Sign up to get your daily dose of Miss Mustard Seed:

Where to buy grain sacks…

I received a ton of comments over the weekend asking where I buy my grain sacks, so I thought I would share.  Unfortunately, I don’t have one magic hookup, but I get them here and there as I find them.

 

I’ve bought a bunch from Pete, my fellow vendor at Lucketts.  He doesn’t always have grain sacks, but he has them pretty regularly.  The nice thing about buying from Pete is he buys grain sacks that aren’t in pristine condition.  That means they’re not expensive (about $25-$30/each.)  It does mean you might have to wash them or work around some stains or patches, but I’m fine with that.

I’ve bought a few grain sacks at antique fairs, but those were quite a splurge at $65/each.  They were in amazing condition, though, with very cool embroidery.

 

 

Another source has been some of my readers living in Poland and Germany.  Some sweet ladies sourced a few for me and mailed them my way.

 

 

 The source I have to share that’s going to be most helpful to you is Etsy.  I have bought several grain sacks from THIS SHOP.   (FYI…This shop is not a sponsor and this is not a sponsored post.)  The cost is reasonable, but shipping is pretty high.  I buy 3-4 at a time to save on the shipping costs.  I definitely view grain sacks as a splurge.  I doubt I’m ever going to have a huge cabinet stacked full with them, but I love buying a few a year to use for upholstery, pillows and table runners during photo shoots (and yes, I have a few folded and stacked.)

When shopping for grain sacks, I look for a few things.  I use them mostly to cover chairs, so I look for sacks that are wide (about 20-24″.)  I have found the skinnier sacks (16-19″) are too narrow to cover a seat.  I try to calculate the overall yardage (remember you get double the length, since a sack has two sides) to make sure I’m getting the most bang for my buck.  I look for colors and patterns I like.  I’m partial to blue and red with stripes and/or a monogram.  Lastly, I check the condition.  As I said earlier, I don’t mind stains and patches, but I just make sure I can live with them.  There can be some pretty unsightly imperfections…they are grain sacks, after all…so I have to think through whether they’ll work or not.

If you love the look of grain sacks, but you just can’t afford them, you can make very convincing replicas by painting stripes and initials on canvas drop cloths or nubby hemp fabric.

Happy grain sack shopping!!







Related posts:

Comments

  1. Sharon in Chicago says:

    Marilyn — thanks so much for sharing! We know you don’t have to and appreciate it when you do.

    Me? I’m still regretting not picking up the grainsacks with purple stopes I saw at the Country Living Fair outside Atlanta last October…sigh.

  2. Anne Boykin says:

    Dear MMS, I have purchased grain sacks from the same shop on Etsy and bought some of my favorites from her. Her prices are good. Thanks for sharing this post because I was curious too if you had some inside source. Love your pictures of your grain sack upholstery. Hugs, Anne Boykin

  3. Edie O says:

    I love the way you upholster with them!! Thanks so much for sharing. Perhaps one day in the future, you can give us some good tips on reupholstering chairs…you know….tips for those of us with next to zero sewing skills. <3

  4. Hope E says:

    I have about 5 grainsacks for sale. They are in good condition and originate from Hungary.please contact me at prettyfun60@gmail.com if you are interested. I am a regular reader of Miss Mustard Seed and Marion is truly a talented designer

  5. Paint drop cloths, now why did I not think
    of that? Thanks so much for the suggestion!
    Sandy

  6. mary eguia says:

    EEEEKKK! I found you in the magazine!!!!! Oh happy day. I love the “M: in your workroom. I’m getting ready to redo an armoire (sp) for my niece for her new baby due in Dec. I can only hope it turns out like yours. Her nursery will be frenchy southern look.If there is such a thing.Like the Restoration Hardware look.Hey if you get a chance to check out BoBo designs ,it has fantastic furnishings. Have a great day!

  7. Marion-

    Your right, grain sacks are a little difficult to find, but look great as upholstery..
    I have a future project and will use one, but I have 4 for sale.. anyone can email
    me- 107Vintage@gmail.com and inquire about them..

    Keep up the good work, and glad to see your scheduling time for yourself
    and eating healthy.. I need to do the same.

    Diana

  8. I love that etsy shop – found her last time you mentioned her as a spot to buy grain sacks. I have a roll of hemp laying here from her – all ready for a reupholstery job – if I can just get past my fear of messing up! I also got a really cool grain sack from her that my Mom is giving me for Christmas – can’t wait!!

  9. I have purchased three grainsacks from the Etsy dealer also….not cheap, but fair, with the added expense of shipping…but a treat all the same. They are always clean, except maybe grain that is caught in the seam so when you open it, history spills….very cool.
    Nancy

  10. Thanks for sharing. I’m always on the look out for grain sacks. I love the look!

  11. Love the grainsack upholstery! Do you have a tutorial for making your own (copies)? I just finished my first slipcover by following your 6 step tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. I blogged about it and mentioned you with a link to your site. Please check it out if you have time. It will publish tomorrow, 9/12.
    Linda

  12. Katie says:

    Thanks for the information! I love everything you make and can’t wait to get my hands on some of your milk paint!

