The easiest & cheapest vintage grain sack pillow covers ever!

As part of my living room refresh project, I decided to update my throw pillows with something more in line with the vintage style I’ve been loving lately.


They’re just so cozy and homey and lovely. I can’t get enough.

I went to Pinterest first and saw a lot of DIY grain sack pillow covers, but I didn’t want to deal with finding the perfect linen fabric, then painting/printing/stamping anything on and I don’t own a sewing machine.

After looking everywhere online, I wasn’t loving the prices of the real deal. I was finding a lot of knock-offs but they just didn’t look and feel like the real thing. I knew there had to be a way to make my own without a sewing machine.

Then I started searching for just the grain sacks and found several styles in many different conditions. They started at around $10 on the lower end, all the way up to $50+, depending on the type and condition. I noticed that the width on many of them were the same width of my pillows, and the length was just over double. I figured I’d have the perfect amount of material to make two covers.

I didn’t mind a little wear and tear (it just adds to the character!) so I scored a nice vintage 19×42″ Bemis sack on Etsy for $22 shipped.

It was perfect.

See where I’m going with this?

The design was right in the center which means it would be split, but I didn’t mind the mostly plain pillows at all. If you wanted to center the design you could always pick up two grain sacks or find one with a design at the bottom.

To split it evenly I measured the center and drew a line…

Then I made my cut.

I didn’t want the rough cuts showing, so I turned to the one and only Stitch Witchery:

For the first cover that was open on both ends, I had to stitch the bottom shut. I flipped the cover inside out, made sure it was lined up, and ran my stitch witchery across the bottom:

The result:

The top of this cover already had a nice hem from the factory, so I put it aside and addressed the rough cut on the second cover.

For this one I just had to fold the edges onto the inside all the way around the opening.

And that was that! I ended up with two perfect pillows with one open end…

I didn’t want to close the seam permanently because then I could never wash the covers or swap them out down the road. I couldn’t sew a zipper on either, so I thought about sewing buttons on it and almost went for it, but then I remembered these pillows I purchased from Ikea because I loved the little bows:

So I went through my leftover fabric stash and found some linen:

I cut it into six strips, then made little notches about 1″ down with my Xacto knife:

Then I threaded each tie through and made knots:

And in less than one hour, I had my very own vintage grain sack pillows:

Ahhh… I love them. They’re the perfect addition to our home, and specifically our updated couch… more on that next week!

7 thoughts on “The easiest & cheapest vintage grain sack pillow covers ever!

  1. Love all your ideas and choice of colours!!! I'm currently renovating my home on a budget and i lack any sort of creativity – but your website is BRILLIANT and has given me so many ideas!!!! Thank you!

  2. JoAnn's! It was with all the other pinstriped/seersucker fabrics and came in a few different colors. It actually wasn't my first choice at the time (the fabric is pretty thin and somewhat see through) but I love it now and am glad I found it.

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