Make Your Own Grain Sack Fabric- When You Cant Get Your Hands On The Real Stuff

Grain sack fabric is such an iconic farmhouse look, but lets be real..It is hard to come by and it is expensive!  Well, dont despair!  Its so easy to make and I am here to show you how to make your own grain sack fabric in any color you want!  You just need a few simple and inexpensive items.  Keep reading to find out how!

Make Your Own Grainsack Fabric

It has been one of those days.  After a few days of work, and all the necessary minutia that follows my life around, I get antsy.  I bet I am hilarious to watch.  I start a project, but in the middle of  that project, I come up with another one. 

While I am juggling both of those projects, I hatch another one….and the cycle continues.  That is how today was.  I was in the midst of decorating my dining room for Christmas, but nothing was going quite as planned.  I just was not loving the direction it was heading. 

I sat down a minute and was looking through some of my inspiration pics when it hit!  My dining table needed a grain sack tablecloth!  Oh yes, I will just run to my closet and look through my collection.  Oh wait, don’t I wish I ha d a large collection of grain sack fabric hanging out in my closet.  Oh yes please.  The ideas is practically dreamy! 

So instead, I went looking in my fabric closet.  Drop cloth fabric, that is what I was looking for.  Red paint?  Yup, found it.  I was getting very excited.  I decided I needed to make a tablecloth and some extra for other projects.

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Here is what I used to make my easy grain sack fabric:

Canvas Drop Cloth

General Purpose Masking Tape 1 1/2- 2 inch wide

Red Craft Paint
(or whatever color you want to make them)


Now let me just say this:  I am in no way trying to replace the amazing antique grain sack fabric that you can sometimes find.  If I could keep a nice large collection of that stuff in my home, oh my, I would be in heaven.  But, alas, purchasing that is just not in my budget these days.  Maybe one day.  Until then, I will use my go to method and create my own.  I know its not the same, but it sure is close.

Make Your Own Grainsack Fabric

The first thing I did was lay out my drop cloth fabric.  This fabric had been washed a few times so it has a much nubbier and softer feel to it.

Make Your Own Grainsack Fabric

I will say drop cloth is a pretty good substitution but I do think that you need to wash it with some bleach to soften it up.  Did you know there are different drop cloth weights?  I would recommend getting a lighter wight drop cloth fabric.  It will initially be softer and more pliable and your grain sack lines will look better on it.

Make Your Own Grainsack Fabric

I taped off the lines that I wanted to create on the fabric.  I chose two skinny lines for this piece.  I also made some with a wider stripe on it.  You can do any pattern you want.  You can do a grain sack fabric with a large middle stripe and two small stripes, one on each side.  You can do it with just one thin stripe, or many others.  I kept mine simple.

Make Your Own Grainsack Fabric

Once the fabric has been taped off, I took some red paint and brushed it on in a dry application.  I did not paint it solid.  There is unevenness that I quite like.  You want to make sure that your have dabbed most of the paint off before applying it to the drop cloth fabric.  You do not want the lines to be solid.  I have never seen a piece of grain sack fabric with solid lines.  Its just not done!

Make Your Own Grainsack Fabric

You can see the look of the paint effect here.

Make Your Own Grainsack Fabric

Once I was done, I took the tape off.  I did not wait until the paint dried, because sometimes the tape will dry to the paint and you will have a hard time getting the tape off certain spots.

Make Your Own Grainsack Fabric

The last thing I did was sand down the lines a bit once they were dry.  I just wanted to give them a more antique feel.  Sanding the painted lines will give it a softer feel and soften the lines even more.  This is what you want!

And that is it!  I spent about an hour making two different patterns and had amassed a large amount of faux grain sack fabric.  Do not worry, though it will all be put to good use.  Check back tomorrow when I show you what I have done with it.  I know rude, right?  Making you wait.

Check out these posts too!

Making A Pillow With My Grainsack Fabric

Farmhouse Christmas Dining Room Tour

Red and White Farmhouse Christmas Kitchen and Dining Room

Have a great day!



    1. Thanks Chryssina! To make sure the tape was placed straight I measured in from each side of the fabric and made sure each side was the same distance in. Part of it is definitely eyeballing it as well. Once I had the distances from the outside to the inside the measurement I wanted, I decided how thick I wanted the lines and the space between them.

  1. Brilliant !!! Because what sellers are charging for “authentic grain sack fabric” is absolutely outrageous. Anything that has french farmhouse tacked onto the name goes up by 500% and the average crafter can afford it. I like your way better.

  2. Have you used unprimed canvas at all for projects?
    I bought a roll few years ago, I used for a project, but then it got forgotten until I moved and got rediscovered and now i am trying to figure out on what can I use it other than primer it and paint. I like to sew, I have a Cricut machine that I can iron on phrases on fabric, just curious if anybody else out there has work with unprimed canvas fabric.

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