The moment you start making your first stitches is also the moment you start accumulating lots and lots of fabric scraps from all your different sewing projects.
Make sure to keep them, because there are a lot of wonderful projects to upcycle every single bit of leftovers! Take a look at the ultimate list below, sorted in 6 categories, and get inspired.
Make Your Own Accessories With Leftovers
Create Something for Your Pet Using Scraps
Upcycle Leftovers For Another Sewing Project
Use Scraps To Decorate Your Home
Cut Up Leftovers To Use It As Stuffing
Sew Something To Use In Your Everyday Life
1) Make Your Own Accessories With Leftovers
Definitely a classic when it comes to using scraps is creating your own accessories! And there are so many brilliant projects within this category. Some examples:
Super easy to make and back in trend. Scrunchies are a great way to use up fabric leftovers. All you need: basic sewing equipment, a bit of elastic and some scraps.
Check out this post here from Martha Stewart and learn how to make them yourself.
If you have some jersey fabric left, you might want to use it to make your own socks! Why not, right? On this pic, you see some comfy winter slippers which I’ve made for my family for Christmas – they loved it!
Another great accessory and simple sewing project to use fabric leftovers are headbands!
There are many tutorials and instructions out there for all different kind of headbands. Leave me a comment below if you’re interested in my version you see in the pic.
How about making your own fabric-covered buttons out of the scraps you have?
2) Create Something for Your Pet Using Scraps
Why not using the scraps to make something for your four-legged friend? There are so many cute projects you can make with just a tiny bit of fabric leftovers. Some examples:
Cuteness alert with this one! Use your fabric leftovers to sew something up for your doggie, for example, a bandana to add a bit of colour to the dog collar.
How about you surprise your pet with a handmade toy? Sew up a little mouse for your cat or a new toy for your dog.
If you search for dog coats sewing patterns on Etsy, for example, you will see the cutest results popping up.
Depending on your dog, you don’t need a lot of fabric and can use your leftovers.
3) Upcycle Leftovers For Another Sewing Project
Another great way to use every single bit of your fabric leftovers is to put them aside for another sewing project. What exactly to do with them? Some examples:
How about you use your fabric leftovers to make your own bias tape for another sewing project?
Here‘s a great video tutorial on how to do this with a single or double fold.
Maybe a sewists favourite element? Make your piece of clothing truly unique by using a different fabric for your pockets – it’s like a hidden secret!
And what better to use for this than your leftovers?
Another idea: how about you just make another garment out of your leftovers?
I’ve made this cami top recently using scraps only and it’s one of my favourite makes. Find out more here.
4) Use Scraps To Decorate Your Home
Level up your home decor game with some truly unique and handmade pieces in there! Using fabric leftovers is a great way to do this. Some examples:
One of my favourite projects ever has been making little lavender sachets.
This is a super easy project and not only great to use up scraps but also fantastic for beginners. Find my tutorial here.
Here‘s a video about how to make it cushion cover and using fabric leftovers is a great choice.
Another great project is making buntings out of all different type of scraps you have at home.
Read more about how to make your own bunting here.
Pictures & Cards
How about using your fabric leftovers to make handmade thank you cards or pictures?
Here‘s a YouTube video on how to make fabric wall art and there are many others!
5) Cut Up Leftovers To Use It As Stuffing
If you really just have tiny bits of fabric left and you feel like it won’t be enough to make anything decent out of it, don’t throw it away but cut it up and use it as stuffing!
What to use the stuffing for? For example:
Remember the cushion cover project from earlier? Well, you can take it one step further and fill it with your own stuffing!
It’s a double-win in using fabric leftovers and definitely a great zero waste project.
Tailors ham & pin cushion
Make yourself a sewing gadget out of leftovers and cut up your scraps to fill it! For example, a tailors ham or pin cushions are useful things to have and easy to make.
Check out this free tailor’s ham pattern.
Or how about using your self-made filling for a soft toy? You can sew your toy as well or use another crafting skill such as crocheting and then use your leftovers to fill it.
This post here lists 30 free stuffed animal patterns.
6) Sew Something To Use In Your Everyday Life
The last couple of ideas on how to use up your fabric leftovers are around things to use in your everyday life which you can’t have enough of. Some examples:
You can’t have enough zip pouches if you ask us! Use them to store buttons and tailor’s chalk, as wallets for foreign currencies when travelling or for your make up.
Check out our tutorial on how to sew your own zip pouches.
Maybe the easiest sewing project ever to make: a bookmark. A wonderful project if you not only love sewing but also reading.
Make sure to check out this tutorial for a corner bookmark.
Imagine a handmade pyjama with a matching eye mask you made out of the leftovers. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Makeup removal pads
Last but not least, use your fabric scraps to make your own reusable makeup removal pads. A great project if you’re looking to be more sustainable in your everyday life.
They are so easy and fast to make. Check out this tutorial.
And that’s it with the curated list and the 21 best projects to use your fabric leftovers. Do you have any other top recommendations? Leave a comment below.
If you’re on a strict sewing budget, take a look at this post here about 10 beautiful and absolutely free sewing patterns.