How to use up really tiny scraps of cotton fabric
May 16, 2020 11:47 PM   Subscribe

Lately I've been volunteering with a group making fabric face masks and I've accumulated a sizeable pile of 100% cotton fabric scraps that I'd like to use for...something.

There are a couple of earlier posts that contain suggestions for how to use fabric scraps but those are for larger scraps that can be used for things like quilting or small sewing projects. Most of the scraps that I have are tiny, just a few millimeters wide and 9" or so inches long, so they're not usable for sewing. I've been throwing small amounts onto my yard for the birds to collect and weave into their nests but I still have lots of material to use up. Some ideas that I've found are:

- Mix with melted wax and pour into cardboard egg cartons to make fire starters
- homemade paper
- fabric yarn
- reinforce concrete for planters

Any other ideas for using scrap fabric as an "ingredient" in other projects?
posted by mezzanayne to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Perhaps braid together and then make a basket or rug?
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 11:52 PM on May 16, 2020 [6 favorites]

Stuffing for small pillows or stuffed animals.
posted by mefireader at 11:57 PM on May 16, 2020 [12 favorites]

Braided rag rug
posted by Jacqueline at 12:30 AM on May 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've been saving smaller scraps to make this (the small scraps are the stuffing).
posted by bibliotropic at 12:32 AM on May 17, 2020

How many millimeters? If it's about 8mm or more you can sew them together to make a tiny "crazy" quilt.

Anything smaller than that, i save them up until I need stuffing for something like a rag doll or pin cushion or draft blocker pillow-- anything that doesn't have to be especially soft.
posted by blnkfrnk at 12:35 AM on May 17, 2020

They can be made into colourful fabric yarn.You need someone who can spin, or you can do it yourself with a drop spindle, easy to rig up. I would post a call out if there's a spinner locally who would like to get them and spin them into yarn - with a wheel, it would be fast(ish). Either way, you get really cute weird yarn (example of sari fabric yarn - I have bought this before and it rocks.)
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 1:11 AM on May 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

If they’re all natural fibers (cotton, wool, linen, silk) I put little scraps like this into my compost. You can also make paper out of plant-based fibers.
posted by mskyle at 3:20 AM on May 17, 2020

Best answer: twine, if long enough.

new fabric

more ideas
posted by bunderful at 4:46 AM on May 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

My partner is saving her scrap fabric to make a tailor’s ham with.
posted by daisyk at 5:45 AM on May 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

posted by DarlingBri at 6:56 AM on May 17, 2020

If they are small, I usually mix them with some scrap yarn or raw wool and use them for stuffing in stuffed animals. My young relations like the knobbliness and heaviness of them just as much as they do the squishy softness of commercial stuffing.
posted by branca at 7:00 AM on May 17, 2020

Yeah, the traditional use for these is as stuffing. Pillows are easiest, but sewn or knitted stuffed animals are more fun. There are tons of patterns out there - make sure to give them masks too!
posted by epanalepsis at 8:56 AM on May 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Mix with other filling and use to stuff handmade pin cushions.
posted by loveandhappiness at 10:36 AM on May 17, 2020

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