Creative Ways to Use Small Scraps of Fabric

Written by deborah jones
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Creative Ways to Use Small Scraps of Fabric
Recycle small fabric scraps into useful and decorative household items. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Small scraps of fabric that are left over from larger sewing projects often get discarded, but even the smallest of pieces can be put to good use in a multitude of ways. Save the odd shapes left after cutting out pattern pieces, and even save fabric from out-of-fashion clothes to cut up and reuse.

Dolls' Clothes and Dollhouse Furnishings

Dolls' skirts are easy to make with small scraps of fabric; they're just rectangles sewn into a tube shape and secured with a length of elastic to draw in the waist. T-shaped blouses are equally quick to make with small squares of hook and latch tape either sewn or glued on as fastenings. Make soft luxury furnishings for a doll's house, including silky bed linens, cotton or velvety drapes, and throws or rugs, from small squares of fabric hemmed or oversewn around their edges.

Household Items

Small scraps of fabric cut into squares, diamonds or triangles of equal size can be easily converted into a quilt or lap-throw top. In the kitchen, jam jars are given a country look with fabric lid-covers that are simply circles cut out with pinking shears. Make a matching set of potholders or oven gloves by sandwiching scraps of old blankets between layers of cotton fabric and machine sewing crossing lines over their surfaces to represent quilting.

Greeting Cards and Scrapbooks

Add a touch of luxury to handmade greeting cards with fabric toppers. Hearts cut from red and white gingham fabric or red silk scraps, Easter chicks cut from yellow fleecy fabric or faux fur, or an abstract collage of contrasting fabric colours and textures cut into interlocking shapes can all add a decorative feel to even the plainest card. Scrapbook layouts normally feature decorative papers, but scraps of fabric used in place of paper backings and embellishments gives a page an original and lively twist.

Scrunchies and Headbands

Scrunchies are just rectangles of fabric folded over and sewn together with a length of elastic running through their middles. Scrunchies made with silk or chiffon fabrics look stunning. Headbands ideally need a little stretch, so these are best made from scraps of jersey fabric or fabric cut on the bias to give it a little elasticity. An alternative would be to make an opening headband with a hook and latch fastening. Decorate headbands or hats with fabric flowers, or attach a safety-pin to the backs of fabric flowers to make brooches.

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