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Monday, March 30, 2015

Faux grainsack made with Sharpies How To DIY Tutorial

 Hi guys! I have been wanting to make a faux German grainsack for quite awhile..just never got around to it! Why a faux one? Real antique ones cost a LOT. You can buy faux feedsack stencils for $50-$75 a pop...but then you have ONE stencil, albeit a very reusable one. I wanted MY grainsack to be personal. Number favorite number. Jacob Hardi great grandpa ..Glarus  (Switzerland) where my dad's people came from. My daughter went on and did the free 2week trial reasearch and traced my dad's family back into the 1500's on his mom's Becker  line in Glarus ..where the Hardie ancestors came from too..just not as good of records for them.(the E got added on the end of Hardie when they came to America) They emigrated to New Glarus Wisconsin and eventually South Dakota where I was born.

 ANYHOO..enough family history..the point is ..I am cheap. I went to Walmart and got these spray bottles  (travel size section for packing hairspray in luggage I guess) for .98 cents each. 2 for dye, one for water.

 Rit dye also Walmart (though they sell it other places and also in powder form) in Camel and Pearl Grey because they seemed like they would get me where I wanted to go. I think $2-$3 per bottle and you will use maybe 2 teaspoons for this project!

 I had a bunch of old washed vintage feedsacks..someone had diligently washed all the lovely old graphics off (boo hoo) but still usable vintage fabric. They used these a lot for dishtowels and quilt backing and even to make underwear! This is a nubby weave 100% cotton. You could use new fabric but I would suggest a 100% cotton with a rough weave or linen (more expensive but more authentic). You can even buy reproduction feedsack yardage online (Google) I wanted to use something cheap in case it didn't work out. An old linen tablecloth would be lots of yardage to play with.

I filled the spray bottle up to the bottom of the sticker with dye and the rest of the way with hot water and then spritzed away. Tan and grey and then plain water. Then rinse and check how it looks and if you want it darker, carry on with the spritzing. It gives a mottled grey look. Rinse well and then I tossed mine in the dryer.You can really dye these however light or dark you want. If after drying you want it darker..dye some more! I advise wearing an old apron and be aware of your dye overspray..don't ruin anything!

 I have Print Shop which is an ancient simple computer program to make cards, labels, photo projects etc. that costs like $20 (I got mine at Staples) but you may already have something that works to generate text. I looked at fonts and chose CloisterBlackBT as the one I liked. I made the page set on wide (sideways) and used the Headline maker because that makes a lot larger letters. I printed it out on a LASER PRINTER in reverse because I wanted to use a blender pen. (I got all my blender pen info offline) That did NOT work. My toner may be too light or the pen may have been the wrong one So I tried using acetone instead of blender pen..nope..very very light. So I gave up on blender pen and reprinted it the "right way" and tried graphite transfer..No fabric was too dark and nubby. So I tried carbon paper..Nope..At this point I was on Plan D or E and getting determined (bullheaded) to make it work. (Since the blender pen didn't work, you could print this on whatever printer you have. No printer or program? Check your library for books on lettering and fonts and freehand your own..more work but still do-able)

 The blender pen lightened the ink but that was about it!

 Graphite transfer aka rub the reverse with a pencil and trace the on light colors and painted projects..not this one!

 The blender pen that did NOT work..the only one my Hobby Lobby had..the ones I saw online were black..maybe the wrong brand?

 SO I used some small scissors and snipped out the edges of the letters. The fancy bits you have to freehand back in. You could use a exacto knife to cut them out..but of course I could not find mine. I cut them in strips so I could space them however  wanted.

These are the Sharpies I used, fine line and chisel. I pinned the paper where I wanted and outlined the edge only in the fine line Sharpie. Then I removed the paper and referring to an extra copy of the
lettering to see how they were supposed to look. I added in lines with the fine line Sharpie to make a hollow letter and filled it in with the chisel Sharpie. NOTE I used a light hand and moved quickly with the tip. Leaving the tip too long on the fabric will cause it to bleed..quick and light. The letters should look less than solidly filled in anyways to have an aged look. 

 Out line your "empty" areas in the fancier letters first with the fine tip and remember NOT to fill them in!
 I pretty much free handed the vine. I looked around the kitchen for a bowl or plate large enough to trace around (pizza pan) I traced a pencil semi circle and then went over it with the fine marker (and didn't follow the line on one part and had to draw another. I just buried the wrong line in the leaves and said..oh well..handmade charm!

 Double line can see I held the marker longer here in places and there are some bleeds or fuzzy edges..which I am ok with! Actual antique ink could have bled a bit too! You could cut your stencil in stencil plastic if you want a reusable one or want to use stencil or fabric paint instead of Sharpie. This one I can reuse a few more times..just not for paint. Freezer paper would also make a good paint stencil. Check online for freezer paper stencil tutorials and go. I just used the chisel Sharpie and made leaf shapes..up one side and matching ones down the other. Practice on a piece of paper first until you get the hang of it!

 For my first try I love how it turned out..maybe a bit wonky on the vine, but still good!

Plus it is my personal info. I plan to search out my ancestors for more cool names and places of origin. This will eventually be a pillow! So..hope I gave you some ideas! Stop in again and follow me if you please! Til next time! Julia


Memories for Life said...

Wow, this was quite the process! Rather time consuming, but well worth the effort. It turned out great :)

hopeandjoyhome said...

LOL..well if Plan A would have been the Sharpies instead of Plan D or E, it would have been much faster! Sometimes you have to learn from what does NOT work!

byTheArtBug said...

This looks great! Time worth spent!

Melissa at said...

Very cool idea! It looks great!