This project is so easy, it's a no-brainer! It's a great example of how to take a garage-sale staple, the lowly tin flour sifter, and "up-cycle" it by simply adding some cool reproduced vintage food labels for color and interest, then using your imagination. Hostess gift? Planter? "Basket" for homemade cookies? There are lots of possibilities besides just the obvious display piece to grace the space above the cupboards in your kitchen.
I've been collecting vintage flour sacks for several years because I love the old graphics. I also have a stash of coffee labels, perfume labels, and all sorts of other great colorful vintage graphics that I've been organizing into packages for downloadable digital art to sell on Etsy. I'm going to prove to my husband that there was a method to my pack-rat madness all along! Take this Blue Ribbon flour sack, for example:
Recently, I returned from an auction with several box lots full of kitchen stuff I bought for a song. I had a lot of fun putting all the eggbeaters in one pile, all the flour sifters in another, and then I realized: I had seven tin flour sifters! They needed something to jazz them up a bit. Then my brain made the connection: those flour sack labels.....Mod Podge.....a few color copies......it was the Perfect Storm of craft projects!
I'm going to walk you through this easy project, one two three. Get yourself a tin flour sifter. Download and print a flour sack or food label on a laser printer, adjusting the size to fit your sifter. I'm giving you two to choose from here. If you have an inkjet printer, you must treat the print with a spray fixative, which can be purchased from an art supply store. One or two coats, then let it dry thoroughly.
Cut out your label, then age it to your satisfaction with ink. I like Tim Holtz "Antique Linen" and "Vintage Photo" and for dark spots, some "Walnut Ink". The important thing is not to have raw, white edges on your paper. You could even try burning or tearing parts of your labels just for fun.
Apply an even coat of Mod Podge to the back of your image using a foam brush or paintbrush and place it lightly on the sifter. Position it until you are happy with it, then smooth out the label with your fingers or a brayer. If there are raised words on the tin underneath (there probably will be), you'll have to work around them with your fingers. Once smooth, coat the top with Mod Podge.
For the final step, you must decide how to use your wonderful flour sifter. I decided to fill one with a vintage napkin and what I consider the world's best molasses cookies, made by Bake-n-Cakes Bakery located at 3003 E. Kalamazoo street in Lansing, Michigan. Just like grandma used to make! Stop by there if you are ever in the neighborhood. You'll forget Panera ever existed. And the girls that work there are sweeter than vanilla icing!
As you can see, I tried adding some flair to a small cake pan too:
I hope you will try this easy, satisfying, and inexpensive project. Will you promise me something? Let's stop rushing to Target, Home Goods or the other mega-super-stores when we need to buy a gift or just want a little something new for our homes. We're basically sending our money to China, where factories are belching out consumer goods and pollution at an alarming rate. And who knows how old the workers are in some of the factories there? Let's consider making something with our own hands, up-cycling an object that's been on this planet for many years, and giving it a second life. You'll feel good about yourself, I guarantee it!
And now for those eggbeaters I mentioned earlier.....