I love stripes, distressed texture, simple clean design, and old things. So while some may look at an old grain sack and see it as useless trash, I see charming old fabric that can be used for lots of fun home decor projects! As I began working on this post, I read about the history of the grain sack, and it made me interested in them all the more! (HERE is one of the posts I read if you are interested as well.
I remember a few years ago walking around in Charles Phillips Antiques near Mobile, AL and this wall of grain sacks stopped me in my tracks ..
I bought a large one to turn into a pillow someday, (which I still haven’t done .. still deciding on the perfect spot ..) but I wish I had bought more! I’ve since started noticing these types of designs on decor items at many upscale home stores, like these below from Pottery Barn. So, if you’re like me and interested in the grain sack look without the upscale price, keep reading!
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I bought these blank canvas pillow covers from Southeastern Salvage a few years ago and had somewhat forgotten about them until reorganizing my craft closet recently. HERE are similar ones for a great price! Basically, any blank neutral pillow cover will work for this project.
Did you know that you can paint on fabric with basic acrylic craft paint? I thought that I would have to use a special type of fabric paint, but I just used what I already had on hand and it worked just fine! I’ve even washed and dried them and had no problems.
Click the links on each item if you’re interested in purchasing.
- Canvas pillow covers
- Pillow inserts
- Painters tape – Choose your width of tape based on what design you want to do. This link has an assortment of sizes.
- Craft paint – I used black, but you can use any color that will work well in your home.
- Stencil foam brush or Beauty blender (Yes, like the ones for makeup! They are great for stenciling as well!)
- Small stencil brush
- Something to smooth down the tape and get it to stick well … I got my little scraper tool at Dollar Tree but something like a credit card would work as well.
- Sandpaper, if you want to distress at the end
Watch a tutorial HERE!
After washing and drying your covers, smooth out wrinkles with an iron to prepare it for paint. I put a garbage bag inside to keep the paint from leaking through. Then use the painters tape to create your design. There are lots of different options .. just Google “grain sack.” I did a thick stripe in the middle and two smaller stripes on each side. I used a skinny stencil paint brush for the smaller lines. I added a little bit of water to my paint so that it wasn’t as thick and easier to apply to the fabric.
Once the paint is dry, remove the tape and use sand paper to smooth out any roughness. This also distresses it and makes it look more authentically old. I ironed over the finished design to set it. This may not be necessary, but doesn’t hurt.
Then put your inserts in and you’re all done! Using an insert that is an inch larger around than your cover will help your pillow look its best ..