Fabric crafters often have a large stash of scraps in need of a project. This is a guide about craft ideas using scrap fabric.
I didn't have a handkerchief or tissue handy when I needed them the other day, so I used an offcut of flannelette from sewing. It was really soft and easy on my nose, which was sore and chapped from much blowing. I shall store my bits of flannelette in the medicine cupboard for future reference now, always assuming that no-one uses them to clean or dress injuries!
Are you a sewer or quilter? Do you have lots of small pieces of material left over? Don't throw them out, but recycle them. You can make fabric bags in various sizes to use for gift bags, jewelery, cosmetics and even to put your keys inside your handbag so you can spot them quickly when needed. I have made many of these little bags over the years.
Approximate Time: 30 minutes
By Linn from Nova Scotia, Canada
I have a ton of fabric pieces in fairly large sizes. I purchased a ton of them for using as clothing on my sculpture art dolls, I'll never be able to use it all up on those! I am just learning to sew on my machine. I would love to use them up in sewing projects. I have two daughters so it would be great to get some easy sewing ideas to create some fun things for them.
Hey I love scraps, you can make anything: Barbie clothes, Barbie beds, etc. for the girls. Sew a bunch of scraps together any old way then cut in squares and flip them around to make a new design. Sew them into pillows, bags, Christmas presents. Go to the library (I learn better when I can see how it is done in a book), there are tons of books about what to do with scraps. Don't give up sewing! I'm just back to it after 35 years and really love it. Good luck!
PS: some people make quilt-like greeting cards out of scraps!
Sounds like everyone is like me and has lots of scraps, maybe we aren't using our scraps because we are tired of them, after all we worked with them once. Do we need to trade some of our fabrics around, I for one would be willing to discuss ideas on a fabric exchange.
Perhaps we could make small panels of those scraps a certain size and trade if your scraps are really small. It might give someone without a machine a chance to make patchwork projects in exchange for some fabric they have or something.
Something to think about, might get some interaction going in communities.
I like the idea of trading fabric scraps!
These DREAM alphas were made from an old shirt I liked the print too well to toss it into the "rag bag". Letters were cut from inexpensive stencils after laying a dryer sheet onto the cloth and then tracing the letter onto it (instead of onto the fabric) and stapling both parts together before stitching.
Next, trim the stitched pieces around your marked line as close as you wish without clipping into your stitchwork. The staples are easy to remove, also they are better (in my opinion) than pins. I suggest using a double layer of the dryer sheets (.01 cent a sheet here) but they are slippery when trying to align the parts and hard to work with.
Come up with any combination that works for you: seasonally or thematically, use names or places, let your imagination work for you!
Source: An online craft blog but not sure what one - I look at a lot of them when I can
By Melody_yesterday from Otterville, MO
Lay out material and cut out body of bag. With contrasting material cut out lining and straps. Fold bag, right sides together, sew sides, at bottom of bag, sew corners, 1 inch, cut off access.
Don't throw out those small pieces of fabric that are leftover from other projects. Save them for new projects, such as this cute pencil holder made from a tin can.
Approximate Time 30 minutes
By Mom of 1 from Wilkesboro, NC
Here is a fabric bird lined with a dryer sheet and fringed with beads. The photo shows the craft clockwise from start to finish. The top left shows the pattern made from a recycled greeting card, shows the dryer sheet before the bird was cut out with the fringe sewn into the the middle of the sheet (it is folded over to be double thick). The bottom left displays the finished craft.
This takes at least 1 dryer sheet and a scrap of fabric. I folded my dryer sheet but use two sheets if you think your fabric is a little flimsy. Optional: beads, fringe, tassel.
Trace the pattern onto the dryer sheet as pictured. You may use my pattern to make this if you like. Be super thrifty using a small piece of tape to hold the paper to the top of your screen and trace the shape directly with a pencil. You can go over the pattern lines with a darker ink or marker if you want to. The light from the computer screen makes a good lightbox for tracing patterns!
Cut a section of fringe or other trim to fit the underbelly of the bird. Stitch it onto the dryer sheet as shown.
Lay your fabric onto both sides of the dryer sheet and stitch all the layers together. (I handstitched mine.)
Carefully clip the excess fabric from around the bird on the outside of the stitching.
Optional: glitter glue the edges or over the top of the stitches and other details of the bird. For example: yellow/brownish colored beak, or maybe you want your bird to have beads for eyes, or maybe a small tuft of feather (swipe one from your duster) sewn into the birds head.
You could use these in many ways:
I think it might also look cute in the back of a pinned up hairdo, maybe fastened onto a barrette.
By melody_yesterday from Otterville, MO
How do I make my own appliques, from fabric, for my sewing projects? I am trying to make them for purses, bags, etc.
By Marilyn from SW Ontario, Canada
I'll be glad to answer your question. I've been sewing now for 45+ years and have never bothered learning how to sew on appliques until just very recently. I had to set aside my sewing projects since my sewing machine is now in the shop being repaired.
