Create Your Own Grain Sack with a Drop Cloth!
I get lots of questions about vintage grain sacks, about where to find them, and why they are so expensive. Many of you love the french look of grain sacks in your home decor, but in some areas, they are difficult to find and can be a little pricey, even when you do find them.
So I thought I would show you how to create your own grain sack with drop cloths and paint, to “get the look” of the real deal.
I have to say, I am loving the finished result, and it was so quick and easy to do!
Drop cloths have been used for so many projects, from upholstery to curtains, and I have used them for a lot of different decor ideas in my own home. When washed, they have a wonderful vintage like texture.
I Prefer 100% Cotton Drop Cloths!
Drop cloths can be found at any home improvement store and even at Walmart.
The ones I prefer are made of 100% cotton and can be found HERE.
The first thing I always do when working with drop cloths is to wash them to remove any chemicals, and also to add some softness. The cloths that are 100% cotton, and not a blend, are perfect for this project.
I always add a little bit of bleach to to the wash to whiten the drop cloth a little bit more, however that is strictly personal preference. If I”m wanting the drop cloth to be really white, I will let it soak in the bleach water for 3-4 hours. After drying, iron the drop cloth to get out any wrinkles and make it completely smooth.
Use a Chair that Fits Your Decor Style!
A French style chair that I bought about 10 years ago was the perfect piece to use on this project. The chair isn’t old, so it’s in great shape, but it has very modern upholstery that doesn’t work in my current decor.
Hubby was kind enough to strip the old fabric on the chair for me, which was great, since that is my least favorite part of any upholstery project.
He was so fast in stripping it though, that I didn’t get a before picture, but here is what the chair looked like after she was stripped.
Using the old upholstery as a pattern, I cut out my new pieces from the washed and ironed drop cloth.
Get Creative with Size of Stripes or Paint Color!
Using painter’s tape, I placed one strip of tape down the middle and then spaced one strip on each side to create the stripe area.
You could play around with this, creating different size stripes if you wish.
Be sure and press firmly along the edges of the tape, so that when you paint, it doesn’t bleed.
The paint I chose to use was Annie Sloan Aubusson Blue chalk paint, simply because that is what I had on hand, and I love this shade of blue.
However, you could very easily use any acrylic craft paint or fabric paint, choosing any color of the rainbow, whatever works with your color scheme.
Using a small, flat artist’s paint brush, I painted down each stripe, dabbing the paint into the drop cloth. I didn’t make a solid paint line, leaving it faded in areas so that it would closely resemble what an old grain sack looks like.
Be sure and place a piece of cardboard underneath so that the paint doesn’t bleed through to the work space.
After letting the paint dry, usually just a few minutes, carefully peel back the strips of tape, revealing the painted stripes!
I did this on both pieces that would be used for the seat and back of the chair.
Add Details Such as a Monogram, Fleur de Lis, or Crown!
Some of my favorite grain sacks are the ones that are monogrammed with the farming family’s initials. They are rare and very collectible. To create the same look, I pulled out some inexpensive alphabet stencils which are easily found at the big box craft stores. Or if you are artistic, you could freehand the letters.
Your could also stencil a fleur de lis, or a crown instead of the monogram for added detail.
On the piece of drop cloth that would be used for the back of the chair, I placed my initials on each side of the stripe.
Using the same paint as I used for the stripes, I stenciled my initials, and taking a small, pointed artist’s brush made some “x” marks on the letters to resemble stitches.
Staple It or Glue It!
Taking the pieces and centering them on the chair, I stapled them onto the chair frame, and finished with a neutral trim.
If you don’t have an upholstery or staple gun, you can also attach the fabric using a hot glue gun! Yes, it can be done and it works fine! See our french settee upholstered with a glue gun HERE!
The end result looks just like a vintage grain sack!
It took very little time and minimal cost!
I love how this turned out!
Though I have a stash of vintage grain sacks, this turned out so fabulous that I will use these faux grain sacks on the mate to this chair as well.
Get the French Look Without the Expense!
You could use this same technique and materials for so many different projects such as pillows or table runners. And personalize it any way you like, with a monogram or date.
It gives you the French grain sack look without the expense!
I have to show you the back of the chair, it has a sweet little surprise.
I found this beautiful toile fabric at Hobby Lobby about a year ago, and loved the colors, but most of all, I loved the sheep in the pattern!
I hope this gives you some inspiration to create your own “grain sack” using drop cloths and paint!