The beauty of pairing lace and burlap lies in the fact that the end result is both rustic and elegant. In this tutorial I show you a way to create DIY burlap and lace flowers without using hot glue (because, if you are like me, the glue inevitable ends up burning your fingers). If you prefer burlap without the lace, check out these instructions for how to make three-layer burlap flowers.
After experimenting with several different looks for these flowers, my informal focus group voted for this style. They liked the look and I liked the technique because little precision required. If you kind of suck at sewing, that’s okay because the knots are hidden. And, because of the rustic elements, these flowers do not have to be completely symmetrical. If yours are a little lopsided, no problem! Finally, I use thread to avoid burns and mess, but if you are versed in the use of a glue gun and wish to use it, please do so.
I’ve written out detailed steps in this post, followed by a video at the end. You can also follow along with the video on YouTube, here. As a side note, my cat Shadow co-stars in this one. It was an adventure to say the least. Don’t miss the outtakes starting at the end (click here to skip straight to the kitty bloopers).
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What You Need
- A square of burlap 3″ or larger, depending what size flower you want to make. (You can find burlap in many colors or patterns here.)
- Scallop lace trim or fabric edge cut 1/4 the width of your burlap and three times the length. (Example: a 6″ square of burlap gets a 2″ x 18″ piece of lace.)
- Tape measure
- Thread the same color as your lace.
- Clear-drying glue
- Small jewels or other decoration for the center.
Step 1: Prepare the burlap.
Starting far enough ahead of time for the glue to dry, cut the burlap square and apply glue to two opposite edges. Leave a glueless inch or so at each corner.
Step 2: Make the bottom, burlap Layer.
a. Begin making the bottom layer by folding the burlap square into 1/4, with the glued edges long-ways. Fold in half, glued edges touching. Fan fold into 1/4.
b. Cut petals and secure double-looped thread at center.
The narrow ends of the folded burlap will be the petals. Cut one end to be rounded or pointed, whatever shape you’d like.
Fold in half and, using the first end as a pattern for the second, cut the opposite end of burlap into petals.
While still folded (so you don’t have to measure), loop a doubled burlap strand around the center and secure it with a knot. The knot should be on the same side as your edges that have glue on them.
c. Fan out petals and sew edges together to round out the layer. This step is why we put glue on the edges: it keeps the edges from fraying when you sew them.
Working from the underside, sew together loose edges, pinching the two glued edges together then threading the needle through the burlap. These can be large stitches and they don’t have to be neat…no one will see the underside of your flower!
Check the front to see where you should stop sewing.
Tie off the thread and repeat on the other side.
Step 3: Make the lace layer.
Use the needle and thread to gather the non-scallop edge of the lace together by weaving the needle in and out along the edge and pulling tight.
From the underside, sew the raw end edges together to make a circular flower.
Knot off and cut the thread.
Step 4: Sew the two layers together.
Using the needle and thread, attach the two layers together.
Starting from the bottom, pull needle through the center of both levels, then back down again.
Do this two or three times, then knot off from underneath. Pull as tightly as you like to get the look you want.
Step 5: Add the center decoration.
The center decoration can be anything you’d like, from a balled up strand of burlap, to a button, or jewel(s). Simply sew or glue it to the center.
Optional: Purchase all or some of your flowers
If making your own takes too much time or you cannot get your flowers to come out the way you’d like, there is another option: purchase from someone who handmakes burlap flowers. Here are some you may like. (Note, you can find these and others here.)
- Top left: These flowers are simultaneously rustic, vintage, and romantic. Ms. MeMe adds cake pins on the backs, to use as a topper or other wedding cake decor, and ships the trio in a keepsake bag. The larger flowers are 4″-4.5″ inches across and the smaller is 3″-3.5″.
- Top right: Heidi designs these romantic flowers to be stuck into something. This threesome, each measuring 5″-5.5″ across, is perfect as a rustic elegant cake topper. She has several other listings as well.
- Second row, left: These unique white burlap and lace flowers add elegance to any country style wedding. Darlin will use any of three shiny centers as the finishing touch. The flowers are 11 cm (about 4 and one-third inches) across.
- Second row, right: These adorable zinnias are made from lace-covered burlap and feature dried sunflower centers. Ranimus upcycles the burlap from coffee and peanut sacks.
- Third row, left: At 3″-3.5″ across, these flowers are the perfect size to use as mason jar decorations or to top your wedding cake (a cake pin backing is optional). You can contact Tina for quantity discounts.
- Third row, right: If you like the look of frayed burlap, these flowers are for you. Lynne makes them in your choice of two sizes, 6″-8″ and 10″ across, perfect for a variety of decorations. Read the listing for her ideas on where to use them.
- Bottom left: Here, Sarah somehow covers part of the burlap with lace before folding it into a rose. (She can also fully cover the burlap if you’d like.) You can order these roses with any of 13 colors of lace and they come in three sizes: 2″-2.5″, 3″-3.5″, 4″. A listing for a quantity of one or more is here. Note, you can contact her for a discount on purchase of 20+.
- Bottom right: These layered-look roses are designed with a pearl-center rosette on top and layers of lace and burlap beneath. Duan reminds us that because they are individually handmade each will appear slightly different from the next.