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Craft Ideas Using Scrap Fabric

Category Fabric
Fabric crafters often have a large stash of scraps in need of a project. This is a guide about craft ideas using scrap fabric.
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By 11 found this helpful
June 28, 2012

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.
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Approximate Time: 30 minutes

Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Just cut a rectangle shape any size you want, fold in the sides and iron, then fold down the top edge and iron.

  2. Slip a cord or twine under the top folded down edge.
  3. Sew along the top to encase the cord or string.
  4. Then fold bag in half with wrong side out and sew down the sides and across the bottom.
  5. Turn right side out, tie two cord ends together and you are done. See picture.

By Linn from Nova Scotia, Canada

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December 30, 2009

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.
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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

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October 13, 2015

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!

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May 7, 2008

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

Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Mix equal parts craft glue and water. Make sure mixture is paintable, but not too thin.
  2. Cut pieces of fabric into squares with scissors or pinking shears.
  3. Decoupage the can by painting a small amount of glue mixture onto the can.
  4. Apply a fabric scrap and paint more of the mixture over the top of the fabric and smooth it out.
  5. Repeat this process, overlapping the fabric scraps so that none of the can's surface shows through.
  6. Let dry completely before using.

By Mom of 1 from Wilkesboro, NC

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January 5, 2010

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.
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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

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By 1 found this helpful
October 12, 2016

I had a storage cube that I was using for my pills and vitamins. I also had a lot of long fabric strips. I put the two together by trying bows through the holes and the result was a fluffy version of what I had before. I love it.

Fluffy Plastic Storage Cube

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April 24, 20140 found this helpful

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.

sewing machine

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October 7, 2008

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.

Fabric wrapped handle on small wooden box with rabbit motif.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

March 17, 2009

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.

Answers

March 18, 20090 found this helpful

I have a suede waistcoat made of scraps. The scraps are of different colours and patterns, and most folk who saw it said it looked neat. You might need to do a fair bit of hand stitching, though, to join the scraps together.

Draw your pattern first, then make the panel out of scraps. Make the panels with a decent margin, say, 5cm / 2". Don't cut the excess material off until you have stitched all the panels together.

You can make almost anything - bags, lampshades, and so on.

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March 18, 20090 found this helpful

Cloth scraps are great for making quilts

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March 18, 20090 found this helpful

How old are you daughters? Yes, you can make lot of things for small girls with scraps. I made mine some tops in the shape of almost 3 corners with a draw string at the top & strings to tie in the back, also some shorts. They loved them. Search online for more info, good luck.

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March 18, 20090 found this helpful

You can make scrunchies. Sew a tube about 10 inches long with the fabric inside out, then turn it, pull elastic through it pretty tight, then sew the ends. You could also make throw quilts, with a large piece of fleece or soft material as the back. We have lots of these snugglies around our house.

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March 18, 20090 found this helpful

Thank you for all the tips :) my girls are 10 years old and 8 years old :) I love creating things for them but I'm still fairly new at machine sewing lol. I love it so far. I can hand sew a little but love learning on the machine :)

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March 18, 20090 found this helpful

I love the idea of quilts I've always wanted to try that. is it difficult to do? especially for a beginner?

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March 19, 20090 found this helpful

*recycleable gift bags
*make appliques by ironing onto fusible web and cutting out then fusing on to clothing etc.
*napkins
*make strips and sew together to make fabric "yarn" for knitting or weave for pillow covers.
*use fabric strips as ribbon on parcels.

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March 19, 20090 found this helpful

One of my favorites is making pot holders with scraps. You can purchace a special material to go in the center that is heat resistant but I use old thick wash cloths and towels instead. I have also made dog toys with them.

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March 19, 20090 found this helpful

Apron, very easy to make, can be made for birthday present too. With tiny scraps, fill-up cushion with them; perfect for yoga and exercises.

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March 19, 20090 found this helpful

These are all wonderful ideas. I love making napkins that are colorful and setting the table which makes the meal seem special. I even have fun making napkin rings from leftover junk.
Also about the scrunchies idea. You can make a scrunchie for your pet's collar. Just make it an inch or so longer than the collar and scrunch it up. Your dog or kitty looks all dressed up. Mine has a green one on now for St. Pat's day. They are easy to make and fun to put on pets.

Also there is a group called the Linus group and they make quilts for Aids babies. Contact a local quilt store and see if they know of someone in your area that is from that group. Always good to give to those folks who protect our little ones.

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March 19, 20090 found this helpful

I have a lot of scraps, too, and have been learning to crazy quilt. You can find instructions at There's www.caron-net.com/classes/classmayfiles/clasmay1.html and www.loopylace.com/crazyquiltstudio/lessons/gettingstart.htm There are lots of sites; these are my favorite so far. I'm uploading a picture from the loopylace site.

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March 19, 20090 found this helpful

6" or 7 " squares pinned and sewn together (4 for each side) can become a nice project for your daughters to also learn how to make their own patch quilt pillow. Loose stuffing to be packed with their help will also help them appreciate crafting too. I taught my ganddaughters at 9 and 10 to first hand stitch, then gradually they learned how to make their own fleece pants on (slow speed for them) on the sewing machine.

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March 19, 20090 found this helpful

Wow thank you all so much! Ha, ha I love the pet scrunchie idea too we have a chiuahua lol would be so cute. :) and love the idea of getting my girls involved in the sewing. my grandmother taught me a little when I was young, but we never had much time for her to teach me. So I just got the basics, she passed away three months ago at the age of 93 so she never got the chance to finish teaching me. Now it's up to me to learn and to pass it on to my girls :) Thanks so much everyone for the ideas! I so appreciate it :)

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April 8, 20090 found this helpful

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!

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January 17, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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January 26, 20100 found this helpful

I like the idea of trading fabric scraps!

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Answer this Question...

July 25, 2010

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

Answers

July 25, 20100 found this helpful

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.

http://thepaperseed.com/?p=2623

http://www.love  tchenhotpads.htm

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By 0 found this helpful
January 17, 2010

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

Answers

January 18, 20100 found this helpful

Moderately Easy Instructions Things You'll Need:
Potpourri
Ribbon
String
Needle and thread or sewing machine
Carpet pad
Adhesive
Scissors
Stuffing
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.
good luck.

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January 25, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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January 25, 20100 found this helpful

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!

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Answer this Question...

By 0 found this helpful
June 26, 2012

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.

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