Burlap Halloween Craft Ideas

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Burlap is a versatile fabric, excellent for creating a wide range of crafts. You can find it in a selection of colors at craft stores, or stick with old feedbags or burlap coffee bean bags. Not just for making scarecrows, burlap can be surprisingly sophisticated, or used to make something gruesome. The only limits are your imagination, so gather up your crafting supplies and get ready to decorate!

How To Make A Zombie

Scarecrows might be the classic burlap craft, but you can use the same basic technique to fashion a life-size zombie for your front porch, yard, or the corner of your living room.

You will need:

  • Plenty of stuffing. Good choices are hay, dry leaves, straw or newspaper.
  • Old clothes. You need pants, a long sleeved shirt, a belt, gloves and old shoes. A hat is optional.
  • Enough burlap to form a head.
  • Large needle and heavy thread
  • Paint
  1. Start by stuffing the pants with your filler material. Use enough stuffing to create a well-filled silhouette, especially if you want your zombie to be standing.
  2. Button the shirt closed, and fill with stuffing. The arms should be stuffed firm enough to have a defined shape, but still bendable enough to pose as you like.
  3. Set the stuffed shirt on top of the pants, and tuck the edges of the shirt in to hold it in place. Fasten the belt tightly around the zombie’s waist to secure the top and bottom.
  4. Cut two oval shapes from the burlap to form the zombie’s head. Each oval should be around 15 by 18 inches. Sew the ovals together, leaving an opening for stuffing.
  5. Fill the head with enough stuffing to hold a firm shape. Push the unfinished edges down into the shirt so the head is in place. Let the head droop to the side slightly, for an authentic zombie appearance. With needle and thread, stitch around the neck and shirt to keep the head from falling off.
  6. Push the bottom of the pants into the shoes.
  7. Lightly stuff the gloves with filler, then push into the sleeves to function as hands. Use a few stitches of needle and thread to hold the hands in place.
  8. Paint your zombie’s face. Give him grayish-green skin tone, and eyes circled with black. His mouth can be open in a scream; or make a less frightening look if you prefer.
  9. If you want your zombie to have a gruesome appearance, use red paint as blood, applying liberally to his neck, chest and arms.
  10. If your zombie is to wear a hat, push it onto his head.
  11. Set your zombie in his display location, moving him carefully so he doesn’t come apart. Adjust him to your liking, and be sure he is securely positioned so he won’t fall over if it gets breezy.

Make A Halloween Wreath

Give your front door a macabre touch with a burlap Halloween wreath. It should be easy to find black and orange burlap at fabric or craft stores as Halloween approaches.

You will need:

  • A wire clothes hanger
  • ½ yard each of black and orange burlap
  • Scissors
  • Two hinged wooden or plastic skeleton figures, around 6 inches tall
  • Hot glue gun
  • Small wooden Halloween-themed sign, around 6 inches wide
  1. Pull the wire clothes hanger into a round shape. Leave the hook sticking up from the top to use as a hanger.
  2. Cut the burlap into strips 8 to 10 inches long, and about an inch wide.
  3. Start tying strips of burlap around the hanger. Each strip should be tied in a half knot. Don’t pull too hard, or the burlap might break.
  4. Continue tying strips of fabric around the wreath until it is completely covered with fabric, and has a full, fluffy appearance. Rub the tips of the fabric ties to give a rough, worn appearance.
  5. Position the Halloween-themed sign near the top of the wreath, and glue gun in place.
  6. Set the two skeletons in the bottom section of the wreath, posing them as you like. They could both be sitting in the bend of the wreath, or holding onto the side, or let one sit, one stand. Glue gun them in place, and clamp them while the glue dries.
  7. Hang your wreath on the front door and enjoy.

How To Make Burlap Ghosts

For a simple craft that even your younger children can enjoy, make simple burlap ghosts.

You will need:

  • Burlap, cut into 12-inch squares
  • 1-inch Styrofoam balls
  • Black yarn
  • Wiggly eyes
  • Glue
  1. Fold each square of burlap over a Styrofoam ball, centering the ball.
  2. Use yarn to tie a bow tightly around the burlap right underneath the ball.
  3. Tie a second piece of yarn to the opposite side from the bow to form a hanging loop.
  4. Glue the wiggly eyes onto the ghost’s face.
  5. Hang where the ghosts can be enjoyed.

If you thought burlap was just for harvest festival crafts, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many Halloween decorations you can create with this inexpensive, versatile and easy-to-use fabric. Halloween is such a great opportunity to show off your originality and crafting skills; don’t pass up this chance to create something to add a little bit of spookiness to your holiday.

Last Updated: September 5, 2012
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About Michelle Ullman Michelle Ullman has lived and gardened in Southern California since childhood. A freelance writer, she covers topics ranging from gardening to home improvement to health issues. She also has experience as a catalog copywriter and poet. Michelle has trained and worked as a respiratory therapist and surgical technologist, but prefers to spend her time gardening, and walking with her dog. Michelle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Redlands University in Business Management. 

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