Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
When I worked at a wallpaper store, periodically they would toss out outdated books and I would save the fabric samples.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
This is a guide about making a drapery sample tote bag. This durable bag made from recycled drapery samples is great for shopping or as a gift.
Visit an upholstery shop or department store and ask if they have any old sample books of curtaining and upholstery materials. These books are sometimes a good size and the fabrics of a good thick quality. They can be used for patchworking quilts, cushions, etc.
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.
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.
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.
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).
They would make GREAT purses. All sizes, some patchwork ones. Placemats. Table runners. Cover boxes and tins with the fabric. School kits (make pouches for the different supplies). Knitting needle cases. Pot holders. Dresser scarves (doilies, mats). Belts. Covered barrettes. Pin cushions. Picture frames. Oh! Can I come over and sew and craft with you?!? --Jayne
You can make tooth pillows. These are small pillows with a pocket for the tooth that has fallen out. They are great for gifts and have sold well for me in the past.
How about eyeglass cases, sewing kits, travel jewelry packs, travel shoe bags. patchwork throws or tote bags.
I am not even sure if this will go through as a feed back, but Jayne had some wonderful ideas. I have been trying to think of more ideas myself for this fabric. And Jayne, you are as bad as I am when it comes to crafting. I LOVE IT TOOOOO....Kathy
Pull them tight around MDF and frame them as original artwork. Sew together for shalls, cloaks and lap blankets for the colder season. Vertical hanging banners with letters than placed over top for whatever theme the material seems to take, ex. Fall, Dreams, Lullabye you get the picture
I got a lot of FREE of charge at a local furniture store- they discontinue the style so I get a big box of it now & then ! The last time I used it was this past Easter. I had a cardboard bunny decoration so used it as a pattern & hand stiched it to another upholstery swatch & stuffed the bunny side on the top & tied a ribbon bow thru the neck ! Perfect as an Easter banner ! Also I used some & made a stuffed frog -- very handsome & the rich deep color made it that much nicer !
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
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.
What crafts can be done with upholstery material samples? Any ideas would be appreciated, as I hate to throw them away.
Trina from Washington
We had a Brainstorm about this recently. There are a lot of good ideas:
Susan from ThriftyFun
I have used them in snowman crafts to make fringed scarves. Doesn't matter if the snowmen are large (such as from gourds or even a fence post) or small (from popsicle sticks), they all look great in their scarves.
You can use them to make beautiful pillows.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
I have a question for all your crafters. I went to a wallpaper store yesterday to get a couple of discontinued wallpaper books. My niece loves to make different size decorative envelopes with the sample papers.
While I was the there, the salesman asked me if I sew, I said yes. So he also gave me 3 fabric sample books. Now here we go. Anyone have any suggestions as to how I can use the fabric samples and other uses for the wallpaper samples.
Thanks for all your suggestions. I am looking forward to your ideas. Have a blessed and wonderful Holiday Season.
You must have missed this idea on Thriftyfun:
I don't know how big your sample size are, but they remind me of "charm packs" which are sold in 5 inch squares. Here are a few ideas:
I had a fabric sample book that I cut into squares to make quilts that I donated to our local homeless shelter and our women's center. (01/01/2010)
I also have many boxes full of gorgeous fabric and upholstery samples. Any ideas what to do with these other than the obvious, like quilts, pillows, and sachets?
Freebyrdz from Ontario, Canada
How about purses? You can make simple ones and if you don't have enough fabric, you can do some piecing by coordinating your fabrics. Maybe add some trim too. (01/27/2008)
Photo mats, on back of shelves, cover switch plates or outlets, paper doll dresses, book covers, there's a few. (01/27/2008)
Use your fabric to make shopping bags, to keep in your car for groceries. (01/27/2008)
Make small bag type purses-makeup bags, evening bags, etc. Sew pieces together to make crazy quilt fabric and use that for bigger bags. (01/27/2008)
How about contacting the local high school home economics classes? I'd think the teacher and students would have lots of ideas for all that fabric. (01/27/2008)
By Janice C.
Make cloth books for children. Glue pictures from Christmas cards, birthday cards, magazines, etc, to a "page" of fabric and pink the edges. Sew a topstitched seam down the center of the book or punch a couple of holes and run some yarn through the holes. (01/27/2008)
Look on Flickr for ideas or even peruse Etsy, they will have loads of ideas. (01/27/2008)
If the pieces are big enough you can use some to make a padded top for a footstool, cover plain waste basket, glue to old suitcase, empty oatmeal boxes, coffee cans or hat boxes to make storage/decorator pieces. Use for backgrounds in frames for pictures, jewelery or floral displays. Doll house carpets, rugs, drapes, etc. Good luck. (01/27/2008)
By Vi Johnson
I saw an idea on HGTV last night. They made a square frame and covered it with fabric and used as a wall hanging on a bare wall. (01/28/2008)
Here are my ideas:
I was given a large number of fabric samples from a furniture store that had paper around the edges on the back. I sewed them together in a crazy quilt style and made a curtain for a super long window (10 feet long). I've also made "one of a kind" stockings for family as gifts and I've used some as wrapping paper for small gifts. My next idea is to make a crazy quilt rug. (07/15/2008)
I too have loads of gorgeous fabric books I rescued from the garbage. I thought about using some for making napkins as Christmas gifts, an easy "green" idea. Have fun. (10/17/2008)
My aunt makes pillows out of them and she has a friend who makes hats out of them. They are reversible bowl style winter hats that she makes. I have a ton of them and I am going to make large beach bags for all of my friends.