Heavier grain sacks can be tough on scissors and the sewing machine, but is hard-wearing and more desirable for upholstery. The natural flax color make them easy to color-coordinate in the home too. Wonderfully monogrammed and stenciled grain sacks – that is, the more graphics, since many were used for advertising – are highly sought after and are generally more expensive. Some are often patched from wear and dated making them one-of-a-kind find!
I must confess, I would love to have an antique grain sack, but I simply can’t afford (or justify) the purchase of such a beauty! Dream on. If your budget allows, there are many resources to purchase grain sacks on the web in addition to many decorating ‘uses’.
I thought I’d play a little, and try to make a faux grain sack covered footstool. I found a plain, sturdy footstool for $6 at the flea market. It had a solid plank wood ‘top’ and turned legs. I began by cleaning and sanding the footstool to prepare it for painting.
I decided to paint my footstool for this project. I used an acrylic, satin black enamel…assuming black goes with everything. I applied two coats and sanded lightly between each coat for better paint adhesion. I carefully sanded the final coat to allow a bit of wear to show through…ya know, the prim, antique look. Finally, I finished the footstool with a coat of tinted wax.
Now, for the ‘upholstered’ grain sack top…I used a piece of cotton duck material (leftovers from when I painted floor cloths!). I cut the fabric several inches larger than the base I wanted to cover – allowing for the foam and batting. I ironed the cotton to remove any wrinkles before painting on my black stripes, using black acrylic paint and masking tape.
I decided to use a ‘free’ sheep (what else?) graphic from The Graphics Fairy. I applied it to an iron-on transfer (available at any craft store) which I centered between the faux ‘stripes’, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
I hand-painted the classic ‘wreath’ around the sheep graphic, but you could also use a decorative stencil. I’m still undecided if I want to add a monogram or date to my faux grain sack???
Here’s the finished ‘AFTER’ footstool (with or without monogram…hmmmm?)
It was a fun and affordable project. I have another grain sack footstool in the works – this one decidedly more French! Then, a few large faux grain sack pillows perhaps with more graphics as I become more brave in this endeavor?!
Have a happy weekend!