Easy Burlap Pillow plus a Free Printable

How to make a printed burlap pillow using your home printer!

burlap pillow

If you're a burlap-lover...today just might be the first day of the rest of your life! Okay so that was a major exaggeration, but I am going to share a trick that I'm sure you'll like and want to use over and over...you can print on burlap right at home using your inkjet printer!

Before we get to this easy fall project, can I just wax poetic about Fall for a minute...my favorite season! The weather has finally been cooling off a little and I feel like I have 'fall fever'. Kinda like spring fever, only I don't feel like cleaning! Which isn't very surprising as I rarely feel like cleaning...but I digress!

What I do feel like doing is pulling on my favorite flannel shirt and my tall boots and going for a walk in the leaves.

I want to curl up beside the fire with a good book, wrapped in a cozy throw, sipping hot apple cider.

I want to make a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup.

Do you feel that way too?

This weather is totally teasing me...cooler, cooler, cooler...and then hot again. I can't wait for it to finally stay cool!!!

I could talk about fall all day, but I think you are probably eager for me to get to the pillow tutorial and show you how easy it is to print on burlap right at home!

When I read about this technique over at Domestically Speaking, I was ecstatic and couldn't wait to try it for myself. I've stenciled on burlap before...but it's a little tricky (and messy). Printing is quick and easy and delivers fabulous results!

My home decor better watch out...because with this easy trick in my arsenal, nothing is safe!


fall grouping

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Materials Needed to Print On Burlap

supplies for burlap pillow

How to Print onto Burlap

Step One: Prepare the burlap

First, cut a piece of burlap that is a little bigger than a regular sheet of copy paper. If there are threads hanging off the edges, cut them off.

Next, cut a piece of freezer paper to the same size as the burlap.

Heat an iron. You want hot, dry heat. If your burlap is really wrinkled, steam it first and then remove the water from the iron. Place the freezer paper waxy side down onto the burlap and iron. Go over it a few times, paying special attention to the edges. You want it to be stuck well, all the way around.

iron freezer paper onto burlap

Leave the freezer paper stuck to the burlap and measure, mark and cut it so it's exactly 81/2 x 11.

Note: from this point on when I mention 'burlap', it's with the understanding that the freezer paper is still stuck to the back of it.

Step two: Create a printable

The printable I used for this pillow, 'happy FALL', was created in PicMonkey, You are welcome to grab it here and use it (as always, my free printables are for your personal use only please)...or use something else you have created. Just make sure your printable doesn't have any really fine details. You want to pick fonts/images that are bold and well defined. free fall printable | diy beautify

Step Three: Send burlap through the printer

My printer, a Kodak Hero, was being a little bit testy and either couldn't recognize the edges or told me I had a paper jam. I had to feed the burlap through the machine several times to get it to actually print on the burlap. I found it helped to have a small stack of printer paper behind the burlap/freezer paper.

If your printer is being difficult too, keep trying. You might find you'll need to remove the extra paper from behind the burlap. Once the printer accepts it, it will go very quickly. I think I tried to print it 5-6 times before the printer took it.

Note: If you get to the end of your rope and your burlap just will not print, head to Michael's or Hobby Lobby and pick up a package of laminated burlap sheets. Only the back is laminated, but it makes the burlap sturdy and each to send through a printer.

printing on burlap at home

Once it comes out of the printer, peel the freezer paper away and you are ready to create something with your beautiful new printed burlap!

You can frame the burlap like I did here with this burlap printed pumpkin, or create a pillow like I did. Keep reading for the instructions on making a pillow using the printed burlap that we just made.

printed burlap projects

How to Make A Pillow Using Printed Burlap

To make a pillow cover, you're going to need to know a little something about sewing with a machine.

Materials Needed:

Step One:

Measure your pillow or insert and then add 1/2" - 1" (depending on how snug you want your cover to fit) and cut one piece of fabric. This will be the front.

