Entertainment, Health and Lifestyle

Drowning in Scraps of Fabric

Longtime readers of this column may remember the reader who wanted to know where she could donate her fabric scraps. I offered details on a small organization in Texas that turns new fabric scraps into quilts for shelters, churches and other charities.

Apparently, reader G.W. was not the only reader with fabric scraps too good to throw away. “Everyday Cheapskate” readers sent so many donations, this group is set for years. Now they’re waving a white flag begging us to stop! Still the requests pour into my mailbox from readers with an apparent case of Fabric Scrap Overload Syndrome. So far, I am unable to come up with any alternative groups or individuals in need of fabric scraps.

But not to worry. You may rethink your plans to give away your fabric stash when you discover all the ways to turn your scraps into fabric assets.


Cut your like-content fabrics into 5- or 6-inch squares, put them in color coordinated sets and sell them on eBay. You’ll need to do a little research to see what other sellers are offering and what people are buying, but this is an excellent way to turn scraps to cash.


Place a small amount of potpourri in the center of a square of fabric. Pull the corners to the center and tie with a ribbon. Place in drawers and cupboards. For gifts, you may want to add lace to the edges of the fabric and additional ribbon accents.


If you’re good with a crochet hook, you can make fabulous rag rugs from strips of fabric. There are several techniques, including tying pieces of fabric onto a rug canvas. For ideas, photos and even patterns and directions, go online and search, “How to make a rag rug.” Or check your local craft store. Prepare to be amazed.


You can use scraps of fabric as you would paper to decoupage just about anything like picture frames, scrapbooks and checkbook covers. Mod Podge, the popular stiffening product crafters use, is available in craft stores and works well with fabric.


If your pieces are large enough, you can use fabric just as you would paper to wrap boxes and gifts. Or make unique gift bags on your sewing machine. You can make a formal structured bag or a simple drawstring bag. The great thing about making your own is that you can make it the exact size for the gift. You can tear fabric into long strips to use as ribbon, too.


You can use fabric scraps to make potholders, napkins, placemats and table runners. You may have to do some piecing, but that will result in what quilters call the “scrappy look,” which is very popular. Exposed raw edges are quite trendy, so don’t worry about perfection.

In the meantime, if any readers know of legitimate groups, organizations or individuals who need new fabric scraps, please let me know. I’ll check them out. And also make sure that group is ready, willing and able to handle what Everyday Cheapskates can dish out!

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Mary Hunt

Mary invites you to visit her at EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/contact/, "Ask Mary." Tips can be submitted at tips.everydaycheapskate.com/ . This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."

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