10 Things to do With Fabric Scraps

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Fabric scraps
The cuter a fabric is, the harder a time I have parting with the tiny bits of it. I have a serious Japanese cotton habit, and somehow using the tiny leftover scraps makes me feel…industrious! Smart! Less wasteful! So, in the interest of mitigating my hoarding habit (and not winding up on one of those shows in the future), here’s a list of things to do with all that leftover fabric.

How tiny are your pieces?
1″ pieces or less –

  • These can make excellent stuffing for softies, or any place you’d use polyfill. Naturally, the stuffing cotton scraps make is much denser and heavier than the stuffing that leftover fluffy fabrics like poly fleece make. Just so you know.

2″ pieces

  • Button covers. Craft Pudding put together an excellent tutorial on how to do this without a kit!

Fabric Covered Button Tutorial by Craft Pudding
Photo by Craft Pudding

  • I actually wrote a tutorial for Craft Leftovers Monthly recently on how to make a mini-garland with scraps just this size.

  • This amazing ticker tape quilt calls for pieces that are just 1″ x 2″! Full tutorial on Sew, Mama, Sew!

3″ pieces

Flower Pin by Wise Craft
Photo by Wise Craft

4″

  • Okay, this would technically call for a LOT of 4″ pieces, but I’ve had this sweater in mind ever since seeing it on Mighty Girl eons ago. Weird side note: I saw the sweater ON Mighty Girl herself a few years back at Maker Faire. It is incredible in person! And also, she is very tall. And adorable. And I swear I am not some sort of crazy blogger stalker.

5″

  • We’re getting into easily usable fabric territory here. Hello, applique! A quick Flickr search reveals more awesome applique and tutorials than one could make in a lifetime.
  • Detail of hooded jacket
    Photo by me. Here’s another view.

6″

7″ +

  • If you happen to have lots of loooong-ish skinny pieces (1.5″ seems to be the average), why not make a rag rug? (OR just sew those tiny bits together to make long strips.) This would bust the living daylights out of even the most generous rag stash.

Moda Bake Shop Rag Rug Tutorial
Tutorial on Moda Bake Shop!
(Photo by Moda Bake Shop too, natch!)

About Claire

Absolutely Small is textile artist Claire Chambers. Claire Chambers is a crazy-pants artist/crafter who spends most of her time indoors, very near to Portland, Oregon. She likes making people laugh, chickens and pugs, and writing about herself in the third person. She is utterly obsessed with making things out of fabric.

Comments

  1. I have two plastic bags next to my work table dedicated to scraps. One is for bigger pieces that can be maybe used to make something else in the future and the other one is for really tiny shreds of fabric that I use for stuffing. I also have a hard time throwing spare fabric away, and knowing that even the smallest scrap of fabric has a use (the really tiny bits of scrap are indispensable for stuffing Rag Pets) is nice.
    Recycling rocks! :D

  2. That’s a good system! I’ve got to start organizing my scraps by size.

  3. These are all great ideas! I have bags of scraps that I don’t know what to do with – now I’ve been inspired to create with them! :)

  4. Thanks for sharing these great ideas, I had been looking for a braided rug tutorial and thanks to you I finally found just what I was looking for. I can also foresee a chibi plush in my near future!

  5. Great ideas – but I have to be honest, I’m swooning over that scrap of hexagon fabric! I’ll be featuring your image in my hexspotting post on Friday!

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