There are just certain things in life for which there are no substitutes.
100% Cashmere. The Rolling Stones. Chick-fil-a. Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara.
Don’t get me wrong. Ninety-five percent of the time, a generic store brand is just as good as the original. But for that other little five percent, no dice. My rule of thumb? If you call the product by a brand name, buy the brand name product.
Kleenex. Jello. Oreos.
Seriously, can you imagine asking someone to run into the store and buy you some “chocolate sandwich cookies”?
That is just wrong.
But then there are those rare and happy moments when you actually find a just-as-good-as-the-original substitute for the real thing.
I adore linens sewn from old grain sacks. White Flower Farmhouse has a beautiful selection and, once again, I find myself grateful they are located in New York State. And I try to forget they sell online. I still have a mortgage to pay.
So imagine my delight when I found this post detailing how to create your own faux version of the grain sack pillow. I had to give them a whirl.
VERDICT: They were surprisingly simple to make and I was delighted with how they turned out.
I did a bit of improvisation. Rather than using a fabric marker, I chose a stencil brush and ordinary black acrylic paint. I wanted more and thinner lines on my pillows, so I used my rotary cutter and cutting mat to slice very narrow lengths (1/8″ and 1/4″ widths) of blue painters tape and applied them to the fabric at appropriate widths using a t-square. Although I tried using the clear packing tape at first, the painters tape is much easier to see when you’re working late at night in a dimly-lit dining room…
I may still wash the pillow covers to age the stripes a little bit. I’m also planning on experimenting with tea-staining so I can make more pillows and still vary the look so it doesn’t seem monotonous.
Moment of truth: Are they really as good as the authentic grain sacks?
No. But for the price, I’m willing to make the compromise.