I Heart Hessian

I recently repurposed an old toolbox into a bench seat and used hessian for the seat cover. We were left with some offcuts of hessian and decided to play around with some ideas. Here are the fruits of my labour.

But firstly, for those who don’t know what Hessian (also known as burlap) is, it’s a dense woven fabric made from the same plant material and fibres used to make things like ropes and nets. It is eco friendly and you’ll see it around town in all its repurposed glory as things like bags and rugs.


Your local green grocer probably uses hessian sacks for transporting produce to the store as it is a very breathable and hardy material. I picked up this hessian sack from our local green grocer for $4, which makes it a really inexpensive item for multiple craft projects. Your local cafe may also have some coffee bean sacks that they’d be happy to part with so have a chat to your barista.

We Heart Hessian; A Versatile and Inexpensive Fabric

When cut into smaller pieces it does tend to fray, so I simple dipped the cut edges in craft glue and left them to dry. What I was left with were very manageable pieces that could be turned into some cute little items.

They work great as napkin holders. Just cut a strip out, make it fray-free and then sew the two ends together with a button as an embellishment.

We Heart Hessian; A Versatile and Inexpensive Alternative Fabric - Make an easy napkin ring

I’ve made no secret about how much I love succulents in our indoor and outdoor spaces but they also make great gifts. Place some bright and contrasting tissue paper down and the pot plant in the middle. Pull up the corners of the tussie paper and wrap with hessian. Overlap the hessian and fold some down like a sock. Then simply tie it all together with some string and you have a decorative and very eco-friendly pot plant cover that makes for a fantastic gift.

We Heart Hessian; A Versatile and Inexpensive Alternative Fabric - Lovely pot plant holders for succulents as gifts

Cut out a label sized piece and glue the edges again to stop fraying. Once dry, just weave a bit of yarn through a piece of the tag and write on it with a marker pen. You also could just stick down to a surface with some double sided tape.

Here I’ve repurposed an old jam jar to store some dried bay leaves and the hessian label is perfect! I’ll be using these handy labels for our recycled jar kitchen cluster. You could also use them with some brown paper and string as charming gift tags on presents.

Pop the glass off an old frame and back the insert with some hessian for an instant message/mood/memory board. I’ve added some twine and craft pegs to hang all my favourite bits and pieces on and the board takes pride of place in my home office (H&D Headquarters).
A Place to Create: the home office - vintage charm through repurposed items, retro and vintage finds
Try this really simple and adorable idea of using an off cut in a white frame. Cut the hessian slightly smaller than the visible part of the frame. Then fray the edges by putting out a row or two of thread on each side. A heart painted freehand completes the look and isn’t it just a really simple little piece to display on its own, in the centre of a photo wall or to give as a gift to someone special.

One of my local cafes hangs whole coffee bean sacks on a wall above their lounge area as a feature.They use a variety of coffee beans from around the world, so I think the different selction looks great. What an a eco and repurposed alternative to wallpaper.

I love burlap - coffee bean sacks on the wall as a feature.

So I encourage all you crafty H&Ders out there to consider hessian for your next label, gift tag, pot plant cover… it’s such a versatile and inexpensive material!

Hillary and Dijon - Surangi

If you liked this post, then you may want to take a look at our decorating and repurposing categories

9 thoughts on “I Heart Hessian

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