Fabric Scrap Projects
I collect little boxes and trays. I don't care what they are made of or what they look like. I need them to store all my tiny fabric scraps - you know, the ones that end up on the floor after working on a bigger project.
Some scraps are minuscule and should have found their way into the trash... but I can't bear to let them go, so into a handy tray they go. I even keep thread offcuts. I know that I will use them sooner or later. Won't I?
If you are like me and hoard all those little scraps or even larger remnants, then I have some ideas for you. Put those leftover fabric scraps to work in these easy projects.
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This is one of the most inspiring books in my mixed media collection. Highly recommended if you are a fabric scrap stasher!
Scrap Fabric Patchwork Pillows
These little pillows are easy and fun to make and they can be the basis of many fabric creations.
- Put two scraps of the same size together, wrong sides facing.
- Sew (by hand or machine) around three sides.
- Stuff with polyester toy stuffing.
- Sew up the fourth side.
- If the fabric is patterned, hand sew small quilting stitches right through the pillow, picking up a few details in the pattern. If the fabric is plain or has an all-over pattern, sew small stitches randomly all over the pillow.
- Turn the edges over once, and over-sew with brightly colored embroidery thread. Leave the raw edge visible as it adds charm. Perfection is not what you want here.
You can sew the pillows together to make book covers - see Fabric Journals - or a cell phone/tablet case. You can see the case I made for my Galaxy Tab, in the photo. It is almost two years old and a bit battered but still keeps my Tab safe. I also used these pillows to make a messenger-bag style purse for my mother.
I made this in a couple of evenings for my daughter. The scraps were part of a bunch I picked up at a local market - they cost about $3 - and I had to cut them to size. Notice that I had to machine-embroider Taylor Swift's 'autograph' on the bottom edge - just to make sure my daughter would wear it!
These lightweight cotton skirts are lovely for summer, or they can be worn in cooler weather with leggings. This one looks great with a black t-shirt and black leggings.
Instructions for making a similar skirt can be found at Polkadot Chair: Tuesday Tutorial. I had to make adjustments, as I didn't have enough fabric long enough for the top and bottom edges. I also had to add an extra row of squares to compensate.
This miniature quilt on the right, was made by sandwiching batik, batting and a felt backing fabric together and machine-doodling all over it. The felt was slightly larger, so I fringed it with scissors. I had some scraps of netting and silk so cut out heart shapes and sewed them onto the piece, leaving an opening to stuff in some polyester toy filling. I then quilted the heart by machine and embellished the lot with 'pretties' and sewed on even tinier scraps of gold ribbon in the corners.
You could make several of these and stitch them to a larger backing to make a wall-hanging. Mine is now glued to the front page in a little sewn journal. I hope to fill the journal with these little fabric creations.
Tiny Scraps for Cardmaking
The tiniest scraps can be used for such things as card making and embellisments for mixed media art and quilts. I love hearts, as you can probably tell, and these little silk pieces were perfect for sewing onto hand made paper that I had previously given a watercolor wash and then rubbed with a gold covered finger. The paper is from my scraps collection too. The whole piece is only about 3 inches square. Perfect for gluing to cardstock to make cute handmade cards.
Wall Hangings & Art Quilts
This wall hanging was made as a simple quilt, i.e. batik, batting and a muslin backing. I used my machine to quilt the piece all over with random swirly stitching. The backing was folded forward and blanket stitched. The embellishments are the interesting parts - I used left over strips of fabric, silk ribbon, paper, a string of wooden beads, netting and those plastic mesh bags that hold small fruits and vegetables. I machine stitched some of the strips and hand sewed others, using various stitches. I also sewed on more beads and couched on some thick metallic thread.
The finishing touches were a a brass heart, two curtain/drape clips and a twig to hang it from.
Use similar sized pieces of fabric, plain is best, to experiment with machine and hand stitching. You will need to use a backing fabric for strength - a fusible iron-on material is ideal. These pieces are pages. Sew across the page in wavy lines, using all the stitches you have. If your machine has a lot of stitch variations this could take a few fabric pages to complete. Leave about an inch between each row of stitching. Then in these gaps you can practice your hand sewing, trying out lots of interesting embroidery and other stitches. It will look a little like my wall hanging (admission: that's what the wall hanging was originally intended to be but I went off in a completely different direction, hence no stitch sampler photo!). When you have filled your 'pages', you can sew them together, wrong sides facing and then bind them with more stitching to form a reference book.
Here's a general idea of a stitch sampler: For What It's Worth.
A Few More Fabric Scrap Ideas
Use left over fabric to cover a book. Simply glue into place. You can pad with felt if you like. Tutorial at Delightful Distractions.
Be ambitious and make a laptop sleeve with fabric pillow squares.
Rag rugs - Craftster: Latched Hook Rug Tutorial
Fabric flowers to decorate knitwear. 49 flower tutorials at Kojo.
Wrap strips of brightly colored fabric around wooden coat hangers and glue in the ends to make lovely padded hangers for your favorite garments.
Happy stash busting!
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