  13. Christie says:

    Thanks for doing this post and thank you to all the people who asked you the questions that prompted this post. I had been wondering the same thing after reading your post that sparked this all!

  14. Oh I could kick myself… you see recently I stumbled upon a yard sale where there were grain/feed sacks for sale. I only bought the 3 that were $1 a piece as the other 5 which were going for $10 was more than I felt I could afford that day. Do I have a few holes to contend with? Yes! Were they slightly stained? Definitely but overall they were in pretty good condition (plus they washed up nicely!) I guess I should now definitely keep an eye out more at some of our more rural sales.

    Thank you so very much for sharing your sources!

  15. Barbara Anderson says:

    When I went 2nd hand store, and antique store hopping and shopping up near Chattanooga, Tn and N.E. Alabama, I saw so many of the sacks, for very little. Tho they did not have the stripe’s on them. They were from coffee, but most were $2. a piece and most were anywhere up to $10. What I found about the stripe ones, that they come from Europe and are called FRENCH grain/feed sacks.. I do love your suggestion of painting your own stripes! That way U do get exactly what you want. I also believe, in Europe you can buy french grain sack fabric. I did find a site on the net, but the price was very high by the yard and so was the shipping!!

  16. Barbara Anderson says:

    Here is a site that sells (i think) reproduction feed sack fabric:
    http://www.amazon.com/Vintage-French-Feedsack-Beaudelaire-Jacquard/dp/B0053TZB7A/ref=pd_sim_sbs_ac_2

  17. I may have a silly question. What were grain sacks originally used for in the home?

    We have a farm and when grain was delivered, we would cut them and use them for towels. The grain sacks you are referring to are still whole grains sacks. So if they are whole grain sacks why would they be embroidered?

    I guess I am thinking of them as the whole sack just emptied of grain.

    I hope this makes sense.

    Thank you!

  18. Thanks for the good information. The grain sacks look so great on the french chairs!

  19. How about places that import coffee?
    I got some coffee ones at a Habitat for Humanity store!
    But I saw some at a coffee importer… perhaps if we ask… they will give us some?

  20. too funny…I literally have the Antique Linen Store Etsy shop open in another window trying to find stripes I like to make a replica for a project. :) thanks again for letting us know what to look for if we’re buying the real deal!

  21. I know that it isn’t a real “grain sack” but I bought grain sack fabric from Calico Home, (also they have similar fabric at fabric.com under, vintage fabric). But I think that my chair still turned out great, doesn’t come with the history as a real grain sack but gives you the same look- here’s my chair with the navy stripe grain sack fabric. http://rebeccalukensdesigns.blogspot.com/2012/08/my-chair-reborn-in-grain-sack-fabric.html Love the ones from the etsy seller!

  22. Love the grain sacks!! I haven’t ever upholstered anything with them, but they are new to me. I’ll probably try that pretty soon!
    I found a place in Mobile, AL when we were on vacation that sells them for $20. I’ll probably need to go on vacay there a few more times!!

  23. Laurel Meribela says:

    You are so sweet and generous to share your sources. I noticed last time I was in a Joanne, etc. store that they had fabric that looked like grain sacks with blue and red stripes separately. Just a tip for your readers that cannot locate or don’t want to spend the $$ on the real thing.

    • Which section, Laurel? Home Dec, quilting, or apparel?

      I can embroider by hand, and put my own intials on a project. I was thinking of emrboidering on drop cloth, but then there would be no stripes. I do like the stripes!

  24. I really need a tutorial on putting a double layer of piping on a reupholstered chair. After drooling over your chairs, my mom found someone who had 2 chairs that they no longer wanted, and scored them for me for FREE! The previous owenr was a smoker, and I’ve been airing the chair for a couple of months to no avail. I want to recover them using your tutorial, but I don’t know how to apply the double piping correctly. If you have any advice, or if I’ve missed a tutorial for that on your site somewhere, I’d love to be pointed in the right direction!

  25. sheila says:

    Crap! Someone was selling grain sacks at the Springfield Antique and Flea Market, I think 4/$25 or $10 a piece. They weren’t french and many had the name of Cincinnati printed boldly in them, but I should have bought a couple. They were filthy and I passed them over because I didnt even think about washing them!!

  26. Sharon says:

    I have several grain sacks that I would be willing to sell. Most all have stripes with different colors.

  27. EverybodysStarling says:

    Hey there… Another great source for grain sack fabrics is german ebay. There you can find (original) bolts of grain fabric. It’s called “Bauernleinen” and comes at reasonable prices. But most of them are very narrow, only about 10 -13 inch. But may be worth a look anyway, there are some really beautiful pieces. :)

Leave a Comment

*