How to Make Your own Grain Sack Fabric & Turn it into an Arm Chair Caddy

If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you’ll remember we gave our daughter a sewing machine for her 10th birthday in August. She loves creating things and today we made this project together.
Here’s what you’ll need:
  • approx. 1.25 mtrs of fabric resembling grain sack (I often use painters drop sheets, but found this fabric at our Spotlight store for $2/metre!)
  • Painters tape
  • Paint (I used acrylic craft paint, but fabric paint or even chalk paint would be better)
  • Paint brush for stencilling
  • pins
  • iron on transfer (optional)

We measured the length of our fabric by placing a tape measure over the arm chair rest and down and under the first cushion about half way along (this is where the caddy will tuck under to keep it in place)
Length was approx 1.25m
Width was approx. 25cm doubled over (you can adjust this width to suit your preference depending on how many remotes you need to fit in.
Note: we doubled the fabric over to add strength, so you would cut 50cm wide, then fold in half to get your 25cm width.

With the fabric doubled over, mark with painters tape the full length of the fabric to make grain sack stripe pattern. You can make any patterns you like in this way.

Next dab on the paint as you would with a stencil using a brush with wide type bristles and using an up and down dabbing motion until all filled in.

Allow paint to dry completely before removing tape.
If you prefer, you can gently wash the fabric when paint is completely dry to give the stripes a more faded, antique look.

Now turn the folded fabric right sides together (stripes inside) and sew together along a short edge and the unfolded long edge, leaving the bottom open so you can turn inside out the correct way.

Isn’t she cute!!

After turning back inside the right way, tuck in and iron the bottom raw edge and sew a straight stitch along this edge on the outside, then all around the outside edge forming a top stitch around the entire piece of fabric.
Now at this stage, I think this would also make a great table runner, don’t you think?
Should have taken a pic of that right here.

Now its time to measure pockets and this will depend on your remote controls, phones, etc. that you’d like to make pockets for. Take your remote and use it as a guide, measuring and leaving at least 4cm each side to allow for seams and so it won’t end up too tight.
Tuck under about 1cm for the seam and iron flat, making sure those corners don’t poke out.

I folded over the above edge forming a bit of a pocket top at the back.
Now, below – don’t look too close – I’ve applied a DIY iron on transfer image to this pocket.
Not sure what happened, but this didn’t turn out too well and my image hardly appeared. I think it was because this was one I had printed a long time ago and maybe the ink had settled too long.
SO … I went over it with a laundry strength sharpie and it doesn’t look too bad … from a distance – LOL.

Now place on your main fabric towards the bottom edge and pin around the edges of the pockets.

We made this cute little top pocket for the Apple TV remote. It lays sideways in here.

Sew close to the edges. I don’t know what the formal sewing term is for it, but we made those little triangular shapes at the top corners of the pockets for added strength. (I’m sure my mum taught me that!)

When all your pockets are sewn on, it should be all ready to fit on your couch arm!
Tuck the long edge right under that first cushion. It should reach to about half way under to keep it stable.

Okay, so all my “blues” don’t actually match here, but you get the general idea!

We even tried it out on our futon couch in the other living room area, and YES – it works well there too.

So glad to have shared this special project with my daughter, passing on the sewing skills that were handed down to me from my lovely mum. 
I would love you to pin this to your Pinterest page (hover over a picture and click on the ‘P’), share with your Facebook page, or Tweet about this tutorial!
Thanks for hanging out with us today.

We are authorised retailers for Fusion Mineral Paint and Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint in Australia. This blog post may contain affiliate links.

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1 Comment

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    Two Little Stools - From Ghastly to Trendy
    May 12, 2016 at 6:58 am

    […] Grain Sack Stripes on Fabric to Create an Armchair Caddy Make sure you use proper painter’s tape so that the paint doesn’t lift when you take the tape off. […]

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