Step Two:

We're going to sew the printed burlap piece that we created above onto our pillow cover front. You may want to cut it down to size a little, and pull a few threads to fringe the edges. Pin it to your pillow cover front and then sew it on. I have my mom's vintage Pfaff machine from the 70's...still going strong!

sew burlap to pillow cover

Step Three:

Cut the pieces for the back of the pillow cover. The back is treated a little differently. To make the pillow cover removable, we're going to create a pocket opening at the back using two pieces of fabric.

Do you want to know a dirty little secret?

I don't really measure...I eyeball! I know, I know, I'm sorry (insert sheepish face here).

For those of you who do measure, you are going to cut the first piece of fabric 1/3 the size of your front cover plus 2 inches (just the length...that gives you some extra fabric to iron under and hem for the edge of the pocket opening). The second back piece of fabric will be 2/3 the size of the front plus 4-6 inches (enough to hem, plus some overlap!)

Make sense? If you're an eye-baller like I am, you want your top piece to be about 1/3 of the size of the front. Make sure you add that extra 2 inches (just on the side of the opening) before you cut it out.

Go ahead and iron and then sew the hem along the opening side.

sew pillow back

Step Four:

Cut and hem the second back piece and lay it over the first. Remember, the fronts of the pillow cover need to be on the INSIDE!! So I have my pillow front with the burlap piece FACE UP and I will lay the two hemmed back pieces FACE DOWN on top (front sides are together!)

Pin it all the way around and sew.

pin pillow front to back

Step Five:

Once it is completely sewn, all the way around, trim the corners. That will reduce some of the bulk when we turn it right-side out.

cut corner bulk

Step Six:

Turn the pillow cover right side out. Push out the corners, using a straight pin if needed.

turn pillow cover out

Here is what the back of mind looks like before adding the pillow. Excuse the wrinkles...looks like I need to iron it again!

iron wrinkles from pillow cover

The beauty of this type of closure is that your pillow cover is so easy to remove when it's time to change it out!

DIY printed burlap pillow

I hope you found this tutorial useful and are ready to make some pillow covers of your own, with printed burlap fronts!

I know I'll be using this technique to print on more burlap to use in many ways around my home. It's a great technique for making budget-friendly home decor like this printed burlap sign.

Have a fabulous weekend!

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  1. So pretty Cindy! I love this pillow...what a great idea about printing on the burlap. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving me a sweet comment. Lead me here to your fabulous blog!

    1. Thank you so much Deb! I'm delighted to have you visit!

  2. Love this idea Cindy and excellent tutorial too. Thanks so much for the inspiration! These are definitely happening in my living room this weekend ☺ Pinned to share and to refer back to.

    1. I'm so glad you love the pillow! Thank you for the post love and pin!! Happy crafting this weekend :)

  3. How clever! Love your lively tutorial, and the pillow looks great. If you felt like it, I would love to have you come link up at the Free and Fun Friday party I host each weekend! It just went live. :)

    Found you via the Pin Junkie Link-Up!

  4. I had no idea you could print on burlap! That pillow is so pretty and you give a great tutorial. We'd love it if you could link up with us at Best of the Weekend Link Party.

    1. I know, isn't it amazing? Thank you for your sweet words!

  5. Such a beautiful pillow Cindy! Once my sewing machine gets fixed I hope to make one:)

    1. Thank you SO much Tara! Although I don't love sewing, I do love being able to quickly whip up things like pillow covers; I hope your machine is fixed soon!

  6. Beautiful pillow! Thanks so much for the detailed tutorial.


    1. You're so welcome Paula, thanks for your sweet words! Have a fabulous weekend!

  7. I love burlap and have no idea why I haven't tried to print on burlap. I'm gonna give it a try as soon as I pick up some freezer paper. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

    1. Hi Pam, thanks so much for your sweet comments! Printing on burlap is my new addiction! Make sure you're using only Reynolds Freezer Paper, the others don't work for some reason.


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