Hessian (or burlap in North America) is a woven fabric made from jute or sisal. It has a lovely rustic feeling and is hard-wearing, making it a good choice for rugs. It also absorbs paint beautifully, allowing you to add your own pattern or border using Chalk Paint®.
In this step-by-step guide, we’ll teach you how to make up a rug by taking two layers of hessian and then folding over and sewing the edges to make a wide border. This border not only gives the rug strength, but also means the border could be used for a painted design. Here we’ve used Graphite, but you can paint on your pattern using any colour from the Chalk Paint® palette. You might want to create your own freehand pattern or you can use stencils. It really is up to you!
Step by step guide to making your own rug with burlap
- Cut two lengths of 12oz hessian / burlap.
- Cut four pieces for the outer border. We cut two the length of the rug x 48cm. The other two were the width of the rug x 48cm.
- Fold the borders in half lengthways.
- Fold the edges in by 1.5cm to make a neat hem.
- Pin and sew on the two longer borders, so the fabric covers both sides of the rectangle of hessian. The rug should appear the same on both sides.
- Pin and stitch down the two side borders.
- Topstitch the open hem on each corner.
Now your DIY rug is ready to lay out. You can keep it plain, but using Chalk Paint® to add a pattern or border will add interest and elevate the look. If you don’t feel confident about adding pattern freehand, take a look at our range of stencils. We also have a tutorial on using stencils to help get you started.
You can see this rug project and find inspiration for many others in Annie Sloan Paints Everything published by CICO Books. Photography by Christopher Drake © CICO Books.