How to Easily (and Cheaply!) Make Monogrammed Grain Sack Pillows

7 Materials
$5
1 Hour
Easy

I love grain sacks but they can be so pricey! In this tutorial, I took two pillows found at Michaels on clearance and turned them into beautiful monogrammed pillows with just paint. Check out how easy and cheap it was to get the same look.

The Pillows

I am in love with vintage grain sacks and it was my favourite grain sack look that came to mind when my Mom found these pillows for me (pre-COVID) at Michaels on clearance for less than $2 each!


They were just plain old white and begging for something to be done to them.

Dying the Fabric

I wanted the pillows to have more of an authentic grain sack colour so I decided to dye the covers with paint. I do this quite often and you can see another project here...


To get that colour, I made a bath of one part Miss Mustard Seed's Milk paint in Schloss to 10 parts water.


After mixing the milk paint and water, I let it sit for about 10 minutes (to let the Limestone and clay dissolve) and then popped in the covers off of the pillows.


I wasn't worried if the colour came out uneven as it would make them look old and worn but if you are looking for an even colour, I would wet the pillow covers first.

Adding the Stripes

Next up was to add some classic stripes. I used low-tack painters tape to make a line down the middle of the cover and then painted it in with Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint in Artissimo - you can use any blue paint though. Using the paint mixed at full strength for the stripes and monogram (one part mix to one part water) is ideal. If you dilute the paint for detailed work, the excess water will cause the paint to run.


Once the large stripe was dry, I added a thin stripe to each side freehand.

Adding the Monogrammed Letters

To add the monogram, I used the same method I use on my signs. Since monograms on grain sacks were often stitched in a cross-stitch style, I used a font called Home Sweet Home to design and print out my initials.


With the letters taped in place, I slipped a piece of carbon paper under the letters and traced over each X with a pen.


Painting the Monogram

Using the same paint as the stripes, I painted over each X using a thin artist's brush.


Don't forget, when your pillows are done, do not wash the covers for 30 days until the paint has cured or it will run!

The Monogrammed Pillows

For less than $2 a pillow I am so happy with my new monogrammed pillows! As much as I love the authentic thing, paying $50+ a pillow just wasn't in the budget right now.


You can see more of my grain sack projects (and more info about grain sacks in general) over on the original RECREATED DESIGNS post at the link below...

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Recreated Designs

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • AnnM
    on Jul 22, 2020

    In the final picture, the pillow looks white. Did you decide not to use the painted pillow cover?

    • Recreated Designs
      on Jul 22, 2020

      Hi Ann, It might just be the lighting in the photo or the screen you are seeing it on. I used the paint died pillow covers... they just may look white in the photo :)

  • Kelly Hintz
    on Jul 22, 2020

    Will the paint dying process work with only milk paint or does it also work when using chalk or acrylic paint?

    • Recreated Designs
      on Jul 22, 2020

      Hi Kelly, it will work with Annie Sloan Chalk paint or powdered milk paint. There is no latex in either of those types of paint so the colour will adhere to fabric beautifully. If you use an acrylic or latex based paint the plastic in the paint will not allow for the same process. When I die fabric I usually use with Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint or Annie Sloan and have had a great results with both.

  • Phyllis
    on Aug 17, 2020

    Your pillows are nice but I love the wall. How do you do it? Did you paint some of the pieces or use wallpaper? Thanks for your post.

Join the conversation

2 of 14 comments
  • Pallet and Pantry
    on Aug 21, 2020

    Your pillows looks amazing and there is no sewing involved!! 🙌🙌 Absolutely love this project!!

  • DMD
    on Aug 28, 2020

    I’ve “aged” fabric by soaking it in tea.

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