If you are a crafter that seems to hold on to every piece of fabric scraps in the name of “someday this will be reused”, well count me in! I have more than one container, shelf or bag full of remnants!
Zero Waste Fabric Scrap projects with under 1 yard of remnants
But do you struggle with actually doing the projects? I know I do!
Well in an effort to declutter I decided to look for ways to reuse these golden scraps of memories (cue the old t-shirts, kids favorite clothes, sweaters, etc..) into any areas around the house that need some organizing.
When I first started looking, I found several ways to create a quick sewing or DIY project that solved a messy need AND use the fabric scraps! Double win!
Lots of ideas are out there but I am pretty practical, and if stuff can’t serve multiple purposes, it doesn’t earn my time to create, or storage space in my house. So rest assured this list was not taken lightly when compiling. It’s items I actually use myself and intend to gift this coming year!
Here you will find 12 ways to repurpose fabric scraps!
Below are some of the ideas with a basic description to hopefully give you some ideas too.
- Wax food wraps
- Plastic bag holder
- Pot holders
- Clothespin bag
- Clothes hanger wraps
- Reusable bag
- Framed artwork
- Rag garland
- Earbud cord wrap
Wax Food Wraps Made Easy
Have extra candle wax you can’t throw out? How about tired of the annoying plastic wrap falling off dishes in the fridge? Yeah, me too! So I decided to jump on the bandwagon and make reusable wax wraps of my own! I’m sure there are plenty of ways to make food wraps but I like simple, and doable. If I can kill two birds with one stone (using old candle wax + fabric scraps) then I am game! Basically these wraps are made by grating wax, sprinkling on fabric and pressing in between parchment paper with an iron. Easy peasy!
DIY Plastic Bag Holder
You remember at grandmas house the fabric bag hanging on the wall stuffed with plastic grocery bags? Well, turns out it really does organize a mess otherwise flooding under the kitchen sink. It took me a while to make one and actually start using it. What all do you need? Fabric scraps, some ribbon or elastic, sewing machine and scissors. You can whip this project out in no time and thank yourself for years to come.
Alright, so I admit to not making this one yet. I have found some adorable ideas for seasonal pot holders and just can’t decide on one! Looking at my current stash was rather sad and depressing because most of them are staind, burned or shoved in the back of the drawer as my least favorite options (that is until I decide to actually wash the favorites). So I need to do this sewing project and may end up making my new favorite!
Another oldie, but goodie! Since clotheslines are not as popular as they once were, the clothespin bag has become even less common. While I am one of those without a clothesline I do still need a bag for my pins, just not for the traditional use. Clothespins have been a great multipurpose tool in my kitchen. From chip clips, fridge magnets or cupboard recipe holders. Since you can pick up 50 clothespins for $1 these are great organizers to repurpose anywhere!
This is a new concept to me, but I’m kinda jealous I didn’t think of it. You know how sweaters on some hangers get that bubble on the shoulders where the bend of the hanger was? Well, if you use wire or plastic hangers for sweaters and can’t justify (or want) to spend the money on specialty hangers, then make your own using fabric scraps! Genius right?!? Here’s how to make fabric covered hangers 1) cut a long strip of fabric 1inch wide by however long your fabric scrap is, 2) wrap the end around the hanger on one side, 3) wrap from left side to right and down the bottom 4) glue end of fabric to complete your fabric (or try yarn) covered hanger!
Reusable Grocery Bags
The most common way to reuse t-shirts is for shopping bags, and let’s face it they never get used beyond that. I have made several in the name of saving my favorite band or conference t-shirt but the bag just doesn’t perform great. Then I added some cardboard to the bottom to create a designated bottom, and it solved the issue! Turns out I didn’t like how items fell into a mass of confusion at the bottom, but that was a fixable problem. And reused the cardboard cereal boxes. Double points!
Confession, instead of reusing my fabric scraps I bought sale fabric to make some seasonal ones! Of course this added to my fabric pile instead of decreasing, but the new print was much needed. Either way, placemats were a pretty overlooked table saver until I noticed how that sticky table feeling could avoided at meal time, cause ya know….#kids.
YES! This idea is 100% my favorite since it’s a cheap artwork alternative that you won’t feel guilty for changing as many times as you desire. Have an old frame that has the glass broken? Perfect repurpose opportunity. Cut some cardboard to fit the frame and wrap fabric around the cardboard insert, glue in place and boom. Tailor colors to the room designs. Safely display those band, college or conference t shirts and have some conversation starters!
Headbands and Wraps
Ahh, the other most common fabric recycling option is the humble headband or wrap. Turns out though it’s another overlooked item in my life. I love riding with Jeep windows rolled down on a beautiful sunny day, that is until my long hair gets in my eyes and mouth making it particularly hard to see while driving. Thus ruining the moment. Avoid the mouth hairs and make a headband for the car. (and mail one to me cause I probably will still be having that awkward moment)
Since the covid pandemic isn’t showing signs of going away, I caved and stopped buying disposable masks. I opted to make a few of my own (you can find my simple guide here) where I used fabric on hand to make a basic mask. Since that post I have upgraded to adjustable strings and will work on some extras for my purse, car and glovebox.
So simple to make I got my kiddo involved! A garland can be made by cutting strips of fabric or ribbon and tying to a base string. Hanging a garland adds some extra flare to parties or seasonal decorations. For example, we made a garland for the farmers market booth with bright colors as an attention getter. Seasonal garlands with flannel, green and red could make a cute Christmas fireplace garland.
Earbud Cord Wrap
A small but seriously awesome gadget. An earbud wrap is one of those projects you don’t think will be a hit, but turns out to be a favorite go to gift option. I get so frustrated with cords (yes, I still use the corded headphones instead of wireless) getting tangled all the time! A cord wrap can keep tangled messes at bay and help with organization or labeling who’s is who’s. (A frequent problems with multiple techies in our house). Fabric scraps are perfect since the wraps don’t need to be bulky. And the color patterns can be a good labeling system. Cut fabric in a circle or rectangle. Make a way to fasten by adding Velcro, a button and loop, magnets, or even snaps (if you have the gun, if not you can buy this one).
As you can tell 12 project ideas will cover a sizable dent in your fabric scrap like. The bonus is the projects will help solve one of those overlooked annoying problems too.
Here is a quick no sew face mask to reuse instead of throwing out those disposable masks!
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