I’ve become rather smitten with the current fashion for grain sack cushions.   They have the wonderful combination of looking vintage but not fussy, recycled but not tired.

recycled grainbag

I don’t know whether I catch on late to these trends, but let me tell you, these grain sacks are not to be had for love nor money.  Actually, that’s not strictly true – you can get them for money – but now it’s an awful lot of money!  Plus, of course, these things don’t exist in Australia, so there is shipping from Romania (where there still seem to be some left).  Or canny dealers will sell you some from France but at an exhorbitant price.

So, as usual, I put my thinking cap on and decided I was going to have one, but one that didn’t cost the earth.

grain sack cushion that doesn't cost the earth

Turns out what DOES exist everywhere are hessian coffee bags.  Apparently coffee is still shipped around the world in old sacks.  I’m sure you can pick these up for free from friendly coffee shops or importers, but I got mine from Reverse Garbage (because I love their philosophy and want to support them, and because, in all honesty, it was easy – they had a huge number I could sort through).  They cost me the princely sum of $2 each…

You may remember the pile from a previous post?  (plus sleeping adorable cat)

Cat on recycled fabric

I picked a couple that I thought would make nice cushions.  I bought some natural linen to back them – I think that to back them with the hessian would look too rough.  I like the combination of rough with smooth, working fabric versus luxury.

how to make recycled grain sack cushions

I cut out the part of the design that I thought would look best on the front, and the popped a hidden zip in the back. 

recycled cushion backed with linen

I made one square with a lovely red circle in the middle.  And the other I just fell for the ‘Wombat Forest’ part.  Even though I’ve lived here 13 years I still can’t get over how cute wombats are, and ‘Wombat Forest’ – well it just doesn’t get better than that!

Yes I did wash them first.  I was quite nervous about how the print would behave as it doesn’t look that colour fast, so I washed them on cool.  I know I only spent $2 but I was still nervous!  I was already in love with them!

Organic wombat hessian pillow

It really doesn’t take that long to make cushion covers.  As with most things it was setting up the sewing machine etc and getting all my stuff together that took longest.

grain sack pillow doesnt cost the earth

I’m really happy with how they’ve come out.  I think they would look great in a kitchen seating area, or even in a luxurious sitting room to throw it a bit ‘off’.  They may not be the worn linen of the European ones, but hey, they didn’t cost the earth.  Have I persuaded you to have a go?

organic grain sack cushions