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How to use upholstery fabric samples in crafts

Updated April 17, 2017

You can use upholstery samples to construct almost anything from bookmarks to rugs. Most upholstery samples are at least partially backed with paper, which makes them sturdy and less prone to fraying. You can find uses for them in home decor, art, or other non-clothing projects, which do not require frequent washing. Use a needle made for heavy fabrics, since you need to sew through the fabric as well as the backing. Making wall art, birthday crowns, fancy fabric boxes, bookmarks, placemats and floor rugs are just some of their many uses.

Make unique placemats. Use iron-on interfacing to fuse the placemat and the upholstery fabric. Cut the fusion material and the fabric so that they are exactly the same size as the placemat. Then place the fusion material over the placemat, aligning to leave no gaps. Place the fabric over the interfacing and iron on the lowest setting to fuse the upholstery samples to the placemat.

Use upholstery samples without paper backing to make a simple, inexpensive floor rug. Cut canvas cloth according to the size you wish to make the rug. Select the upholstery samples you want to use and fold a ΒΌ-inch seam allowance all around each piece. Iron the folds to give yourself a sewing guide. Place the samples over the canvas to create a pattern of your choice, ensuring that all of the canvas is covered, and pin the pieces together.

Sew two pieces of upholstery fabric together to make one section, and then sew another two pieces together. Iron the seams flat, and then place the two sections front-to-front, aligning the centre seams. Sew together to have a set of four pieces. Repeat the process until you sew together all the samples for your rug. If you want a cushioned texture to your rug, use quilting batting in between the layers. The batting can be fused to the canvas and the rug, using fusible webbing. Place the webbing on the canvas and the batting on top of it. Iron to bond the batting to the canvas.

Pin the canvas and the rug and sew them together. Start at the centre and work outward using regular or zigzag stitch. You may also try decorative stitches if you wish. For a good finish, use canvas cloth for binding. Cut three-inch width strips of canvas, according to the dimensions of your rug. Place the edging on one strip, fold to get a neat finish, and pin together. Sew the binding, starting with the shorter sides first, and then sew the longer sides, overlapping the short sides.

Things You'll Need

  • Upholstery samples
  • Placemats
  • Iron-on interfacing
  • Electric Iron and ironing board
  • Canvas
  • Quilting batting
  • Fusible webbing
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle, thread
  • Scissors
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About the Author

Thomas Buchanan has been writing professionally since 2000, slumped over a keyboard and typing out everything from grant proposals for NGOs in Bulgaria to restaurant reviews for sleepy diners across Texas for the "South Texan." He holds a Bachelor of Science in criminology from Texas A&M University and will be pursuing his Master of Arts in international relations beginning Fall 2011.