I’ve been sniffing the coffee bean/burlap fumes again…………

You may have seen my previous post on recovering my art chair in burlap.

Burlap recovered chair

Burlap recovered chair

But, did you know about this? Burlapcrete?

click on the image below to open article in a new window.

Burlapcrete used house construction

Burlapcrete used house construction

Burlap is so versatile and biodegradable that you can put the scraps straight in the compost bin when you’re done!!!Or dip it in concrete and throw it at the side of your house – who knew!?!?!

This weekends project is making burlap baskets

First I had to make a few design decisions and draft a pattern.

There are literally tonnes of square burlap bags/baskets/boxes out there with their floppy sides and/or 5 or so layers of interfacing to ensure it stands firm as thick cardboard.

I wanted a more natural shape but one that mainly supported itself – Here’s where a little geometry comes in. The strongest geometric shape for my basket has to be a circle because a circle is not weaker or stronger at any point on its circumference – it distributes force evenly and remains intact. That is if it is a perfect circle – I will try my best to cut it right.

I want a little shape and slumpness in the sides to give it a more natural form so I will use only one layer of iron on interfacing and line the basket with cotton. Gravity helps with the slumping – but being a circle the hope is – it wont fall over with the slump and look ugly.

To work out the pattern I needed to refresh my mathematics skills

How to calculate the circumference of a circle from the radius or diametre

How to calculate the circumference of a circle from the radius or diameter

From there on it was fairly easy to get started, the pattern got a little technical in areas as I wanted 3 different sizes and needed a method that would suit all three and give a good finish.

Pattern making madness

Pattern making madness

After I had finished making the first basket I found there were PDF patterns available from Maya*made. That would probably have been easier. So if you are interested in making some burlap ‘buckets’ go to Maya*made’s etsy store via the image below to source a pattern. The only difference between Maya’s bags and my pattern looks like the base on hers is possibly square. It looks like a good pattern, she also has a nesting bucket pattern as well.

bucket pattern now available! by mayalu, via FlickrPDF Pattern for Round Burlap Bucket. $7.00, via Etsy.

Here are some tips I found during my experience in working with burlap

When working with burlap baste and overlock every seam!

When working with burlap baste and overlock every seam!

hand stitch handles inside the basket at the base and again on outside of basket at the top. done in black thick polyester thread.

hand stitch handles inside the basket at the base and again on outside of basket at the top to ensure they are sturdy. Use thick thread!

lining hand-stitched in blanket stitch with gold polyester thread.
My preference is to hand-stitched (blanket stitch) the lining to basket for a tidy finish.

And, here is the finished product. This is the biggest size of 3.

I left as much Coffee sack uniqueness as I could - this is the  original sack seam. :)

I left as much Coffee sack uniqueness as I could – this is the original sack seam. 🙂

The inner workings of the basket. Cotton in a very light green colour.

The inner workings of the basket. Cotton in a very light green colour.

Pepperbox Couture Label is stamps onto cotton binding

Pepperbox Couture Label is stamps onto cotton binding

Shoe basket size  :)

……………… a few hours later

All 3 nesting baskets are done! These are for my sister as thanks for the burlap supplies!

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and I made one large one for myself out of a 1960’s kitchen linen wall hanging, burlap and cotton…

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15 thoughts on “I’ve been sniffing the coffee bean/burlap fumes again…………

  1. Pingback: 35: Between Paper Yarn and Burlap. | Almofate's Likes

  2. Reblogged this on bibbie&blue and commented:
    Coffee scented and functional? *insert drool. I admit a good day in my home starts with the whirring of the coffee grinder and the magnificent wafting of java beans emanating throughout the house. So when I stumbled on this post by Pepperbox Couture, I fell in love.

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    • My sister owns a coffee shop and she receives her coffee orders individually bagged packed up in reused burlap sacks from the roasters. Most of our cafes here are the same and are more than willing to give the sacks away. 🙂

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      • Great! I once worked in an area of spice and coffee warehouses, the air surrounding the buildings were like a travel log.

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      • That is considerate of the cafes. I was looking for burlap when making sand bags at my previous residence, didn’t find any. Rice here is bag in a tough plastic kind of sac.

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  3. Thanks you have some good ideas and patterns. It looks very much like sacking/Hessian that I used many years ago. Some people even made curtains out of it, as it was cheap and had no printing on it.

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    • Thanks, the picture of it links to it’s own post if your interested I have put in a brief tutorial on how to recover a chair like this yourself. 🙂

      Thanks for the comment!

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