Friday, January 24, 2014

Grain Sack Pillows

I have always loved the look of vintage grain sack pillows.  The simplicity and clean lines are what I have love.  Every time I see this picture on The Lettered Cottage, I covet the pillows.

The burlap pillow came from Pottery Barn.  I couldn't find it anymore, but one very similar was on sale for $30.  That just makes me gasp....I think $10 for a pillow is pricey. (I, disgustedly cheap)  I decided to make my own.  It took two tried, but I am pretty pleased with my final product.   

But let me start at the beginning with try number one.  First I hunted and hunted for burlap.  I found it everywhere, but it was rough with a very open weave.  I just didn't see it making a great pillow.  However, I forged ahead.  I cut out my pillow, taped off some lines and painted some red stripes.  After sewing and adding buttons, I had a pretty good imitation....but like I predicted.... was rough... snagged easily...
...and was generally just too rustic for my tastes.

I thought I would look up vintage grain sack textiles and maybe invest in one or two to make a pillow, but holy cow are they expensive.  Nope, I could not do that when I knew my family was going to toss it around and my dog was going to sleep on it.  So back to the DIY drawing board.  This time I decided to use some leftover canvas drop cloth I had.  (Drop cloth is super inexpensive and you get tons.)  This time I decided to go at a different way.

After cutting out my material.  I cut strips of freezer paper in the widths I wanted.  (Tape was too thick and trying to thin the width by cutting it was impossible.)  I ironed the freezer paper onto the material.  (Did you know that freezer paper can be ironed onto material for a stencil?  It is awesome.)

I then used a red Sharpie to fill in the lines.  It went very fast.  I also learned not to stop but to work quickly to avoid stoppage marks.
 I peeled off the freezer paper and I had my imitation grain sack material.

I sewed it, stuffed and added some buttons.  I love how they came out.  I love the crispness of the strip and the clean look they have.  My family also loves how they feel.

Altogether I paid less than $5 for two pillows.  The drop cloth cost about $10 for about 12 feet of great material so material for these pillows was really just pennies.  I buy pillows for around -$1-$2 at thrift stores for the stuffing and pillow forms.  The buttons came from my stash.  I probably paid the most for the Sharpie marker ($3)   I have no idea if the Sharpie will fade if I wash it, but in all reality I will probably tire of the pillow before I need to wash it!


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