Fabric and textiles surround us, from our clothing to our carpets. Color,
pattern, texture and design affect both our mood and our pocketbooks.
Everyone has fabric scraps. They are in clothes that no longer
fit, or draperies that are being replaced. As a frugal homemaker, you can take
these scraps and make items of value.
I have seen numerous old drapery panels sell for large amounts
on eBay. They are either being used to decorate homes with a retro or shabby
chic design, or are being cut down for pillows.
There are many, many ways to use fabric. Here are some ideas to recycle fabric,
and turn fabric scraps into fabric assets:
-Making quilts is the number one use for old scraps of
-You can make pillows. If your scraps are small, they can be
-Potpourri Sachets. For very utilitarian sachets, I just take my
old potpourri, and wrap it up in a scrap of fabric and tie it with a ribbon.
Then I place it in drawers or below cupboards. There is plenty of scent left for
those enclosed areas.
You can make these with fresh potpourri, and give them as gifts.
Make them as decorative as you desire by seaming the sides and adding lace
around the edges, or ribbons accents.
If you are good with a crochet hook, you can make rag
rugs. There are other techniques also, such as just tying bits of fabric
into a piece of rug canvas. Here is a URL with some pictures of these:
-Scraps can be made into linens for the kitchen/dining room. You
can make potholders, napkins, place mats, table runners, and even tablecloths,
piecing when necessary.
-You can use fabric for both fabric art and decoupage. If you
stiffen the fabric with Modge Podge before you cut it, the ends will not ravel.
Books on fabric art can be purchased at the store or rented from the library.
-Fabric scraps can be used for wrapping presents. Use it like
paper, or make into gift bags. You can make a more formal, structured gift bag,
or simply make a drawstring bag. Or, cut out shapes from the design of the
fabric, and use to decorate gifts wrapped in plain brown paper. You can also
tear the fabric into strips, and use it as ribbon.
-Fabric scraps can be used in crafts for home accessories. Make
everything from picture frames, checkbooks, album covers, eyeglass cases, and
book covers, to bowls and Christmas Ornaments. All these can also be gifts.
-Lay pieces of fabric on the bottom of gift baskets and picnic
baskets to make them more decorative.
-Use your fabric scraps to make dolls and doll clothes. That is
another enterprise I was involved in for a time. I made dolls and sold them on
the Internet.... and that was before eBay.
-Use them to make stuffed toys. You will find many patterns at
Goodwill type stores.
-You can make darling aprons with appliques, and give them as
presents. You can also make hair accessories like scrunchies.
-Heavier fabrics can be used for small upholstery projects, such
as covering chair seats.
-Use your scraps to cover craft cardboard boxes like you
purchase at stores like JoAnns, and to line the inside. Or use shoe boxes. These
decorated boxes are great for open storage areas.
-Make duffel bags for your children's laundry. Help your
children learn to sort their clothing by making different colored bags for how
you want your wash sorted.
-Make protective dust covers for toasters, sewing machines, and
other small appliances, again, a gift idea.
-Warm up your home office/work rooms by covering office
accessories with bits of fabric. Some things you might cover- mouse pads, pencil
and tool holders, storage containers, Kleenex boxes- all will soften up a home
Imagine how it would be to have a 6x6" piece of fabric from all
the clothes you wore when you were a little child. Would that be of value to you
now? Even if you can't use them now, save your scraps. Put them in a box, and
set them aside. You may be very glad someday.