A friend of mine told me that she's made her own appliques by using a cookie cutter as a pattern. Also you can make your own patterns by using a child's coloring book. My friend also advised me not to use the iron-on adhesive since it doesn't hold up with frequent washings.
Save all your small pieces of fabric for making your appliques.
Here are a few websites to get you started. The only thing different that I don't do is use the iron-on adhesive. I pin the applique to my fabric, then I set my sewing machine on straight stitch and sew all the way around the applique close to the outer edge. Then I remove the straight pins, and set my machine on the satin zigzag stitch and sew around the applique.
I use fusible webbing which is a paper-backed stuff you iron on the reverse side of the fabric. Once it is cool, you peel away the paper and it leaves you with an iron-on fabric which is also stablized for sewing.
Other than blankets and bags, what else can I make using old scrap fabric? Keeping in mind I am not a fancy seamstress. lol! For example, I made these Easter baskets from scrap fabric and old dishpans. I have 4 kids and they love homemade things.
By Judith Q.
Have you ever thought about quilting? I'm 30 and I'm starting to get into it. My grandmother uses everything to make quilts. you don't have to be a seamstress either. There are really easy quilts you can make. For example, use parts from your kids old shirts along with scrap fabric and make them a personalized quilt. My grandma took my great grandma's house coats and cut them up into squares and made a beautiful quilt from it! Now it's a treasured heirloom for me because I have something made by my grandmother and it reminds me of my great grandma.
I have been weaving a lot of scrap & fabric cut from old clothes. I cut it the same as I would to braid it or crochet it.
You could get rocks or buy the polished stones at the dollar type store & cover them- either hand-stitch it on or glue it. Place in pots or in garden.
Cover some regular common ink pens with it - either sew it on or sew a tube to fit it in or glue it on.
Try pinterest dot com for scrap fabric usage ideas.
I am looking for ideas (with instructions) for crafts and other uses for fabric (large yardage to scrap-sized pieces). Thank you and God bless.
By Erin813 from Seffner, FL
Moderately Easy Instructions Things You'll Need:
Needle and thread or sewing machine
Step 1 Make homemade potpourri or buy a package. Wrap a bunch in a small piece of fabric and tie it with a ribbon for a sweet-smelling sachet. Toss them in your drawers or linen closets to freshen your clothing, towels and bedding.
Step 2 Wrap gifts. Cover a package with the material cut to size and tie it with string or ribbon. Alternatively, if you are handy with needle and thread, stitch up a pouch and tuck the gift inside.
Step 3 Braid long, thin strips together and wind them in an oval shape. Glue to a piece of carpet pad cut to the size and shape you want for a rag rug.
Step 4 Make bedding, window treatments and even sofa covers for your daughter or niece's doll house. Whether she collects vintage miniatures or plays with Barbies and Bratz dolls, she will be delighted.
Step 5 Create simple stuffed animals. Lay two pieces of fabric together. Draw or print out an animal shape, and cut the shapes out of both pieces of fabric. Place the pieces together, right sides touching, and stitch them together all the way around but for one small spot. Pull the fabric right side out through the hole. Fill with stuffing, dryer lint or more fabric and stitch the hole closed. If the two sides are different material, it will give the animal an old-fashioned look.
Go onto Gainusa.org. They will send you a kit containing everything you need to make two gospel aprons. They will also send you patterns to make children's elastic waist pants that you may sew from any fabric that you have. These items are then given to the poor and used as Christian outreach.
Thanks so much, ladies! Your ideas are great, and it helps restart my brainstorming for a bunch of vintage fabric that was my late Mum Mum's and some of my own fabric.
My church has a sewing group but they don't accept fabric, so thanks for the Christian site, user "Salpif"!
To "Kffrmw8," I have a 2-year-old daughter, Taylor, a 1-year-old son, Luke, and a 2-year-old niece, Juliette who are wonderful, by the way. (You nailed that one when you said daughter and niece- how did you know? lol). I made Taylor's doll a dress before and have ideas to make dress-up clothes for the girls, but yours help a lot! ALSO, thanks for the rag rug idea, too! I didn't know it can be that simple! Thanks again! Yay!
This is a guide about using fabric selvage edges for crafts. When saving fabric scraps for future craft projects don't neglect the selvage edges. They can be used to make projects with a really unique appearance.
When I submitted my wrapped bed frame, a kind lady said she wanted to do it to her bed, but it was flat. I promised her I would submit a sample of wrapped flat wood.
This is, of course, only a small craft project, but I think with a little work, it can still come out great. I would try it without gluing it first, and make sure you don't get frustrated and want to quit but are committed. And, for those who would like to try this, these little boxes are at Michael's and I have seen them at the dollar stores, too. Good luck!
By Sandra from Salem, OR
Editor's Note: Here is Sandra's original post about a fabric wrapped headboard: