Monday, October 20, 2008

sack hack


Feed and coffee sacks...grain and flour bags, I love them all. Finding a new and beautiful use for something that originated only for utilitarian purposes is totally satisfying. Now when I say beautiful, I know it's a matter of opinion. Natural burlap with nice printed graphics happens to be an aesthetic that really appeals to me. I've always found letters and numbers in different fonts to be visually stimulating. When I was planning the window installation for Mama Goose, I knew I wanted to try to get a hold of some coffee sacks for a back drop or stage cover. I contacted our local coffee roastery, Gimme!*, and asked what they did with their empty bean sacks. Turns out, they have mountains of them and were pleased to have me take a couple off their hands. After creating the window display, I had some left over. I wanted to hang one in my studio, but hanging a sack didn't feel quite right. I had been thinking of covering my bulletin board with fabric...bingo! Here's how it turned out.

Want one, too? Here's what you'll need:


-bulletin board- I scored mine at a garage sale, but all office supply stores carry them
-staple gun
-scissors
-coffee sack... try calling your local roastery

MAKE

1. Cut your sack open along seam to get the largest useable piece of burlap out of it.
2. Measure your board and cut your covering with about 2-3 inches surplus around each side.
3. Position the graphic where you'd like them and secure it with a couple of thumb tacks.
4. Flip cork board over and staple burlap to back side. Don't pull taut or you will skew the graphics. I pulled it tightly the first time and regretted it. My second go at it left the letters a little wavy still, but it didn't bother me.

note: Because you're inserting staples into cork, they can pull out easily like a tack. This makes for easy re-doing, but be careful not to let any pop out before you install it on your wall.

I hung mine above my computer table this afternoon. My new inspiration board is just waiting to be filled up...but I'm also enjoying it just like this!



find a sack
make a hack
get a tack
knick knack paddy wack!

I'm sure there are other ways to make use of this wonderful resource...what are your ideas?

*note: Gimme! coffee is incredible...wonderful practices and exceptional taste. If you are a coffee lover, you really should check them out. They've been getting some sensational press and since they're our local bar and bean, I want to give them a little shout out!
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41 comments:

  1. What a great idea! My friend got a bunch from our local coffee shop, Lighthouse, and used them to cover a path through her children's garden. It's a great look, defines the path and keeps the weeds at bay.

    Another great post, thanks!

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  2. What a lovely post! Such a nice way to start a Monday morning... Have a great week.

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  3. I'm a sack lover, too. I'll be checking in with our local roasters. I like the garden idea. I can also see hanging some laundry lines around the kid's garden & hanging sacks that have been screen printed with "signs." I'd use various shades on indigo & robin's egg, they'd look great on the sack color.

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  4. that looks really cute.. I think I have a bag somewhere made from a coffee sack.. I blagged it from the coffee convention in seattle last year, we didn't attend we were just walking though the building and hand a nosey and a lady handed me a bag and some industry magazines... I'll have to dig it out sometime..

    is it wierd that I like the smell of burlap?

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  5. Great idea! You did a great job. I am going to put a post up about this project at http://dollarstorecrafts.com !

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  6. maya, my dear, you and i are certainly living in parallel planes. i just cut into a burlap sack this weekend to make a fall inpsired wall hanging. the bummer is it didn't turn out as well as i would have liked, so i don't know whether anyone will ever see it :) or perhaps i have a post about imperfection on my hands. i will definitely have to hit up our local roaster for bags! i can imagine everyone's christmas presents wrapped in burlap sacks this year.

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  7. Great idea! We made a headboard for our bed from coffee sacks a few years ago. Its six plywood squares covered with batting and coffee bags and mounted on the wall. It looks great and I love the graphics too! I think we need a board like yours for the kitchen. :)

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  8. hi - first time to your blog. very cute idea. so simple i think i could even do this. love it!!!

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  9. Great idea for old sacks...wonder how they'd add to a quilt too, an art quilt maybe not a lap quilt...too prickly.

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  10. what a neat idea!!! That would be perfect in my husband's office!!!

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  11. what an awesome idea! i love your new board!

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  12. This is a great idea! I actually have some of these sacks from my horse. I'll be linking to this.

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  13. I love natural burlap and canvas as well and I adore the idea of recycling or reusing everything. They would also make wonderful gift bags for the giving season. You could personalize them with a little applique or embroidery. I covered a little frame with burlap, recycled from the thrift store and use it to hang my earings:)

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  14. I'm loving all of your fantastic ideas! LOVING!!

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  15. I love your Cafe Maya bulletin board! I agree, the graphics are great! I'd put handles on them and make a market bag.

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  16. i have enjoyed your creative blog and wanted to share with my friends so i gave you an award. please go to my site and see details

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  17. Great idea with the bulletin board! I've got a couple of sacks from Gimme that I was going to use for 'something', but haven't yet because they're so "pretty"...
    Whenever I visit my Dad, he and I head to Gimme for coffee. Love the place!
    And love your blog! So many wonderful ideas. Thanks for sharing!

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  18. This is awesome! Great work and thanks for letting me know about it :)

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  19. I bet you could lightly spray paint the sack before you staple it to the bulletin board to give it a brighter feel. You'd have to experiment though, to make sure the paint didn't totally cover up the graphics.

    Love this idea!!

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  20. I love this maya - most especially the fact that the bag once held coffee.

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  21. on design sponge!! how great, maya!

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  22. What a fabulous idea! My husband brought back a coffee bag from Costa Rica...10 years ago?... anyway, it's been hanging in my garage because we both love it, but had no idea what to do with it. Thanks for the inspiration! Do you mind if I link to this?

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  23. Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea! I must put one up in my cubicle!

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  24. I got a coffee sack a while ago that I meant to do something with, but the burlap smell is pretty strong. Can you wash them, or is there another way to reduce the smell?

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  25. Great idea! I will have to try this with one of the coffee sacks my uncle gave me! Thank you for sharing this! Love your blog (I hope you don't mind that I posted your blog on mine)!
    ~~Marie~~

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  26. I have a bunch of these from my brother in law. I was planing on making a floor mat for my kitchen. I think the bulletin board idea will be in the works very soon too. Thanks

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  27. This is a great idea! How do I find out who my local roaster is?

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  28. wow,it is so cute~ i like it!
    thank you!
    i will DIY it in this weekend.

    wholesale jewelry

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  29. Hi I love this idea and would love to share it on my blog linking your photo back to your blog, would that be ok? Also did you machine wash the sacks? I got one from a market last week that needs a bit of a clean but afraid the ink would come off in the machine? Thanks :-)

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  30. Thrifted Treasure,
    That sounds great! Don't machine wash the sacks. Air them, spot clean them... wash them in cold by hand if you have too. The texture changes in the machine and the ink is usually not permanent and you'll lose all graphics. Good luck!

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  31. Thank you so much for the advice and letting me use your image, I definitely won't machine wash it so :-) My blog post featuring your board can be found here

    http://thriftedtreasure.blogspot.com/2010/04/market-haul-coffee-sack.html

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  32. Great idea! I will have to try this with one of the coffee sacks my uncle gave me! Thank you for sharing this!
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