Do you have a pile of fabric scraps in your stash that you don’t know what to do with? Well, look no further! In this post I’m sharing my favourite sewing projects for scrap fabrics, many of which are free patterns. These would also make a great last-minute (yet thoughtfully handmade) holiday gift as well. I’m a notorious scrap hoarder (I refuse to throw out any fabric remnants larger than about an inch) and over the years I’ve had to get crafty with how I use them up lest they completely take over my fabric stash. So let’s go ahead and jump into some of my favourite scrap-busting projects!
In my opinion, a scrunchie is the epitome of a scrap-busting sewing project. It uses such little fabric, and my favourite part is it also uses scrap elastic as well which I always have lying around and don’t know what to do with. Scrunchies make a really cute and beautiful hair accessory, and they can even look really elegant as well in a fancier fabric like silk or organza. I like this simple tutorial from Bethany Lynne Makes.
I tend to make a lot of my clothes from linen, which means I have a lot of linen scraps leftover. If I have larger pieces, I absolutely love making napkins out of them. Cloth napkins not only feel luxurious, but they’re a great sustainable option since they’re re-usable. I’ve made a few sets of these for friends and family over the years as well and they’ve always been received well. I follow this tutorial from Paige Handmade to make mine; it’s really easy to follow especially if it’s your first time doing mitered corners. If you like, you could also make them into more of a rectangular shape and use them as placemats!
I don’t usually wear an eye mask to sleep, but they’re handy to have around in case you need them. They’re also especially handy for travel, both when you’re in transit as well as if you arrive in a different time zone and need a good sleep! This free pattern from Tilly and the Buttons is great for an end result that looks professional.
When I saw this double-loop headband DIY by Sara SJ Kim of Sewing Therapy, I just had to try it for myself. It was such a simple and easy make that sews up in under an hour, and the finished product is super cute. I made mine in a black linen and typically wear it when I’m doing house chores or taking a bath. I also love the option to make it with more than one fabric colour for a colour block effect.
This is maybe my favourite project of the entire list, and definitely the one I’ve made the most of myself: a zippered pouch. These are so useful to have around; I use one as an everyday makeup bag, another as an organizer in my purse, and another for my knitting notions. I tend to pick up zippers in a variety of colours whenever I visit my local thrift store, and they’re perfect for making these. The pattern I use is the Pear Pouch by Sarah Kirsten. It’s really easy to follow and once you’ve done it a couple of times, you won’t even need to look at the instructions!
Every sewist needs a pin cushion, right? And why not make your own, or make several to gift to all your sewing friends! This blog post from American Patchwork & Quilting has plenty of great ideas for cute pin cushions that will add a unique and personal touch to any sewing room.
Cat or Dog Toys
We adopted a little kitty recently, and it’s funny how she’s become such a focus in our life. I’m constantly thinking of things we need to get for her, how to keep her enriched and stimulated, what toys she’d like, etc. If you have furry friends in your life, I’m sure you can relate! And why buy a toy for your little loved one when you could make it yourself? I’m sure they’ll understand how much love and hard work went into it (lol). There are plenty of ideas out there, but I think this little crinkle cat toy pattern from See Kate Sew is super cute. I’d add a little bit of catnip and I’m sure Luna would go nuts for it!
If you love a statement accessory, The Scrapyard Tote by Sew Can She is right up your alley. No two sewists will have the same fabric scraps, and making a tote bag out of yours will create a completely unique piece to show off that also might serve as a reminder to all of the projects you’ve completed in the past.
Lavender Scent Pouch
Sachets full of lavender feel like such a luxury to me, and they make a great gift as well. I like to keep them in my closet and drawers to add a nice calming aroma that also makes everything feel fresh. This tutorial from Food52 says it requires a yard of fabric, but that’s if you’re making multiples of the same; the individual sachets definitely use less and it’s a perfect project for stash-busting.
If you want to use some of your scraps to get festive this season, tree ornaments are your best bet. There are tons of free patterns and ideas out there – all you need to do is type “tree ornament sewing patterns” into Google – so feel free to choose what speaks to you. I personally love this Danish star ornament tutorial. My mom made one of these for me a few years ago and it’s such a beautiful and unique ornament to have in my collection that also speaks to my Danish heritage. I also love these DIY fabric tree ornaments that Bethany Lynne Makes recently posted a tutorial for.
I saw this reel on Instagram recently from one of my favourite slow fashion brands, A Bronze Age, and thought it was such a cute way to use up fabric scraps as a decoration for the holidays. It’s a really simple DIY where you take strips of fabric, fashion them into bows, and string them together into a garland that can hang on a wall, fireplace mantle, or around the tree. And who says this kind of thing is just for the holidays? If it fits your aesthetic you can keep it up year-round, maybe as something draped over the headboard of your bed!
I saved this one for last because it’s the largest and most time-consuming project on the list (a mega scrap-buster, if you will): a quilted blanket. I’ve had a quilt on my to-make list for over a year now and I’m still working up the courage to give it a shot; I’ve never tried quilting before. But I absolutely love the look of handmade quilts and think that they’re such an amazing accomplishment. The one I’m planning on making is the Bouquet Nine Patch Quilt which is a free pattern from Matchy Matchy Sewing Club. I’ve been saving up plenty of linen scraps for this project and hope to make it in the near future!
So that’s it for my round up of sewing projects for fabric scraps. What are some of your favourite projects or patterns to make from leftovers in your stash? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading,