Ideas for Sewing With Fabric Scraps

Written by emily martinez
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Ideas for Sewing With Fabric Scraps
Any sized fabric scrap can be salvaged and reused. (fabric image by Leonid Nyshko from

The obvious choice for most people when they have excess fabric is to recycle or donate it. Fortunately, there are many uses for fabric scraps that require little fabric or talent. Smaller scraps of fabric can be saved to use in stuffing for pillows and stuffed animals, or can be used to make pin cushions. Larger pieces can be made into quilting blocks to be used in quilts.


Quilting is a method of sewing pieces of fabric together in several layers to form a blanket. Quilting is beginner friendly because quilting pieces can be sewn together in any way you like. There's really no wrong way to quilt. Quilting is by far the most popular use of fabric scraps because you can take the smallest scrap you have and turn it into a quilting piece. This method is also great for those who are creative but lack organisation skills. You do not need to worry about planning ahead. In building your quilting squares, you have many options. You can go with a traditional square, a shape or a rectangle. A traditional square is 4 ½-by-4 ½ inches. Sew four of them together to make a larger square 8-by-8 inches. You can also cut out animal shapes, and sew them onto the larger squares. Some people love bright colours, and use a mixture of bright and light colour combinations. For example, you could make a bright red 8-by-8-inch square with a light blue shape sewn onto that square.

Ideas for Sewing With Fabric Scraps
Quilting allows you the creativity to sew any way you want. (quilts image by Christopher Martin from


Pincushions make wonderful gifts and require little fabric. They're quick to make, a necessity for any sewer, and they're cute. Make several and label each one with your speciality sewing pins for a unique yet convenient tool. Create pincushions to match your sewing room decor, or place one in your living room with decorative sewing pins for a crafty yet unique decoration. You can draw an animal, flower, vegetable, or any shape you prefer, and use the fabric scraps to make one-of-kind pincushions that will surely be an eye catcher to guests. The great thing about pincushions is that it doesn't matter what kind or colour of fabric you use. They look great in light and bright colours. Fill them with sand, rice, or stuff them with wool scraps to keep your sewing pins sharp, says Nancy Zieman, author and sewing extraordinaire.

Ideas for Sewing With Fabric Scraps
Fabric scraps work great for making pincushions. (pin cushion image by Alison Bowden from


Aprons are useful for the cook in the family. A good apron is designed to protect your clothing from potential spills and splatters from cooking. You want to be able to throw it in the washer with other clothing, and not worry it could get damaged or damage other clothing. A good fabric to choose is one that can be washed at home without any special washing processes. Cotton is the perfect fabric for aprons because it is lightweight, durable and washable. Avoid heavy fabrics if you plan to make a full-length apron with neck ties because the weight of the fabric will strain your neck. Some people prefer to match their apron to the kitchen decor, while others like to customise their aprons based on their wardrobe style.


Kimura suggests using fabric scraps to make purses because you can make many different design styles from elegant to casual. Making purses from fabric scraps allows you to eliminate your scrap pile while making your purse collection more diversified. The perfect purse pieces are about a ½ yard each for handbag size, but smaller pieces can be saved for clutch or wallet-sized. Fabric, colour or texture doesn't matter when you make purses. You may want to save your designer or special occasion scraps to make special occasion purses, but that's up to you. Quilted handbags are made exactly like a quilt top, cut to the appropriate size, to finish the purse. You can purchase purse patterns from major fabric stores. Wait until they have a pattern sale for the best price.

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