Scrap fabric sewing projects: What to make with fabric scraps

Recycling Day is celebrated worldwide on March 18, an occasion that reminds us how important it is to conserve our resources and reduce waste. One area in which we are often confronted with fabric scraps is cutting when sewing. But what can you do with all those little fabric scraps that are left over after a sewing project? The answer is: A lot! In this article, we introduce you to the upcycling trend and techniques for sewing projects for fabric scraps. What’s particularly practical about upcycling is that sewing from fabric scraps is free and therefore easy on your wallet. Here are some ideas on how you can use these fabric scraps to make sewing small items from fabric scraps creative and varied.


1. Inspiration sewing projects for scrap fabrics: Trend Upcycling
2. Small sewing projects for fabric scraps (10-50cm large fabric scraps)
3. Techniques for easy sewing projects for fabric scraps
4. What to make with fabric scraps that are smaller than 10 cm

Inspiration sewing projects for scrap fabrics: Trend Upcycling

The recycling of old clothes or fabric scraps has been a growing trend for years under the name of upcycling. Upcycling has long since arrived in the fashion world: Designers like Marine Serre are leading the way and providing inspiration on how to create cool, modern statement pieces from old clothes.

Upcycling Trend
Sewing projects for fabric scraps
Designer fashion made of fabric scraps

Credits: British Vogue Marine Serre SS22 (

But what is the difference between recycling and upcycling? Why is upcycling so popular?

What is recycling?

Recycling involves the shredding or processing of waste materials to transform them into new products. The original properties of the materials are often changed in the process and the end product may be of lower quality than the original material. One example of recycling is the conversion of plastic bottles into recycled plastic, which is then processed into new plastic products.

What is upcycling?

Upcycling, on the other hand, refers to the transformation of waste materials into products of higher value or utility without completely shredding or altering the materials. Upcycling preserves or even improves the original properties of the materials. This often results in unique and high-quality products. One example of upcycling is using old jeans to make a patchwork bag.

What makes upcycling so popular are the many benefits it offers. Firstly, it is an environmentally friendly practice as it helps to reduce waste and reduce the impact on the environment. By reusing existing materials, the need for new resources is minimized. In this way, upcycling also helps to raise awareness of environmental problems and sensitize people to the importance of sustainability. It shows that every individual can make a contribution to protecting the environment by making more conscious decisions and using resources wisely.

Upcycling is also an opportunity to be creative and express yourself through unique projects. As you will see, above all it’s simply fun!

Small sewing projects for fabric scraps (10-50cm large fabric scraps)

In this chapter, we show you which projects are suitable for how much fabric. You often only have small quantities left over.

Sewing projects for 10-20cm fabric scraps

If you only have between 10-20 cm left, small accessories such as hair band or headband patterns, scrunchies or even cosmetic bags and coin purses are ideal.

By the way, if you want to try out sewing from fabric scraps for free, you can even sew a small accessory for your hair without a sewing machine using the free scrunchie pattern.

Sew a hairband from fabric scraps
Scrap fabric projects for beginners

Sewing projects for 50cm fabric scraps

If you still have about half a meter available, you can also sew accessories using a collar pattern, bucket hat pattern, scarf pattern or tote bag pattern. These are not only functional, but round off any outfit and can be made perfectly from small amounts of fabric.

Sew collars from fabric scraps
Sew a bag from fabric scraps

Techniques for easy sewing projects for fabric scraps

But what do you do if you only have a little leftover that is no longer enough for the ideas already mentioned? Then you can use two techniques with these sewing ideas for fabric scraps to really recycle all your scraps and not throw anything away.

Sewing patchwork with fabric scraps

The history of patchwork goes back centuries and is closely linked to the tradition of textile craftsmanship. Originally, patchworking arose from the need to use fabric remnants and repair clothing or blankets, especially in times when new fabrics were scarce or expensive. Over time, patchwork developed into an artistic needlework technique that served both practical and aesthetic purposes. Patchworking reached its peak in the United States in the 19th century in particular, when pioneers and settlers used this technique to make warm blankets and bedspreads.

Today, patchwork has a firm place in craftsmanship and is valued by people all over the world as a creative form of expression. Join several small pieces of fabric together to create one piece of fabric. Here you can play with colors and patterns and thus sew creative unique pieces. There are no limits to what you can sew with your self-made patchwork fabric: From patchwork bag patterns to jacket patterns, everything is possible.

Patchwork for fabric scraps
Patchwork bag made from fabric remnants

If you are unsure how to sew this technique, take a look at the patchwork kimono video sewing tutorial.

Make your own quilting fabric

Another creative option for sewing ideas for fabric scraps is to make your own quilting fabric. Sewing with fabric scraps has never been as colorful as with this technique!

Step 1: Cut your fabric scraps into strips or triangles. These can be the same size or completely different sizes, but make sure they are no larger than approx. 4×4 cm.
Step 2: Place the snippets on a layer of water-soluble fabric. Here you can determine the look! You can either sort the scraps by color and create a color gradient, for example, or you can mix your fabric scraps wildly to create a colorful pattern.
Step 3: Place a second layer of water-soluble fabric on top of your snippets.
Step 4: Topstitch the fabric, here too you decide the look.
Step 5: Dissolve the fabric in water to obtain your finished quilting fabric.

Alternatively, you can also use a transparent organza fabric instead of the water-soluble fabric.

Make your own quilting fabric
Upcycling techniques

Credit: Lynda Heines ( and

What to make with fabric scraps that are smaller than 10 cm

Another way what to make with fabric scraps and not throw anything away is to repurpose them. If your fabric scraps are made of cotton or linen, you can easily use them as towels or rags for cleaning.

Sewing ideas for fabric scraps under 10cm

Fabric scraps are also great for stuffing cushions or soft toys or for making small gifts. For example, you could sew small key rings, bag tags or lavender sachets from colorful fabric scraps. These small handmade items are perfect as personal gifts for friends and family or as beautiful decorations for your home.

Key ring made from fabric remnants
Filling made from fabric scraps

Credit: CreateHappyHandmade ( )

In short, recycling and upcycling is more than just an environmentally conscious choice – it’s an opportunity to unleash your creativity and create unique, handmade products. Instead of simply throwing away fabric scraps, we can give them a new lease of life and reduce our ecological footprint at the same time. So grab your sewing machine, your fabric scraps and let your imagination run wild – the possibilities are endless!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top