Turn Fabric Scraps into Yardage

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Do you have a difficult time tossing out small bits of fabric scraps? I do! So, instead of tossing them in the trash, I collect them in a basket. I just let the basket fill up until it overflows and then it is time to create something fun.  And let me just say, this basket gets quite a workout!

My project today is a real fabric scrap buster!  I am going to show you how to take those fabric scraps and create usable yardage.  This is so simple and really creates a fun, shabby chic patchwork look.

Fabric Scraps Yardage Technique


from scrap basket to yardage. easy technique The Sewing Loft #diy #recycle #upcycle

This project is for all levels.

Skill Level- 1 Button


  • iron/board
  • pressing cloth
  • sewing machine/thread

Basic Instructions:

  1. Start with pressed scraps. Clip fabric every 1 1/2″ and rip them into strips. Then rip again into smaller sections.  I like to work with a variety of sizes ranging from 1″ to 2 1/2″.  My shapes are not perfect and I do not make them all square.
  2. Working in small sections, position, and layer your fabric scraps onto fusible to create a visual pattern.  You will need to overlap your fabric pieces to cover the entire piece of fusible.  *Pellon 906F Fusible Sheerweight is perfect for this technique.  It provides a lightweight and flexible foundation for your finished fabric.  The scraps are positions on the “bumpy” side of the fusible.
  3. Once you are happy with the outlook, cover the fabric scraps with pressing cloth and press them onto fusible. Repeat the process until you have covered the entire piece of fusible.  It is okay if not every inch of scrap is attached to the fusible, you will secure them in the next step.
  4. Using a zig-zag stitch, it is time to secure the fabric scraps in place. *I like to reduce the overall size of my stitch for this step but that is a personal preference. Starting at one corner of the fabric, stitch along the edge of scraps. Continue stitching along outside edges. For me, this is the fun part and is just like playing connect the dots.  I like to see how many bits of fabric I can stitch in one pass.  It is mindless work and perfect for a rainy day.
A few notes on this:
      • It is important to follow the manufactures instructions for heat setting.
      • Scraps are placed on the “bumpy” side of the fusible. The bumps are the adhesive.
      • DO NOT iron directly onto the fabric scraps for fusible.  If there is any surface of the fusible not covered by a scrap the fusible will melt to your iron.  You will have a MESS!
      • Be sure to use the pressing cloth.

Fabric Scraps - The Sewing Loft

I just love creating something fun and usable from all those little bits of fabric.  Here are a few examples of the fabric used in past projects.

Projects created with the Scrap Fabric Technique -The Sewing Loft

Ollie the Owl, Backpack, Gift Card Holder

And if you are looking for more scrap busters, be sure to check out the birdie magnets, quilted tree ornaments, and fabric postcards.

ps- don’t forget, there is still time to join the Sweet Swap! But hurry, time is ticking to sign up. *This event is now closed.

Sweet Child - The Sewing Loft


  1. How cool is that! You’re so clever!

  2. This is such a great idea. I have WAY too many scrap bags at the moment and need to get going on some projects to cut down on the clutter.

  3. Laurel Shimer says

    I love using up every scrap of fabric. I get to a point where I have tiny, tiny ones and this looks perfect. Another thing I do is save strips of pretty fabrics that get cut off along the edges of my sewing. I use them for hair ties and also as ribbons for present packages and vintage-styled luggage tags I make. A frayed look is great for both. I just keep a cup hook screwed into a bookcase near my sewing machine and toss them over that as I’m working on things.

  4. Sharon Kisel says

    This exact same method is taught by Carol Ann Waugh in her Stitch and Slash class which generates a lot of fabric scraps. Guess it is a widely used technique and very useful.

  5. Great idea to use up my scrap bin. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Love it!! Am already thinking of how to incorporate the resulting fabric into fashion sewing for myself.

  7. thank you for reminding me that I’m *not* crazy when I keep bags and bags of odd scraps.

  8. I love this! Pinning!

  9. You are so creative! Thanks for posting! You may want to visit my recent post on hankies and vintage things! Keep up the great work!

  10. I think this is swell. I love projects that validate my need to keep scraps and make something cool from them.

  11. How fun is that?
    Now I know why I never throw out any little scrap of fabric… It can be reused in this fun way!!!
    Tx for sharing!

  12. Thank youf ro such a wonderful & creative solution. I have been saveing small scraps from my moms alteration shops thinking of doing soemthing like this with them at some point.

    • Yay Tammy! I’m glad you found it useful. Please be sure to drop me a photo of your finished fabric. I would love to see it!

  13. Love this idea!!!! I have been making string quilts for years, using leftover centers of thos bedskirts people always buy then sell all their garage sale because their quilt has left this earth. But this gives me a new way of making “crazy quilts” out of all the leftovers I have. I have pieces of the baby quilts, clothes, blankets that I have made for my newest grandchild and will not make him a quilt with his “bring home” outfit he wore, centered just like I made the other grands theirs……..

  14. This is such a cute idea!! xx

  15. I have been making doll quilts for my lqs . They give a Christmas party every year for under privliged
    Children and the little girls get doll quilts. This is a great way of using up scraps, I usually do foundation piecing or use pieces left over from other projects. Thank you for another idea, this sounds like it would be a fun project.

  16. Rhonda Burgan says

    Oh I need to make mug rugs for the Humane Society Bazaar each year and this has opened up a whole new avenue of Ideas.. Thank you !

  17. Diana Todd says

    I also save all my tiny scraps and mod podge them on a canvas back to make rugs for my front porch

  18. Great thinking!!! I use my scraps and stitch them into crate mats/beds for the local Humane Society…they make great mats and some of the sharper looking ones get sent to yard sales supporting a local project…Only question is how do you handle the adhesive build up on the machine needle?

  19. Cindy Grossman says

    I love this, I have tons of scraps that I don’t want to take time cuting into perfect shapes.
    I can’t wait to try this

  20. I used my scraps to make my daughter a bathrobe, lined it with flannel.

  21. Linda Deutscher says

    Great idea! My only question is, Do you stitch on all of the exposed edges of the fabric?