Turn Feed Sacks Into Toss Pillows

A reader tells how she creates handmade toss pillows, framed art and aprons using feed sacks with interesting advertising slogans and logo designs, and gives them as holiday gifts.

| Appeared in November/December 2014 issue of GRIT

  • Two homemade feed sack pillows on a couch.
    Photo by Ivory Harlow

I collected old feed sacks for years before I put them to use. I find them at flea markets, antique stores, and on eBay. I choose sacks with interesting advertising slogans and eye-catching logo designs. Clean and rip-free fabric is a plus, although it’s not critical; I can fix any sack with stain remover and a pair of scissors.

The inspiration for feed sack pillows came about when our new couch was delivered without any toss pillows. I bought small plain pillows off the clearance rack at a discount store, and then tacked my favorite feed sacks down the center. I used thick embroidery thread to stitch a decorative primitive border. Friends complimented my unique pillows, asking how much I’d charge to make them a pair.

That question gave me a great idea. I gave those friends matching pillow sets as holiday gifts.

In addition to making pillows, bags in supreme condition also make excellent framed art. I enhance each sack’s printed design with colored embroidery thread, and I use old barn wood to construct rustic frames for each gift.

Another gift idea is feed sack aprons. I made these for my cook and baker friends, and they loved them. Aprons are a great way to use damaged feed sacks. Simply cut away damaged portions, then sew the good portion directly onto a plain canvas apron. Finish the apron by highlighting the print with embroidery stitch accents.

Chillicothe, Ohio



September 12-13, 2019
Seven Springs, Pennsylvania

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