Thursday, September 1, 2011

Knock-Off Ballard Designs Burlap Crewel Damask Panel (tutorial)

A few days ago I happily pulled a new Ballard Design catalog out of my mailbox and began flipping through it.  These beauties immediately caught my eye....


Then I immediately noticed the outrageous price tag....$179-$229 per panel.  Ummmmm, it's Burlap people!!!  And then I started thinking how easy it would be to make these.  I had been considering doing something with burlap in the new bonus/playroom (that is not yet finished) so when I saw these I knew they would be perfect for that room. 
I started brainstorming on how I could make curtains that looked like these for a fraction of the cost.  The damask design on theirs is actually embroidered on but I figured stenciling it on with paint would give virtually the same look.  As I started pricing large stencils, I noticed they were a little pricier than what I was wanting to pay so while I was at Hobby Lobby yesterday, I came accross this

(excuse the crappy photos, I took a lot of these at night when I was working on this project.)

It wasn't the size I wanted (I was wanting to find one at least 12 inches but preferably more like 17 or so and this one was only about 9 inches long) but the price was right at only $2.99.
I found this paint which I thought would work well on the burlap.

  I asked an employee about painting the burlap with the acrylic paint and she suggested adding a medium to it that would make it better for fabric.  I decided against using the medium since it said that it would be washable and I wanted a permanent finish, also it was over $5 and I was trying to keep the cost of this project as low as possible.  The paint went on fine without the medium.

As of tomorrow, I will be the proud owner of a sewing machine (my mom is bringing my grandmothers machine when she comes to visit tomorrow) but as of last night when I made these, I did not own one.  So, I had to make these no-sew.  I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for the burlap but its definitely do-able and fairly simple.  It's just a little more difficult because the burlap is so porous.  I ironed a hem to make a crease then I hot glued the burlap to attach it. 

That was by bottom hem.  Then for the top, I created a pocket for the rod by just wrapping my burlap around a tape measure (we have a big fat one) because it was the first thing I could get my hands on.  Then, I glued down the entire bottom edge creating the pocket.  I didn't get pictures of this step but it's pretty simple.  I chose to do an 84 inch length for my panels.

I should note that instead of going with the typical 54 inch width for the panels, I used the 47 inch width of the fabric so that I would not have to piece it together and have a seam.  Also, I didn't have to hem the edges of my burlap since it already had this finished edge
Yay for skipping a step!  :p 

Now, my panel was ready for stenciling!  This proved a little more tedious than I anticipated but it wasn't bad.
I measured 2 inches from the top and side to start my first row.
I used electrical tape to hold the stencil in place.
(the stencil had paint on it because I did a test run on a piece of cardboard first ;)
Ballard's panels have 5 rows alternating a row of 3 and a row of 2 in their example panel which was (judging by the photo) the 108 inch length since it was puddled on the floor.  I did 4 rows since I was doing the 84 inch length.  Measuring out the space between the designs was easy because I just did the same thing on the other side of the panel (measured 2 inches from the top and side) and once I had the designs on either side, I measured equal distance on either side of the stencil between the two designs for my middle design. 

As for the design, I mentioned that my stencil was small and I wanted something larger.  After looking at it, I realized that I would not like using the small design.  So, the solution to the small design?  Flipping it and making a mirror-like image below it to double the size of the design!

  Awesome!  And it beats paying over $30 for a stencil that size!  If you don't prefer this look, you could of course get a larger stencil design and it would still be an affordable project.  I just wanted to keep the cost as low as possible.

To apply the stencil, follow instructions that come with the stencil.  I ended up using a small sponge roller and just sort of dabbing it on (and some rolling) but there were some places I had some bleeding so maybe a regular sponge would work better?  I didn't necessarily mind some minor bleeding.  Also, make sure that you place something like plastic under the burlap because the paint will bleed through (I used a couple of the thin flexible plastic cutting boards.)

As for spacing in-between rows, you could measure everything out (which is probably best) but I used my old paper method of marking where I would place the designs and just worked with it till I got it looking like I wanted but still measuring the 2 inches from the side on the rows of 3.

Then, I just slowly but surely completed the stenciling row by row till I finally was finished.  I am pretty happy with the result!

Obviously it doesn't look exactly like the BD panel but close enough for me!  Especially since my version was about ten percent of the cost of theirs!!! (The burlap was $4 a yard, the stencil was $2.99 and the paint was $6.99.) 

I actually really like how the design turned out even though it wasn't what I originally wanted.

I hung this panel in a couple different rooms of the house since it doesn't have a 'home' yet as the room is still being completed but I wanted to give you an idea of how they look in a room.

LOVE!  I can't wait to see how they look in the new room!

You will notice I only completed one panel.  My girl at Hobby Lobby shorted me some fabric so I have to get more to do the 2nd panel.  I will be back to show you both panels after I get them hung in the finished room in the nex few weeks!

p.s. I'm linking up!
Somewhat Simple


French Country Cottage

The Shabby Nest

All photos taken by Kristen (blog author) unless otherwise stated. Do not copy/save or print without permission. Thank you!


  1. I LOVE THIS!! They turned out so good. Great job!:)

  2. Very pretty! I think they look realllly close!

  3. Really cute! I'm lovin' burlap lately. They turned out great:)

  4. Oh my gosh. You're a genius. :) I love this.

  5. Wow...These are just beautiful and I'd love to feature them next week! :) Thanks for linking to Thrifty Thursday!

  6. That is awesome! I love the entire look of it! Great job!

    I'd love for you to share this at Show & Share!

  7. SOOO fantastic!!! You did an absolutely incredible job knockin' off Ballards and I'm going to go put these on our Facebook page right now. Thank you so much for sharing your talent and creativity with us at Inspiration Friday! :-)

  8. Love it! I've been looking at those at Ballard too!

  9. Thank you so much for all the love and features everyone! I had so much fun creating the look of the Ballard panels for a fraction of the cost! Great style doesn't have to cost a lot of money!

  10. Just saw you featured at Thrifty Decorating. Congrats. Your knock offs are gorgeous! Great job.

  11. That panel is fab!!! I have wanted to make curtains with burlap for ages... now I know how great they look they will be going into our grandson's room.

  12. Great DIY! I saw the same curtains and couldn't swing the cost. Oh Yeah!!! Thanks for the knock off. Love your site!

  13. Wonderful! I love those curtains from Ballard Design. Instead, I made drop cloth curtains for my family room but using a stencil will add just the right touch! Thanks so much for the tutorial.

  14. I'm in love with these drapes too!

  15. They looks exactly like the BD panel dont be modest girl :)
    One stupid question : From where you got he Burlap? I can't seem to find this fabric
    A visit from I cant remember which link party :D
    Im gonna follow you , if you have time check out my blog

  16. Im having a trouble seeing the followers today :( I couldnt follow youuuuuuuuuuuu

  17. Thanks everyone! :)
    "Champagne Taste" you should be able to get burlap at any fabric store but I got mine at Hobby Lobby! :)

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  19. Very creative, and it turned out beautiful!


I looooooove getting feedback and hearing from my readers! :)