, check out the projects that my awesome buddies came up with…

TDC Before and After

A Little Christmas Project Nostalgia

Hey Ya’ll!  We’re decorating the new pad for Christmas today and I’m totally stoked about it, too.   It’ll be a day full of decorating in our pajamas while watching Elf and eating cookies.  Living the dream, people.  Plus, the fact that we’re in our new house just MAKES IT for me.   I’ve always thought that this house would be great for the holidays and this was unexpectedly confirmed when my Aunt Terry walked into our living room for the first time and stated (with zero prompting) “This is a great Christmas house.”  BAM!  That’s right.  It’s not just me!!!

Anyways, being the nostalgic sap that I am, I decided to cruise through some of my Christmas posts from last year for inspiration.   Since this is a new house with different decor needs, looking back at old projects helps me visually inventory what I already own in one fell swoop (and provides me with ideas for new ways use these items in our new home).  So, in case these may benefit ya’ll as well, here are a few snippets…

Our Christmas trees.

For our larger tree, I stuck to a silver, burgundy and green theme last year.  Lots of glittery snowflakes, garland and wire ribbon.   In lieu of a tree skirt, I just used faux sheepskin rugs.  I love that look.  It’s like a little snow mound beneath the tree.

Our “Charlie Brown Tree” is a simple silver tree that I purchased on clearance from Walmart years ago (Humph… that cord makes me twitchy.  Just try to ignore it.  Or tell me you don’t see it to make me feel better.) …

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I stuck him in this painted basket for a bit of style, then added some stockings and wood ornaments with burlap bows for style.   These guys adorned our hallway nook in our last house, but need a new locale and look for this house.   Hmmm…. Wheels are turning…

Adding pizzaz with free Christmas Printables

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This was one of my favorites.  It was free, easy and added a touch of whimsy to our Christmas decor.   I ended up using four different printables throughout the house.  I still have them and will likely reuse them again.   See the other printables that I utilized here.

Christmas centerpiece ideas, PLUS, creating inexpensive snowflake window hangings...

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A few simple, cheapo purchases lead to a sophisticated “winter wonderland” feel.   The window hangings tied in perfectly to the trees and centerpiece and really were the icing on the cake!  At least I think so.  😉

Some quick, low-maintenance outdoor decor...

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I reused my DIY frame wreath and jazzed it up with a few simple tweaks.  Plus, I used a gorgeous live wreath in a non-traditional way to add a little Christmas spirit to the seating area on our covered porch.

And lastly, this isn’t Christmas decor necessarily, but since gift ideas are always a good thing, here’s how I created simple busts of Lucas on burlap for gifts.  We gave one to each of the grandparents last year…

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So, now that I’m officially in the Christmas spirit, I’m gonna go get my decorating on.   Ya’ll have a great weekend!!  Let’s start this holiday season off right!  🙂

TDC Before and After