Fabric samples, especially upholstery and drapery, are excellent for use in crafting. This is a guide about crafts using fabric samples.
When I worked at a wallpaper store, periodically they would toss out outdated books and I would save the fabric samples. Eventually, I had enough to make a quilt and then bought enough of the navy fabric to finish it. I was lucky because my mother's quilt group at church quilted this for me for nothing. Nowadays, you can have someone machine quilt it for you. This particular block is called "Pinwheel"
Collect many scraps to do this quilt with a nice balance between light and dark. You can find many instructions online for assembling the quilt into a pinwheel block. After that, you just have to make enough to fit your particular bed and add some plain fabric for borders.
By Elaine from Belle Plaine, IA
I made this purse from drapery samples. Using a basic pattern from a sewing pattern book, I cut out and interfaced a tote bag. I also cut the lining at the same time. Before sewing it together, I made ruffles out of strips that are sewn right side together and then turned and gathered, using a long stitch on your machine. You could also serge the ruffles, thus eliminating turning them and the extra thickness.
I then layered the ruffles, starting with the edge in the center, sew that one, then do the second one and repeat on the other side.
Then I cut one strip to cover the raw edges in the middle that is flat. Add handles after sewing the seams on the tote and add lining, With my lining I put a pocket all around inside the perimeter before I sewed the lining in place.
Keep one side or the bottom open large enough to turn it. You can use fabric that you don't particularly like or is outdated because you only see a small bit of the pattern in the ruffles. I think this looks rather springy.
By Elaine from IA
By Marie from Melbourne - Australia
You could make throw pillows or make small pillows and fill with pine needles or potpourri for little sachets. You could also make a quilt or cut them in strips and make a rag wreath. If you google rag wreath there are lots of articles on how to make one. You basically tie them around a coat hanger or wire and they are so pretty.
Make a beautiful tablecloth! Just attach them using no-sew tape and iron together. Then attach pretty ribbon down the seams. If there are some fabrics that are longer than others...it doesn't matter as you're going for a random look anyway. Just lay it out to how you think it looks best. Have fun with it.
The table cloth idea sounds fun. You can make a matching apron too if you have leftovers. And/or curtains. Matching in the fact that they are both patchwork projects. ;)
This may be hard to describe, but take a picture frame that can hold samples/smallish pieces of your tapestries. Either use as is or embroider over the pattern or parts of the pattern (simple or complex (Google embroidery or crazy quilt for ideas/instructions). Cut mat board or cardboard faced with solid fabric to go around the tapestries. Put backing of cardboard or staple to hold this all together. I think that odd numbers like 3 look good together, but two rows of 4 could work or whatever fits your wall (or a great gift for someone who could use a punch-up in a room). Have fun. Good luck.
Make purses, large patchwork or small evening bag types! Add embellishments and fun decorating!
Yes, this has been asked before, but I thought I'd ask again and see if anyone has a few new ideas. I picked up a couple of bags of upholstery fabric samples at our local thrift store. They were a steal at $2 and $3 dollars a bag. Now I'd like to get sewing. I've made tote bags, placemats, armchair covers, a bedside caddy, and an armchair caddy. Anyone have any other ideas or websites that might be of interest?
How about purses or coin purses? Or use the scraps to make covers for journals? You could probably Google to find info on how to do these things.
Tea Wallets! Do a Google search and you should find a tutorial. Very cool use of small pieces of fabric. I'm gonna make some for Christmas!
Here's one I found: http://blog.christyscreations.com/tea-wallet-tutorial/
Stitched Book Marks can be made of scrap easily. Just cut the length and width you need. Make a small beaded tail with a dangle at the end or ribbon. Then, with either the same fabric or a coordinated fabric, stitch the two back to back design side out leaving a space to insert the ribbon and stitch it up.
I have just picked up some free treasures at a yard sale: upholstery samples. They are various sizes; most are about the size of your average sofa pillow. The lady says she has as many as I can use at her decorating store.
My daughter and I plan to use them as a fundraiser for the local food bank. We are looking for unusual ideas of things to make out of them (Things that don't require many more supplies).
Obviousy they would make nice pillow tops or placemates.
Any seamstress/crafty people out there have some other ideas?
Cindy in PA
I used a cd as a pattern & cut circles from several pieces of the swatches to use as "mug rugs". Some of it is really quite thick so I cut larger size circles to use on the table as hot mats.
I love some of the deep reds that I have gotten so cut some into beautiful hearts.
I made some woven hearts that I have potpouri in that hangs from drawer pulls.
Carefully cut diagonal 1' or 3/4' strips almost to the edge of one heart. Of the 2nd heart cut the same width strips but all the way across and in the opposite direction.
Weave the loose strips into the heart that is still intact but has the strips cut. There might be a few of the pieces that frustrate you because they are small and need pieced back together at the top where the curves are & the "cleavage" of the heart.
Then stitch the pieces together. It might help to stitch as you go. Add a nice cord for a handle.
I covered a box with a swatch once. I used coordinating fabric of the same texture to be able to have enough but it worked!
I lined the inside of a footstool that has a hinged lid to store a few things inside.
Make pot holders of it. Use recycled bed pad for lining. Or recycled thermal underwear tops or leggings, either one.
I happen to work in a furniture store and have saved 4-5 buckets of discontinued swatches so far. The swatches are great for when I need to practice on the sewing machine since I'm just learning. I've also been quilting. For the first quilt I just cut off the edges and peiced them together in squares. Next one I tried to get a little more creative and did a mixture of large squares and small ones and a thick border around it. Since furniture grade swatches are heavier than normal quilting fabric I use the basic blankets from Wal-mart or K-mart for the back, not something very thick. I used the light-weight batting the first time and realized you don't really need to use it so I don't now. My Dad drives a semi-truck over the road all week long and he said it keeps him nice and warm while he's away from home, even when it's cold outside. I read the other posts and think they are all great ideas, I really like the idea of pot holders. Also I'm trying to find info on the rag rugs to see if these can be used for that too! Happy crafting! :) Amy
Last year our church women were given three big boxes of the samples to make things for our bazaar. We put our heads together and made small purse (one of the men collects wood scraps, so he made the handles. We also made handy totes to be mounted on the front of walkers for our nursing home residents. Thanks for the other ideas.
You can make Christmas stockings, pillows, placemats, etc.
They were the perfect size for armchair covers. I folded them lengthwise then ran a seam up the one short side. I then folded it flat to form a triangle at one end and ran a stitch across the triangle part about 3 inches down. Turn it back out and there you have it, a perfect cover to keep the arms of your sofa and chairs nice and clean.
PS- this can also be done with placemats from the dollarstore
What crafts can be done with upholstery material samples? Any ideas would be appreciated, as I hate to throw them away. Trina from Washington