Burlap and Jute Give Wonderful Texture to this Table Re-Do

Let’s just start out right away with the before: burlap table before burlap

Here are the things I like about this table… I like that it has storage, I like the shape, I even like the wood graining technique on the brown part.  But I do not like and never have liked the green panels with the flowers. They just aren’t painted in my favorite style or something…

I’ve been debating with myself ever since I bought this little table/cabinet from HomeGoods several years ago, why did I buy it if I didn’t like the way the green part looked… but since I did buy it that way, didn’t I need to ‘live with it’? I typically would have no problem selling it, but the size and shape and storage have been so darn useful, that I haven’t wanted to totally part with it.

But guess what? I finally came up with what I think is a great way to re-do it… well just the green panel parts… I decided to use burlap edged with jute. And now I love it… all of it.

Here’s how I did it: supplies for burlap table

For the supplies, I bought some plain burlap at Joann Fabric’s. Burlap is super cheap, but it is kind of messy… leaves lots of fibers around as you’re working with it.

I had this clear wallpaper border adhesive already, as well as the knife, smoothing tool and paint brush.

I painted the wallpaper adhesive on to the panel very, very liberally. The burlap just barely held onto the glue, and as I was laying the burlap onto the panels in several spots I had to lift it up and apply even more adhesive. wallpapering burlap

So  then, I took the the burlap rectangle, (that I had cut out a little bit larger than the actual panel)  placed it on the wet adhesive on the panel, and using the smoothing tool to get it to set in the adhesive as well as work out any air pockets under the burlap.

The smoothing tool isn’t critical, but as I’ve done a lot of wallpapering in my day, it’s just something I’m used to using, so I thought it would help with smoothing the burlap. You could use a putty knife or something like that if you preferred.

This part was actually a lot more difficult that it looks. The burlap is so loosely woven, it easily gets crooked. At some point, I just had to embrace the fact that the lines in the burlap were going to be somewhat wavy and go with it. cutting burlap

Then, same way as I would cut wallpaper, I held the flat blade carefully against the burlap on the side that was staying, and with a super sharp blade cut away the excess burlap.

Again, this was actually more difficult that it looks or sounds. This trick works all day long with wallpaper, but the burlap is way more tough to cut through and just wants to slide around like crazy. All I can say is I’m so glad there were only 3 panels on this table, I would have had to figure something different out if I had more to do. gap around burlap

As you can see, even with all that care in cutting, it still looked unfinished. The edges of the burlap are sort of ravel-y and because it slid around as I was cutting it, some edges had gaps. So… jute for edging

Back to Joann’s and here’s what I came up with for the edging answer. Jumbo jute. (this really brings back
memories of macramé plant hangers… oops, I may be dating myself, but I used to
love to macramé, 30 or 40 years ago… you know when that was popular… well if
you don’t know… ask your mothers… um… grandmothers? jute covering

To attach the jumbo jute, I used the hot melt glue gun. Worked like a charm. Way easier to glue the jute than the burlap. glued end of jute

One little tip though, be sure to glue the end of the jute quick after you cut a fresh cut on it, so that it doesn’t unravel. edge looks great now

There now, doesn’t that jute work great to finish the edge of the burlap? It covered all the jagged edges of the burlap and filled in the gaps too. burlap table finished

Here is this same sweet little table/cabinet. And with the burlap and jute, it’s absolutely, neutral enough to fit in any room. Instead of color having to make it interesting, it’s the textures that make it interesting.

As I was working on the project though, I did kind of wonder if this was going to be like the macramé projects I worked on so long ago… at the time I loved them, and they were quite stylish… but then not so much.

Oh well, I’m willing to continue to change my craft projects as the styles change.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Gail@Purple Hues and Me says

    Thanks for stopping by and your lovely comments. Love your post on using burlap and twine to decorate your furniture, Adding the twine gave it a “finished look.” Burlap and twine are so HOT now. I tried a few projects and have come to the conclusion that if you plan on getting smooth edges while cutting burlap you have to treat it with a coat of mod podge to prevent the frays. Works every time!

  2. Judy says

    What a great way of updating that piece of furniture and hiding the part you don’t like. It looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing at DIYbyDesign.

  3. Ann says

    What a great idea and a great job. I love working with burlap but as you said, you have to get over the fact that it may not be perfect. If you love it, that is all that matters!! I may steal this idea!!!!!

  4. Katie B. of says

    This is a fantastic redo and I absolutely LOVE that you didn’t paint over the wood. It seems like everyone these days has a vendetta against wood — so they paint it, then distress it and I laugh, knowing that in about 3 years they’re going to be writing about how their furniture looks worn out, so now they’re stripping and staining it!

    I’d love if you’d come join my How To Tuesday link party, too.

  5. Donnamae says

    I have a hard time trying to figure out what is trendy and what is classic…there are so many new ‘things’ out there! I like what you did, stylish….whether it’s trendy or not, it’s important that you like it! (I used to love macramé!). Shhhh!…..don’t tell anybody! 😉

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