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Fabric Scraps: how to use them in family projects

Updated on April 14, 2013

Aside from quilting, there are a variety of projects in which you can use your fabric scraps. I will list a few of the potential projects along with some links to online patterns. However, it is not necessary to make something with your fabric scraps for them to be useful. Scraps can be useful for teaching beginning sewers some basic stitches.

After the new sewer has mastered a few basic stitches you can start them on pillows. Simply cut to matching pieces of fabric, a square or circle is easiest to start with. Place the fabric together so that the wrong sides are out. Sew the pieces together along the edge leaving a small opening. Use that opening to turn the fabric right-side out and to fill the fabric with either stuffing or potpourri. Then hand sew the opening together. For some more advanced pillows try JoAnn Fabrics or Denver Fabrics.

If you have young girls in the house doll clothes are also a good choice for using up fabric scraps and teaching basic sewing. You can make anything from baby doll to barbie doll clothes depending on the age of the girl and the size of your fabric scraps. If you have a Mom's group that you meet with you can even save money by sharing patterns. There are also free patterns online.

Other options for utilizing your fabric scraps include making baby bids, pin cushions, aprons, totes, purses, oven mitts, cases for cell phones and mp3 players, lunch sacks and even pockets. Actually patch pockets are an ideal way to use up a scrap of fabric while dressing up a shirt.

With Christmas coming up you should also consider making stockings. You could make a simple stocking or dress it up with aditional scraps of fabric depicting snowmen, Santa Claus, or baby Jesus. There are patterns on the web or you can find simple Christmas pictures that can be used to depict your own stocking scene.

Another project that will delight younger audiences is stuffed animal creation. If you make patchwork animals you can use up your scraps of fabric as well as creating unique and colorful stuffed animals.

There are several places online were you can acquire patterns. Styrofoam Brand Products Crafts has a free pattern for a pumpkin patch bear. Bluebonnet Crafters has a free Susie Spins teddy bear pattern and a Yankee Doodle teddy bear pattern. Wyrm.org has several free stuffed dragon patterns. Craft and Fabric Links has a couple of free cat patterns. Or for more variety you could try Craft Freebies.

However, if stuffed animals seem a little to challenging you could always use your fabric scraps to make my personal favorites: Potpourri Pets. These are simple to make and even young children can participate. You will need the following items:

  • fabric
  • fabric glue
  • 1" pompoms
  • 1/2" pompoms
  • black beads (for eyes)
  • potpourri

Cut your fabric into circles with approximately a seven inch diameter. Sew around the outer edge of the fabric. Pull on the thread so that the fabric begins to gather. Fill with potpourri then pull the thread until the fabric is gathered tightly. Glue the one inch pompom to the gathered fabric. Glue on half inch pompoms as ears, a muzzle and a tail. Glue on the black beads as eyes and nose. After it dries you have a potpourri bear.

To make a mouse you simple take a small bit of cord for the tail rather than a pompom. Cut a small hole in your fabric circle, slightly off center and sew the cord in place. You will need to knot the other end of the cord so it does not unravel.

For a cat use the same tail as a mouse and instead of pompoms for ears use felt. Cut a circle of felt with approximately a one inch diameter. Cut the circle in half. Fold each piece in half and glue on the ears.

Bunnies use a pompom tail and felt ears. But the bunny ears use long thin ovals.

There are numerous projects that you can undertake to utilize your fabric scraps. Whatever you decide to make I hope you are able to involve your whole family. Enjoy your projects together.

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    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      7 years ago from the short journey

      Super ideas and links. Thanks for a great reference hub!

    • Diane Inside profile image

      Diane Inside 

      7 years ago

      wonderful ideas very informative, and makes me think about ways to use my extra scraps. Love it.

    • sugarloaf10 profile image

      sugarloaf10 

      7 years ago from Kentucky USA

      Great ideas!

    • Joy M profile imageAUTHOR

      Joy M 

      8 years ago from Sumner, Washington

      My mom and I actually used fabric and wallpaper scraps to create an entire barbie doll house. (My uncle built the frame.)

    • profile image

      Tracy Monroy 

      8 years ago

      good hub! I Love the doll Clothes Idea! My sister always wants to buy new clothes for her barbie doll! that would be a great project to work on with her, she would love it! thank you!

    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 

      9 years ago from London

      good thought - my son adores bright colours. Subtle he ain't!

    • Joy M profile imageAUTHOR

      Joy M 

      9 years ago from Sumner, Washington

      Thanks.

      I think patchwork animals are even more fun for kids because of all the bright colors.

    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 

      9 years ago from London

      Your links are great. I've always enjoyed patchwork, and these ideas are a bonus.

    • Joy M profile imageAUTHOR

      Joy M 

      9 years ago from Sumner, Washington

      Glad I could help. Hopefully one of the projects will attract you.

    • shawna.wilson profile image

      shawna.wilson 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      Thanks for all the information, Joy. I will spend some time looking through the links you included in your hub. Great job!

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