Most are guilty of hoarding leftover scraps of fabric from finished projects and storing them away under the bench for a rainy day. Although the opportunities are endless, we’re sharing with you our top ten creative and crafty ways of making the most of your left over’s.
1. Hair Accessories
For the smallest pieces of short ends, bobbles, hair clips and headbands are the perfect project to upcycle left overs. Choose to plait, overlock or pink the fabric edges to stop the fabric from fraying or breaking. For clips and bobbles, simple bow your fabric and either tie or glue (using hot glue) the bow down to the clip. To make a headband, use a none-grip plastic headband and wrap the fabric round until you have covered the plastic beneath. Sew caps on to either end and glue down in place to stop the fabric from unravelling.
2. Scented bags and liners
Often the fresh scented smell your detergent and fabric softener provides can fade after a few days of washing. Try soaking overlocked cuts of fabric cut to drawer size in fragranced antibacterial solution such as Zoflora and leave the fabric to dry overnight. Once dry, the freshly smelling liners will keep their scent for up to two months keeping your clothes smelling fresher for longer.
Alternatively, sew together two squares of fabric with the fabric face on the inside to create a pocket. Turn the pocket inside out and fill dried lavender or flowers. Tie the pocket at the top to make small scented lavender bags. These can be used to freshen up clothes or hang beside your bed to help you sleep.
Coin purses, makeup and trinket bags make the perfect small gift. Add extra pockets and zips for extra security and space and try adding buttons, or sewn initials to give them a personalised touch.
4. Napkins & Coasters
Give your dining table a seasonal restyle by creating your own napkins, table runners and coasters. Mix and match different designs for the napkins and add a leading edge to your runner to add an extra touch of elegance. Our PVC coated fabrics are a practical alternative for this kind of project, offering an easy wipe surface whilst protecting the surface beneath, perfect for those sticky fingers.
5. Book covers
Instead of opting for the non-recyclable sticky back plastic, try backing your books in something a little more luxurious and colourful. For best results, use a water- based spray glue to ensure the fabric sticks to the book cover, protecting the pages but also keeping the fabric taut.
6. Bunting and decorations
From garden parties and children’s birthdays to nurseries and bedrooms, bunting can dress up any space. Cut symmetrical shapes using pinking sheets and sew along your string at regular intervals. Try plaiting the string to add extra texture to your bunting and use different colours and patterns to add more vibrancy.
7. Rag rug
Rag rugs are great at adding small pops of colour whilst offering a soft and warm underfoot and using up your smallest offcuts. Feed small strips of fabric though the back of an anti-slip rug gripper and tie in knots to secure the fabric in place. Experiment using different patterns and colours to give your rug extra texture.
8. Wall hangings
Blank wall in your home that needs filling? Try taking a selection of blank canvases or empty photo frames of different shapes and sizes and arrange a picture wall. For the canvases, use a staple gun to attach the fabric to the wooden frame, pulling the fabric taut as you staple. For the picture frames, neatly slice and layer fabrics behind the glass to create cost effective, unique and impactful art.
9. Tote bags
With everyone working to become more environmentally friendly and plastic bags being replaced with paper, there has never been a better time to try more sustainable methods of shopping. Try making your own tote bags ready for your weekly grocery trip. Add a small pouch on the inside corner so that when you’re not using it, it can be easily and compactly stored away for future use.
10. Protective cases
One of the unsung heroes of the century is the protective case, whether it be for your laptop or your reading glasses, a simple pouch can be the barrier between broken and not! In its simplest form, sandwich a thin square of foam between two pieces of fabric and sew the edges neatly, fold the foam once more and sew the edges again creating a pocket ready to store your belongings. Try using a brightly coloured fabric, the more it stands out, the less likely it is to be sat on!