Flour sacks may be bleached by boiling in soapy water or by using commercial bleaching fluids. When dyed or decorated with crayon they make attractive and useful articles, especially for the home. Pillows may be stuffed with feathers, cotton, cat tail down, kapok or excelsior. Pot holders may be padded with pieces from old blankets, turkish towels or outing flannel. Bean bags may be filled with beans, corn or seeds of any kind.

Tie-Dyed Luncheon Sets, Scarfs, Wall Hangings, Pillows, Curtains and Costumes

Use ordinary dye for cotton material. Dissolve some of the dye in a little cold water, boil and add to it enough warm water to make desired color strength. Use cloth in natural or light colors. Always try a scrap of the material before dipping into dye so as to be sure of the color that will result. Colors are always more brilliant when wet.

Fold the cloth any way desired and wind string firmly around places where design is to occur. Tie with one knot as the water holds string in place.

Pillow made from a flour sack

Pillow made from a flour sack, showing steps in the process of tie-dyeing.

The cloth should then be wet in water, wrung out and dipped in the dye. The places that are covered with string remain the original color. More strings may be wound on to protect the new color and the material dipped in another color. The first dipping should be in the lightest dye and proceed in succeeding dips to darker colors. Be sure to dip a scrap of material in each bath to know how the next will come out.

The process of tying and dyeing may be repeated several times to give the desired number of colors. Small spots may be tied over toothpicks, matches, seeds, pebbles, buttons or other objects or the material may be gathered with needle and thread instead of tying. Desired patterns may be marked in chalk before tying. If colors closely related are used on one piece the colors will be clearer and brighter, for example: yellow, green and blue or yellow, orange and red. Opposite colors will make muddy colors when finished.

When all dyeing is done the strings are removed and the piece is waved in the air to dry. Hanging in one place may cause undesired streaks. If the piece is boiled at each dipping it can be washed when soiled by use. Pieces from old silk garments may

Tie dyed wall hanging

Tie-dyed wall hanging be dyed in the same manner. Suitable for middle and upper grades.

Embroidered Pillows, Pot Holder, Bean Bags And Aprons

With white chalk make a design on wrapping paper, using only lines. When design is finished copy to cloth which may be dyed if desired. Using chain stitch, embroider with ordinary string which may also be dyed. The material may be marked off in checks with a lead pencil and a cross stitch design worked with string. Scraps of checked gingham may be used for cross stitch work. Pieces from old duck or denim pants make excellent bean bags. Suitable for middle and upper grades.

Crayon Decorated Pillows, Curtains, Pot Holders, Book Jackets And Costumes

Make a design on wrapping paper using white chalk. Try crayon on this to get the desired color scheme. Use all-over pattern or other design rather than a realistic picture. Copy the design to flour sack with pencil. Color in parts with crayon rubbing well into the cloth. When finished place the cloth between two pieces of paper and press with a hot iron. If carefully washed when soiled, these articles will retain the color for a long time. Suitable for all grades.

A book jacket

A book jacket made of crayon decorated flour sacking. How to make a doll from flour sacks.

A bean bag chain

A bean bag chain stitched with string and a cross stitched pot holder. A pillow decorated with crayon. All made from flour sacks.


Cut a pattern from newspaper for the head, body, arms and legs. Lay each pattern on flour sack and cut the desired number of pieces. Sew up each part and stuff separately with rags or cotton. Embroider features on face with thread or color with crayon before stuffing. Sew parts to the body. Sew on hair of yarn raveled from an old sweater.

Sew pieces of black or colored cloth on for shoes. Dress the doll using dyed flour sacks or cloth scraps. Lower grade children can make a simpler doll, all in one piece as shown on page 36 make seam inside however, rather than blanket stitching on outside as shown. Suitable for middle and upper grades.