Beginner Embroidery on a Vintage Feed Sack

Beginner Embroidery on a Vintage Feed Sack

All of my vintage-loving friends have a special affinity for old linens. Whether it’s cute embroidered hand towels, pretty crocheted doilies, or colorfully kitsch tablecloths, we always paw through them in shops. The same goes for old grain, feed, and flour sacks- cotton, linen, or burlap, we just seem to love them all. I first spied this project by Cathe Holden in Country Living magazine; and was desperate to try some beginner embroidery on a vintage feed sack.

Since I had set my mind to this craft AFTER antiquing (of course), I hit up Etsy to look for an old feed sack. And, well, I found an amazing grain sack that was begging for a little spruce.

Vintage feed sack

I mean, a vintage feed sack with an elephant on it AND a pun? Truly meant to be for yours truly.

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Basic Stitch Embroidery

To get started, I took my vintage feed sack to a craft store to color-match embroidery floss. Then, I used my seam ripper to carefully disassemble the back of of the fabric from the front, so that it was no longer a sack.

Also, as someone with little to no embroidery experience, I studied a few YouTube videos, too. And I decided that the back stitch would be simple enough but truly effective for giving the feed sack fabric some “oomph”.

First, I started with the big red block letters at the top.

Basic stitch embroidery on feed sack fabric

Which came out brilliantly! Not too shabby on the back stitch, eh?

Embroidering a vintage feed sack

Then I started on the corn, embroidering a few kernels here and there.

Simple embroidery for farmhouse kitchen wall decor

Next, I outlined the elephant’s head.

Embroidering the graphics on vintage feed sacks

I didn’t want to over due the embroidery on my feed sack, so I did a little bit more here and there before putting down the needle and floss.

Farmhouse Kitchen Wall Decor with a Vintage Feed Sack

All in all, this was all the embroidery I did on the feed sack fabric. Just enough to make the graphics pop, without becoming cartoonish.

Beginner embroidery on vintage feed sack fabric

Now I just needed to attach it to a frame. I purchased a burlap canvas since I thought traditional white canvas might peek through.

Attaching a feed sack to a pre made canvas

And in true Sadie Seasongoods fashion, Cottonball insisted on helping.

Farmhouse kitchen wall decor with beginner embroidery

Lastly, I used our staple gun (always scary, but the perfect tool for this task) to affix the feed sack to the canvas frame!

Beginner Embroidery on a Vintage Feed Sack

Doesn’t it look fabulous? I love how the embroidered sections pop against the faded graphics.

Basic stitch embroidery on a vintage feed sack

Here’s a close up of the embroidered portions as stretched to the canvas. Ready to hang or lean on the mantel!

Embroidering a grain sack for farmhouse kitchen wall decor

Of course, now I need to find another antique feed sack or two and make a grouping. So, let the feed sack hunt begin!

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for vintage feed sack fabric, then you may also be interested in this wall decor I made with antique doilies!

Framed doilies as shabby chic wall decor

Craft on!


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Simple hand embroidery on a feed sack

Simple hand embroidery for beginners

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Love, love, love this idea!

  2. What a cute idea. I love how you made the image pop. I have some feed sacks so I had better see if they might be good candidates.
    Thanks for the idea,

  3. This is right up my alley! Thanks for priming my creative juices! Love!!

  4. Great Idea! I love how the image pops and the extra bit of texture you added.

  5. What a great idea! Stopping by from Gingersnap Crafts 🙂

    Danielle @ Blissful & Domestic

  6. Love this! That embroidery did make it ‘pop’, Good luck on your search!

  7. Stopping by from Friday Favorites. Wow, the thread adds such an amazing detail to the whole piece. Love it! Pinning!

  8. fairygoodiemother says

    SO cute! I am no sewing super star, but I can totally do this! LOVE the idea!!! 🙂 Anna

  9. Very cute! This is too fun! I do really enjoy the pun and I am glad I am not the only one who has a cat who likes to help!! Thanks for link up at Party in Your PJs!

  10. Omgosh I LOVE this. The embroidery totally makes a huge difference. Pinned. Thanks for sharing on Merry Monday.

  11. The embroidery really helps. Now that we’re living in a rural community with wood paneling on our walls, I might steal your idea, if that’s okay.

  12. I know you posted this great project a while ago, but a question. How did you clean the sack? I have tried washing them before and all the ink diappears! Country Living says to wash it but I don’t want to lose my great graphics! Thanks.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I actually didn’t clean it- I’m not much of a germaphobe and know that I’m more washable than the things I work with, LOL! I didn’t even think about the print fading, but how awful!!! I suppose you could do a quick soak in hot water with just a few drops of gentle detergent (or even a gentle face wash)…that way, there’s no agitation and you can monitor the integrity of the graphics.

  13. Great project. I love simple embroidery stitches; counted cross stitch is TOO nit-picky for me. People frown when I say I love French knots. Did you use 6 strands? I often do and have been proved right; 40 years of laundering my hope chest pillow cases thinned down the thread (the way my mother said it would!). I used 2 of my painted sea glass votive candles from 1 of your posts tonite for a raffle item and the lady who won them was so pleased! I couldn’t find your chicken wire ribbon so I wrapped jute around them, added a sprig of plastic coral with a gold seahorse charm–really cute!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Yes, I didn’t separate the strands for this project- in part because I was so new to embroidery that I didn’t even know that separating strands was normal! 🙂 And love the story about the sea glass votives!!!

  14. Love that grain sack!!!! I embroider on sacks all the time. Works great when you want to save a faded bag. I also will match up crayons with the color(s) on the bag if they are to faded and fill in. Go over the colored area with a hot iron over parchment paper and it looks original.

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