Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday: Faux German Grain Sack Slipcover

I love antique German grain sacks with the fancy scripts, but they are too expensive for me.  One German grain sack can cost $150!  My youngest brother just left for Germany on a mission for his church.  I told him to be on the lookout for some antique grain sacks for me.  In the meantime, I decided to make a German grain sack inspired slipcover for an ottoman I picked up at an estate sale.

The ottoman's finish and fabric were in flawless condition, so I decided on a slipcover, rather than reupholstering.  I used a painter's drop cloth from home depot and dug through them to find one that was not gray.  The one I found was a pretty, warm color and I did not have to use any bleach.  I just washed it with regular detergent on warm and then dried it to pre-shink the fabric, before making the slipcover.

This is actually my first slipcover and it really was not as difficult as I expected it to be.

  I started by measuring the top and sides of the ottoman, cutting out the sections and pinning them together over the ottoman.  Once I had the pins in place, I removed the cover and sewed all the seams together, sewing the corners last.

After sewing all the edges together, I tried the new slipcover on the ottoman. I did not want the fabric to cover the whole top portion because I wanted to add a ruffle to the bottom.

I found a German grain sack stencil from Masion de Stencils.  I know that stencils can be expensive and I have successfully cut my own before, like this one, using a craft knife and freezer paper.  If you have an editing program, you could design your own grain sack and cut your own stencil too.

I mixed my red, white and black fabric paints together to come up with a charcoal gray color and then stenciled the grain sack design on the top, making sure I located the center first.

The trick to getting a really clean looking stenciled design is to go over the stencil several times using very little paint.  This keeps the paint nicely within the lines.

After letting the paint dry, I cut strips of fabric and made the ruffle to attach along the bottom edge of the slipcover.

I left the bottom edge of the ruffle raw to go with the rustic quality of my faux grain sack.  I also left the wrinkles in the drop cloth for a more relaxed look.

It is a perfect fit!  

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A Few Pennies said...

That is totally fabulous! I hope you can answer me back--are the paints washable after they dry? Will it fade somewhat? I love your project and would like to try in on my chairs/slipcovers. Thanks for a great post.

Our Hopeful Home said...

I have a grain sack fetish and wish I could afford them! I found a few at flea markets and on ebay but most are out of my league. Your "grainsack" is fabulous! And the ruffle makes it even sweeter! This would be great over at my Club G.W. party going on now. You've been Featured! Hope to see you there!



Jenni said...

Amanda, I love the ruffled slipcover you made for the ottoman! What a clever way of getting the German grain sack look without the price tag! :)

I hope you have a good night!


Nan@youcouldmakethat.blogspot.com said...

You did a lovely job on that, Amanda! it really looks great and professional! Way to beat the system - making your own grain sack. I'm thinking about making one of those for the ottoman I made last winter. I love the cover I used, but the grain sack slipcover could just be used to change things up a bit - especially in the summertime! Thanks for the great tutorial!


Laura said...

You did a wonderful job! It looks amazing! I especially love it because of the German theme. I'm German, and love anything from the Fatherland! =)

Anonymous said...

Wow, it turned out great Amanda - it does look like a perfect fit!

Deborah said...

Good morning sweet friend!!
Its a beautiful fit and what a great job you did!
Love it!!
Hope your brother finds those grain sacks, or maybe they will find him! :)
Happy day !!

Deborah xoxo

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

Absolutely gorgeous!! I love every detail!

Howsewears said...

Very nice. I'm going to attempt something like this soon, so I appreciate the inspiration.
Feel free to stop and visit me sometime.
Fondly, Tami

Cassie Bustamante said...

amanda, that is the cutest stool ever! i love the ruffle- it's perfect!

Cynthia said...

This is so sweet... I love the design you chose, and the ruffle is perfect!

Tammy @ Type A said...

love this, i have a party going on, would love for you to link up!


Alison Agnew said...

this turned out beautifully...i would never have known this was your first slipcover! i would love for you to link this up to my fridays unfolded linky that will be up later today.


Heaven's Walk said...

LUV LUV LUV this! Too bad I don't know how to sew, though.....lol! Beautiful job!

xoxo laurie

Leena Milligan Lanteigne said...

Fantastic job on the slipcover! I'vealways wondered if it wsa difficult to sew around a square's edges like that but since I've read your tutorial, I think I can give it a try! The stencil is great - so authentic! Thank you for the tips and instructions! ~Leena~

Honey at 2805 said...

You did a remarkable job! It's totally fabulous!

GoldenValley50 said...

Hi Amanda - just popped over from visiting Jenni and reading all about your gorgeous new store. Wish I could just pop on a plane and come for a visit! Love your tutorial - would love to give stencilling a try. Thank you for your excellent instructions. ;)Sharyne

KimMalk said...

This looks absolutely perfect, like what the bench was always meant to be. I MUST get one of those stencils.

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

Lovely piece! It reminds me of the footstool in my bedroom. Hmmmm.....

Renee {Shabby, Chic and Charming} said...

Amanda, it's just lovely! Great job!

Tammy @ Type A said...


Alison Agnew said...

you've been featured this week on fridays unfolded!


Miss Char said...

This is a wonderful project, I love your final product and your sewing technique looks very tight and well fitted. Thanks so much for sharing.

Tracy Monroy said...

These finished products look great! I'm curious though - what types of fabric are best for this kind of footstool? Can you give me some recommendations of what to look for? Preferably something easy to work with. Thanks!

Perchance_to_Dream86 said...

Absolutely beautiful!!! I wish I could do stuff like that!

Farah said...

Hi Amanda... it looks great.. and you stenciled it closer to real... very inspiring one...
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College Essays said...

Your photos are giving back the mood of the event. Thank you!

Charlotte Wilson said...

This is just totally adorable! I love your technique of stenciling but don't want to make my own so may
be I will order some.


grammypink said...

So going to make this for Dads leather chair and footstool I have been blessed with,loose cushion on chair that I can recover this way also.Can thses go in laundry on dry blean only?

awal.ny said...

Darling footstool, great stencil. I just picked up a footstool, can't wait to do something creative with it.

Unknown said...

So cute! But for a complete novice like myself I would need some more details on how you did it. The hemmed part just above the ruffle. How did you do that part?

Lee said...

This is darling - both the slip style and the stencil. I've never stenciled, but it would certainly be worth trying and making a stencil sounds intriquing.

I have a pile of Home Depot drop cloths, washed and preshrunk, waiting to be made into slipcovers for our second hand, floral wingbacks. I sent mine through the washer and dryer twice, as a seamstress once made a slipcover for one of our chairs and it continued to shrink over the years - both directions. It eventually was too short and zipping the side zipper on the chair was almost impossible.

Even with going through piles of dropcloths to find our color, we still ended up with one that looks "off". My biggest complaint about the cloths is that 2 were seamed, which is impossible to see in the bag and gives you 2 smaller pieces instead of one large one.

Your color mixing skills are indredible. Red in gray? I wouldn't have thought beyond black and white.

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