How To Make Vintage Inspired Feed Sack Fabric

5 Materials
2 Hours

Do you love the farmhouse look of old Feed Sack Fabrics? Here is an easy way to make your own Vintage Feed Sack fabric using a drop Cloth.

If you are like me and love the vintage feel of old feed sack fabrics, here is an easy way to make your own fabric out of a drop cloth, a stencil and paint. You can use the fabric for so many projects. I’ve used mine for re-upholstering a deconstructed chair, tea towels and pillow covers. Here is a deconstructed chair post to help you avoid the mistakes I made.

Cut Drop Cloth Fabric

Begin by cutting some lengths of your drop cloth. If you want a lot of fabric to look like old feed sacks, you can use the whole drop cloth. I only need a small amount, so I cut approx. a yard of fabric. Keep in mind, if you like flea market flips like myself, you may want to use the your fabric for multiple projects. 


If you want your fabric to look like authentic old feed sacks, you will want to stain or dye the fabric. You can use several methods for aging the drop cloth fabric, including tea, coffee and bleach. Since this project was going to be a coffee bean bag, I used instant coffee to dye the fabric.First, add a small amount of coffee grounds to water. You may want to stain your fabric in a sink, especially with a larger quantity. Be aware the coffee may stain your sink. Because I didn’t want to stain my white sink, I choose to use a pot for this small amount of fabric.Drip your fabric into the coffee water and then rinse until you no longer see stained water coming from the rinse water. Then, dry your fabric.

Create a Stencil

Depending on what type of vintage feed sack you want to make, you will want to create a stencil. Since I was wanting a coffee bean sack, I googled old coffee companies and then created a stencil using some of the signage. Since I have a Silhouette Machine, I cut my own stencil using card stock paper. If you don’t have access to a stencil cutting machine, you can use individual letters to create the signage for your feed sack. I have done this in the past with great success however the process is much slower.

Apply Your Stencil

Once your fabric is dry, it’s time to apply your stencil. Use painters tape or masking tape to hold the stencil in the desired spot. In this instance, I am only using black chalk paint. This would also be adorable with different colors. You will want to purchase fabric paint or if you are using acrylic craft paint, be sure to add a fabric medium so your paint will be soft and pliable. Annie Sloan Chalk paint is perfect for this project because it doesn’t require a fabric medium when applied to fabric.

Stencil Randomly over the Fabric

To make your feed sack have an authentic feel, place the stencil randomly along the fabric and use a light hand when stenciling some of the letters. I recommend using a stencil brush to apply the paint. You want it to have the appearance of faded old sack fabric.

Completed length of fabric

Here is what my completed length of fabric looks like.Once your fabric is dry, there are a multitude of things you can use it for. It would be perfect for pillow covers. 

First Project

Here is the first project I made with DIY Feed Sack material from a drop cloth.

Tea Towel

Here is another way I've used this fabric and here is another fun drop cloth project.

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Natalie Paterra
    Natalie Paterra
    on Oct 13, 2020

    Will the paint come off on your clothing or do you put something in the paint or on the fabric to prevent that?

  • Laura
    on Oct 14, 2020

    What I think is great is how you took a piece of old field fencing and made that cute little hanging rack. I just had miles of it put up at my house in KS. I have lots of odds and end pieces left. I think I will copy that idea. Now you have my brain rolling in what else I can use it for. Any other ideas ?

  • Marilyn
    on Oct 16, 2020

    I would like to make curtains , but I am concerned about the stenciling once I wash them. Will the stenciling come off?

    • Rachel The Ponds Farmhouse
      Rachel The Ponds Farmhouse
      on Oct 16, 2020


      If you use chalk paint or acrylic paint with a fabric medium added, you should be fine. As an added precaution, be sure to heat press the design after it has dried throughly. Just place a protective barrier between the paint and the hot iron.


Join the conversation

3 of 9 comments
  • Marilyn
    on Oct 16, 2020

    I would like to make curtains but am concerned when it comes time to wash them that the stenciling will come off.

  • Melinda Record
    Melinda Record
    on Oct 18, 2020

    Wow! Your fabric turned out perfect ... love it! And your instructions and tips are excellent and quite helpful. I am definitely going to do this ~ thinking of using some heavy stock muslin to make apron fabric.

    Thank you so much for sharing AND inspiring!

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