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What do you do with all that Burlap?

Burlap, Upcycle -

What do you do with all that Burlap?

What do you do with all that Burlap?


Short answer; it never goes to waste. 99.9% of all the coffee we import arrives in large burlap or jute bags. Since the Fresh Roasted Ideas blog is all about exploring the uses of coffee bi-products. I thought it would be neat to share some of the things we do with all that material.


Makers love them, so we reserve some of the choice patterns for purchase at the store.


We have donated big stacks to a local Girl Scout troop for making projects.


  • Ground Cover – as avid gardeners; this is one of our favorite uses. We lay these down early spring in pathways around our raised beds and sprinkle some clean saw dust on top to keep the weeds under control. As an added bonus the natural material composts into the soil in about a season. The earth worms really seem to enjoy the extra moisture retention too!


  • Grow Potatoes – layering in potato eyes and topsoil into burlap sacks is something else we are trying out this year. The idea is to add soil as the potatoes grow, you layer in more and more soil until you have a large sack full of potatoes! Looks promising so far, and will keep you updated on the outcome.


  • Experimental – This was fun. In an attempt to make a functional, beautiful chicken coop out of as much up-cycled material as feasible, we came up with some interesting ideas which I will share in a future post. This was the result of substituting coffee burlap for fiberglass sheeting for a siding concept:


The panel came out super strong and looked quite nice. The reason we didn’t pursue it further for siding was the effect sunlight would have on it. In short it would become brittle over time unless painted or obscured from sunlight in some way. Since I used wax as a mold release, I would have to remove all the traces of wax before painting. Once everything was factored in, manufactured siding seemed like a better choice for the chickens comfort and protection. We may find a use for it in the future though. Tool and knife handles with some different resin choices could work out well.


With some resourcefulness, new uses are always revealing themselves. What are your favorite up-cycling projects?


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