I suppose other people have been tuned into the vintage french style way before me, but when Target had those cute dishtowels earlier this fall, it got me crushing on the trend too. A little Googling and all kinds of cute stuff made with "vintage" grain sacks pop up. So, I decided to try all kinds of crafting. The best part? Except for the Citra Solv, I already had everything I needed in the house!
The chairs were in need of some re-gluing and some sanding. I used some Gorilla Glue and clamps to tighten up joints that probably came loose from a boy leaning back on the chair whenever his mom wasn't looking. My palm sander made short work of the already worn finish.
A debate waged in my mind over whether to paint or stain the chairs (the wood appears to be maple and it cleaned up very nicely--I could almost see my dad cringe over the thought of covering up nice wood with paint), however, I opted for paint, sorry Dad. I used Ralph Lauren in Oatmeal-I could still do the second chair hanging out in the garage with stain right?
Here's where the vintage French grain sack comes in. I got inspired by The Graphics Fairy's project, here. I'd heard about doing ink transfers using paint thinner, but I loved the idea of using something less dangerous like Citra Solv. I won't explain the transfer process here since she explains it so well on her blog (even the Citra Solv website has craft ideas for you).
I found the Citra Solv at Whole Foods (eek, expensive at 8.99 a bottle, but its enough for a decade of projects and price sticker removal, so I guess that's ok). I have no idea if other goo gone products work, but try it out and let me know what you come up with. I practiced the image transfer process 3 times on an old flour sack dishtowel before I did the fabric for my chair. What I discovered: 1-The photocopy from the machine at the grocery store worked great, the copy from the machine at the library did not--so, something in the toner or ink in that machine made it not work. 2-Less Citra Solv is better than more. My first try I taped the image on and generously dabbed at it with a foam brush, which resulted in the ink getting a bit smeary and blurry. The next time I used less solvent and more rubbing and it was PERFECT.
I was probably a bit timid with the transfer process on my actual fabric, so its a bit more "faded" than I would have really liked, but then again, if I were really re-purposing a vintage grain sack, it might be faded right?
Here's the graphic that I created. I inserted it into Word and resized it, then flipped it horizontally so that the words are backwards--so that when you lay it face down it will be correct after the transfer. I used the fonts Leander and Chenier. (And I made up the name of the grain mill and address...I used the Restoration Hardware linen pillows as inspiration).