For the past 8 months or so, I have wanted to make one of those pouf ottomans from vintage grain, coffee, or sugar sacks. However, I quickly learned in searching flea markets and vintage shops that many of the grain sacks are smelly, stained, or all of the above.
My sister knew I had been on the search for these sacks for a while (I may have sent her searching for pristine sacks at her out-of-state barn sales), and decided to get me some grain sack-like fabric for the holidays so that I could reproduce the look I wanted.
How to Make Your Own Vintage-Inspired Grain Sack Pouf
1. Cut 12 squares in the size desired for your pouf (6 sides times 2 for a double layer).
2. Pin squares together in a double layer.
3. Pin one set of layered squares to another set with about a half inch left on the edge for the border. Stitch onto the front on the fabric (so the seams stick out and are not hidden inside).
4. Repeat until you have 4 sets of layered squares sewn in a horizontal line (with edges out). Sew the far two ends together, with the frayed seam out.
5. Sew on the top and bottom squares using this same method, leaving a 4 inch gap on the back bottom corner to stuff the pouf.
6. Slide a piece of cardboard inside the pouf so paint does not seep through. Paint your design with fabric paint (I used Tulip brand) or a fabric medium mixed with regular paint. I decided on a misspelling of the word “sugar” as a cheeky reminder that my sacks were total knock offs. I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut a stencil for the lettering, but any kind of stencil would work.
6. Stuff pouf with pillow filler, and use crumpled newspaper in the middle to help the pouf hold its shape.
7. Hand sew the opening closed. Use a pin to help you remove extra threads for a more distressed fraying of the edges.
There you have it! A do it yourself grain sack pouf that has the style of the vintage finds without the musty smell and high price tag.