50+ Easy project ideas for fabric scraps, how to store remnants, and what to do with the scraps you don’t need.
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Scraps. If you sew, you have them. You might even have a LOT of them like I do. I have a storage system and plans for most of my scrap fabric, and being organized is the best way to keep them from taking over your sewing room.
What Scraps Should I Keep or Throw Away?
My policy is that if they’re small enough to somewhat fall apart in my hands, they get tossed. Longer strips of knit fabric, even selvage, can be used for drawstrings. If a piece of cotton is the size of my hand, I save it.
If the fabric is ANY workable size for a project AND it’s a custom fabric, then I keep it.
I keep small pieces of plain knits for use as waistbands, neckbands, etc.
Sometimes I keep pieces of fabric from old clothing, such as jeans and pretty shirts.
Storing Scrap Fabric
I have two methods for storing scraps.
I use some IKEA storage bins for my scrap storage- they’ve had a couple different types that seem to be the same. The ones I used were Antonius, but they seem to have some called Jonaxel now. I use these bins to double as an ironing station too.
For the scraps, I usually stuff them in one of the drawers. Eventually I’d like to organize these by scrap type, but currently everything is thrown in there together.
I also keep a small paper bag by my cutting table. Small scraps that I don’t think I’ll use go in the bag. When it’s full, I see if there are any preschools or such that would like the scraps. I use a lot of cute children’s fabric so I hope the scraps are helpful to them!
A friend of mine uses plastic baggies and organizes them by type and color. This is a great option if you’re a quilter! I may eventually try this method because it would make things a lot easier to find when I need them.
Scrap Fabric Projects
These fabric banners are easy to make with small pieces of cotton or upholstery fabric.
This easy pencil case is fantastic for thicker fabrics. You need decent size scraps to make them.
This small stroller organizer doesn't use much fabric.
These easy bookmarks are a great use for smaller strips of fabric. Woven fabrics like quilting cotton are perfect for this!
Some of my favorite diapers were patchwork diapers made from lots of scrap PUL pieces sewn together.
This tote bag was made from scraps of fabric, all sewn together. It's the perfect patchwork hobo bag.
These quick toothbrush scarves just require a few very small pieces of fabric sewn together. It's better if the scraps are absorbent!
This kitchen wet bag was made with lots of PUL scraps that I had leftover from making cloth diapers.
These Easter baskets were made from upcycled clothing and fabric scraps, braided together into a basket.
This larger basket was made just like the Easter basket, but it's larger and offers a lot more storage in our master closet for odds and ends.
These tile coasters use either small cotton fabric scraps or paper. They're EASY to make.
Use two layers of scrap flannel or combine a scrap of terry/minky with a scrap of cotton to make easy cloth wipes or cloth napkins. You only need a 6" or 8" square for each side!
Use coordinating scraps to make an easy balloon cover for those babies and toddlers.
Make some quick teething pads for your baby carrier.
These nursing pads are SMALL, but you can destash a small piece of the following for each pad: PUL, absorbency fabrics, and a stay dry fabric.
These simple strap covers used a tiny scrap of PUL and kept the harsh rope from rubbing against the baby's face or hands. Plus they're cute!
Cut a slit in your jeans and add a small piece of fabric to create bell bottoms!
You can make little gift bags with different sizes of fabric... make teeny tiny ones for small gifts like gift cards or jewelry, or large bags for bigger stuff.
This pretend tool belt used smaller pieces of fabric.
Scraps are perfect for making baby doll accessories like blankets, pillows, clothing, and more!
Cover up blemishes in your furniture by adding removable pads.
These small fabric covers were a great way to make those sea bands more attractive without losing their functionality.
These small door silencers use a very small scrap and help keep it quiet when you're sneaking out of baby's room after they fall asleep.
This small scrap of outdoor fabric was used to make a little awning over the window in our outdoor guinea pig cage.
These PUL scraps are fantastic for making bowl covers or casserole dish covers. You just need a piece bigger than your bowl's top.
Have a favorite fabric that you'd like to showcase? Staple the fabric over a board or canvas.
These bracelets were made from a small scrap piece of jeans!
Also made with scrap jean fabric, this kerchief doesn't use much fabric.
This skirt was made with strips of scrap fabric including some jean, dress pant fabric, and some quilting cotton.
Here's some scrap pieces of knit fabric that were put together to make this shirt. It was a GREAT use of the tiny piece of moon and stars knit that I had left.
These tiny tooth fairy pillows take very little fabric and they're SO useful.
Love these soap bags for holding soap slivers... they double as a scrubber/luffa!
Use scraps of knit to replace footies with holes in them.
Make a clothespin bag! This one uses an old shirt but you could use scraps for this too!
Instead of trying to patch the holes in pant knees, use scraps of fabric to replace the knees altogether!
These toy car roll ups use one long strip of fabric. Woven fabric is best.
These toy car carriers are a bit larger so you'll need a bigger cut of fabric... but it's still good for those large scraps!
Use red, white and black scraps to make boo boo bags in the shape of Pokeballs.
These coffee cozies use barely any fabric!
Hot pads are a doable project with a smaller scrap of fabric. You just need two cuts of fabric the size you want to make your pot holder--- plus some insulating fabric.
Tiny fabric remnants are perfect to make easy pattern weights.
These cord keepers for blind cords only need a 2.5" strip of fabric.
Doggy Bag Dispensers
Make tiny doggy bag dispensers.
Take a small scrap from your wedding dress to make an angel ornament or tree topper for your Christmas tree... then donate the rest of the dress to the angel gowns program!
Cloth Diaper Liners
Save fleece scraps to make simple cloth diaper liners. Knits like cotton lycra may work as well!
Make some easy bias tape using long strips of fabric.
If you have a large enough square of fabric and it seems like it'd be comfy to blow your nose on, finish the edges to make simple handkerchiefs.
Reusable Sandwich Wraps
Make beeswax sandwich wraps with squares of cotton fabric.
Eye pillows don't use a lot of fabric and they'd be good for a small project idea.
Make some socks with those fabric scraps. Big scraps for the big kids and little ones for the baby.
Other Uses for Fabric Trimmings & Scraps
You may be able to sell larger scraps in bundles to people who quilt or like to do small projects, particularly if you have a lot of custom fabric scraps or solid color scraps.
Sometimes local schools or preschools may take the scraps for crafts.
Try giving away bags of scraps on Freecycle. I usually keep a large paper bag around to toss all of my scraps in.
Use for Stuffing
Use them to stuff an item you are making, such as the floor pillows that I made my oldest son when he was a baby or the yoga bolster that I made for myself.
Give Them to Kids
These are fun for the kids to use for their own mini sewing projects or for them to glue to paper (like magazine scraps) to create unique projects.
Use Them for Applique or Bands
Small scraps are perfect for applique or, if they’re knits, to save for waistbands, neckbands, and the like.
What’s your favorite project to make or thing to do with scraps? Leave me a comment below!
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