How to Turn Fabric Scraps into a Fabric Wreath

Fact: Most craft projects, ESPECIALLY wreath-making projects, are expensive. Sure, the wire frames are cheap, but when it comes to obtaining things with which to adorn said frame, nothing comes cheap.

Now, what if I told you there was a way to turn pieces of clothing you ought/want to throw away into cute wreaths? You'd be pretty stoked, right? Well, prepare to be stoked, compadre, because doing so is exceedingly easy, and surprisingly therapeutic.

I only discovered the concept of rag wreaths this year, but ever since I got the basic materials, I've been churning out a bunch! They make for great holiday decorations (both winter holidays AND other occasions- I'm going to make a Valentine's Day rag wreath next) and fun, low-cost, handmade gifts. What's not to love?

All you'll need is a pair of scissors, fabric to cut up, and your wreath frame!
All you'll need is a pair of scissors, fabric to cut up, and your wreath frame!

Materials Needed to Turn Fabric Scraps into a Fabric Wreath

Making these suckers is simple. You will need....

  • Fabric you are prepared to tear to shreds
  • Scissors
  • A wreath frame
  • Ribbon or some other wreath adornments (optional)

About the fabric: Anything goes, really. if you are working with thin fabric, you'll need more yardage than if you're working with thick fabric. If you have a bunch of clothes or some old blankets you need to get rid of, you won't need to buy anything. If you want to be more fancy, I recommend turning to Etsy for some fabric scraps (people just sell boxes of them!) or, if you prefer to do things offline, going to a local fabric store and rummaging through their sale and scrap bins.

About the scissors: I was a bit concerned that only fabric scissors would do, but regular scissors seemed to be just fine. Some of my friends do very little cutting when making their fabric strips for these wreaths- they just snip a swath of fabric at the top and tear the rest of the way down... so you won't necessarily be doing a ton of cutting.

About the wreath frame: I used wire wreath frames to create my rag wreaths. I have also seen rag wreaths constructed around foam or straw wreaths. The style of wreath frame you select is going to influence how you wreath looks in the end- wire wreaths typically require you to tie two rows of knots, whereas all you need to do to adorn foam or straw wreaths is tie fabric around the outer rim in one later.

I recommend foam, straw, and twig wreaths for those who have prettier fabric scraps, and wire wreaths for those who just have a high volume of fabric.

Look! I've decimated my jeans!
Look! I've decimated my jeans!
You can get creative with colors and patterns... there really is no wrong approach
You can get creative with colors and patterns... there really is no wrong approach
Have fun with your decorations!!
Have fun with your decorations!!

How to Make a Rag Wreath

The actual construction of a rag wreath is ridiculously simple.

  1. Cut your fabric scraps into thin strips: I recommend cutting them into something about 3/4 of an inch wide. The length of the strips will depend on the type of wreath frame you'll be tying them onto. Longer strips are needed for foam, hay, and twig-based wreaths since there is a thicker object to tie the strips around. If you're dealing with a wire frame, you should make the strips slightly shorter, as long, dangling strips would have a weird, droopy effect.
  2. Tie your fabric strips around the wreath: If you're using different colored strips, tie them on in a consistent pattern to ensure that you don't end up getting one color bunched up in one area. If you are dealing with unknown quantities of different patterns and colors, tie strips of the same sort to opposite ends of the wreath frame to ensure a balanced appearance (if that's what you're going for)
  3. Decorate the wreath: Even though rag wreaths are, by nature, somewhat messy looking, they still look cute with little decorations, like bows, mittens, and other cute flourishes. Hunt around your house for little things that you can glue or tie (perhaps using one of those vegetable tie wraps) to the frame.

As you go about your wreath-making business, don't worry too much about being neat. The fun thing about these wreaths is that they're SUPPOSED to look a bit raggedy! It adds to their charm!!

Isn't it nice to be able to create a messy wreath for once?

What would you like to turn into a rag wreath?

See results without voting

Fun Idea: Host a Wreath-Making Party!

Every year, I have friends over to make a holiday craft. This year, we all got together to make rag wreaths. I bought the wreath frames and a bunch of vintage fabric off of Etsy, and my buddies brought their own scissors, plus some extra fabric and decorations of their own.

We had a ton of fun making them while chatting and watching Love Actually- one of my all-time favorite holiday films. The great thing about this craft is that EVERYONE'S wreaths turned out looking great, and making them was so simple that we were able to simultaneously do that while also eating, watching the movie, and talking. Talk about an efficient party!

Whether you do it in the company of others or on your own, I really hope you have a go at making your own rag wreath. They're a wonderful, eco-friendly, low-hassle, low-cost decoration to make, and can be adapted to any season.

Happy crafting!

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Comments 23 comments

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi, What a great idea! I would never have thought of that! I liked the one that you had on your head! lol! Hope you have a great Christmas! cheers nell


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Cool idea. I like to recycle and this is the perfect way to use old clothes. Your instructions were great also. I can see myself doing this and selling them!


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

Great idea and awesome video instructions! I'll share this with my followers:)


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Very cool and inexpensive idea. Loved the video! Voted up, useful and interesting.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

That looks like a lot of fun. I have lots of jean strips for my weaving project, but I'll have to be sure to cut extra for this one!


JimmieWriter profile image

JimmieWriter 4 years ago from Memphis, TN USA

Ooh... you're crafty too! :-) Love this idea. I'm all about repurposing old things. I get jeans from the thrift store just for this purpose. (Hate pants? No way! I LOVE my jeans.)

A few technical issues. Why can't I see the photos big when I click on them? I'd really like to see those finished wreaths upclose. (I pinned them at Pinterest.) And why does the video start automatically? I really don't like that. :-( Let me be in control, please. The sound & video were off, and I'm not much of a video person, so I finally stopped it and just read. I prefer to read over watching videos. I know, weird.


Tina Truelove 4 years ago

Great idea! Voted up and bookmarked for future reference. I will definitely have to try making a rag wreath. Thank you for sharing this idea.

Merry Christmas!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

The girl in the video should market her wonderful, hearty voice! I would love to hear her laugh!

Okay, this hub was about...oh, yes, neat wreaths that anyone can do. Cute stuff all round, especially since I like denim so much! Voted up!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas

This was truly a cute idea. It is a great use for old clothing. I could see where a brightly colored one would be great in a baby's room. I like the idea of a wreath making party also.


SanneL profile image

SanneL 4 years ago from Sweden

Another great idea to go green this holiday!

Love to have one of those wreaths on the video on my front door. Hm. . .I wonder if my husband will miss his red checkered flannel shirt?

Cool hub!

Merry Christmas!


barryrutherford profile image

barryrutherford 4 years ago from Queensland Australia

I think I would get great therapuetic benefit from just cutting up unused clothes into strips :)


livelonger profile image

livelonger 4 years ago from San Francisco

Love it! Who knew you could take clothing you were never going to wear anyway and turn it into a wreath AND hot pants?! Great video and instructions. Love that it can work with even the stuff Goodwill will turn its nose up away from. :)


Moon Daisy profile image

Moon Daisy 4 years ago from London

Great idea! I have to admit I was a bit dubious at the idea, but the finished item actually looks pretty good. :) I might have to rethink some of those clothes I was going to take to the charity shop. (Is that bad?)


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Great idea and so easy! I love to turn my scraps into new projects.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Thanks Nell Rose! That's my favorite of that particular batch, too. I have it on my front door now!

I think a lot of people do sell these, Hyphenbird! They're pretty, and they make good gifts! You should totally make some. I bet yours would come out beautifully!

Thanks so much, Kris Heeter. I hope you have a chance to give these a try soon!

Thanks for the vote of confidence Happyboomernurse! Hurrah for frugal crafting!

I bet you've got TONS of amazing fabric scraps to work with, Millionaire Tips. This particular project would be ridiculously easy for you, but I bet you'd have a lot of fun with it!

Thank you SO MUCH for the comment, JimmieWriter! I've fixed the images so you can see them full size, and I totally feel you on the video front. We have them set to auto-play because that's a standard practice online, but we're still testing out this feature and considering alternatives to the whole autoplay thing :D

Merry Christmas to you, too, Tina Truelove!

Hehehehehehee thanks a bunch, RTalloni!! You should stop by HubPages HQ someday. There's a lot of EVERYONE laughing around the office! We have a good time :D

One of these wreaths really would look great in a baby's room, homesteadbound! That's a great idea!

Duuuude. SanneL. A red flannel rag wreath would look SO GOOD. Surely he won't miss it...........

You really would barryrutherford. I recommend it!

I know, right??? I got a total two-for-one with those old jeans, livelonger. Can't wait to freak people out in my snazzy new hot pants.

Well, charity shops don't always take everything one brings, so perhaps you can make a rag wreath with what remains, Moon Daisy!

Thanks randomcreative! It's amazing how fun it is to work with scraps.


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago

Oh My God Simone! I cannot fall for you!! Cannot be!! It would mean the demise of my career stinct in here. Fun and cool ideas...might invite my buddys for a pajama party.. I mean, A WREATH-making party, you scissor my pants on...and we go from there. Cool ideas! Might end in a wreack havoc party though...

lord


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Tosh! Forget wreaths. Pajama parties rock on their own!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Wow Simone, this is such an ace idea, I love it - great video and voted up!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago

What a great way to recycle. I thought I was saving a ton when I made a wreath out of succulents, all free but yours is definitely very cool.


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 4 years ago from California

What a great idea Simone, I can even do this! (I think) Thanks so much for sharing!!


answers-questions profile image

answers-questions 4 years ago

Hi Simone,

What a great way to recycle. I thought I was saving a ton when I made a wreath out of succulents, all free but yours is definitely very cool.

Best regards, Atyq


sallybea profile image

sallybea 3 years ago from Norfolk

Cute video, makes me smile and great way to recycle old clothing. Thanks for sharing.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 3 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hehee- thanks! Do keep this project in mind for the next time you ruin a garment. :D

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