Upcycling Fabric Scraps
Sometimes a room can do with a slight change just to perk it up, and now more of us are working from home more permanently, maybe things need changing more regularly. But we can’t all afford to remake our curtains every month just because we are bored. So we thought we would have a look at budget home decorating ideas using up-cycled fabric scraps to change things up at home without breaking the bank…
How to Refresh Cushions
Starting with something quite simple, cushions are an easy update. Now we all probably have a few too many, let's be honest, but they are super simple to make and don’t actually need a huge amount of fabric, especially if you mix up what is on the front and on the back of the cushion. This means you completely change the vibe of your sofa with just a few half metres depending on the size of the cushion.
And have you ever thought about just adding some jazzy pipping to the edge of cushions? This can completely transform an old cushion by giving it a nice frame. We tend to use our plain brushed cotton panamas for our cushion piping. Since you can get 9 metres of piping out of half a metre of fabric, it’s an ideal way of using up smaller left over pieces or a cost effective way to change things up…
But it isn’t just your sofa cushions that are a great way of using up some left over fabric, what about in the bedroom? Now we have spoken before about how you can make great pillowcases from cotton poplins and again, the front of a pillow case is usually 50cm by 70cm so you can make one from half a metre of fabric (especially if you use a contrast scrap fabric for the envelope part). You might even have this left over from a previous dressmaking project or, dare we say it, have it in your stash from a project not started.
Having mix and match pillow cases can add a lovely bohemian feel to a bedroom so why not embrace it and have all different ones especially as there are so many favourite fabrics out there. Everything feels better when you change the sheets and with new pillow cases the whole bedroom could look different…
However, it isn’t just the actual bedding that can be changed. How about using up any left over pieces of cotton to make a patchwork lumbar cushion to lie in front of the pillowcases? This could be a great way to bring all the bedding together.
Much like making a patchwork quilt from scraps, firstly go through all your left over pieces to find ones that colour co-ordinate and are a similar weight. From here if you cut them into the same size you can create a stripe effect front and the same on the back using up all those little pieces. When we have made one in the past, we found the best thing to fill it with was was rolled up pieces of wadding. (Top tip - this is also far more cost effective than buying a cushion inner of that size).
Fabric Scraps as Bunting
Hey, it’s officially the summer now, and you know what makes sitting in the garden better? Bunting. After the Jubilee weekend we don’t need any further evidence of that. So although it can be fiddly and sometimes even time-consuming, it is a great way of using up little fabric scraps which are too big to throw away but too small for anything else.
And now if you wanted something a bit different ,why not try a different shape? Triangles are just so Platty Jubes. If you just type bunting into Pinterest, there are all sorts of shapes and sometimes even a mixture - circles, semi-circles, squares, all sorts..
The types of fabrics you have in your leftovers will determine the type of bunting you make. For example for indoor party bunting with smaller triangles you can use lighter weight fabrics but if you have interior soft furnishing weight fabrics, this can be used for bigger triangles and are better suited for outside just in case there is a bit of rain and you can’t grab it in time.
Bunting also doesn’t have to mean great long lengths just for special occasions; what about using some of those more hardwearing fabric leftovers to create more of a permanent wall hanging decoration? These are perfect for children’s playrooms or bedrooms, and if you made fewer bunting flags but maybe appliquéd the letters of the names or of a word they especially like (we quite like Bombastic, personally). These are great sewing activities for kids too, and would introduce them to making things as well as using up smaller fun pieces of the original fabric.
Buy Fabric Remnants for Up-cycling Projects
Now, we may have assumed that everyone has huge piles of fabric that are waiting to be turned into something amazing, but maybe we are wrong and in fact you need some fabric but maybe not the half metre or metre lengths that we offer on our website. Well, in that case you definitely need our Remnants section…
Up-cycling Kitchen and Dining Chairs
This might sound like a more daunting piece of up-cycling but how about we start with changing the drop-in seat pads on your kitchen chairs or simply make another cushion to go on some freshly painted stools? Now, the great thing about changing the drop-in seat pad of the kitchen or dining chair is that it’s quick, easy, doesn’t use a huge amount of fabric or cost much, as most of the time the foam underneath is still just fine. So, you simply need to change the top layer of fabric, and depending on how big your chair is, you can usually get roughy two seat pads out of a 60cm fabric length. Not only that, you get to use a staple gun which is quite possibly the most satisfying thing in the entire world.
So now you might be thinking, what sort of fabric do I need for this super simple job? Well you can use any of our soft furnishing fabrics really, which doesn’t narrow it down a huge amount, but you do need something fairly hard wearing so if you are doing it from your fabric stash, then make sure the fabric is on the heavier side. If you are looking to buy something new, focus on the cotton panamas mentioned earlier and furnishing fabrics.
Re-covering a Seat Pad
To do this, you simple have to take apart the old seat pad, keeping the foam or wadding as intact as possible. Then cut off the new fabric, using the old one as a template and then lay it all back onto the wooden frame making sure it is completely smooth. Now you can have a whale of a time with the staple gun and drop it back into the seat. Sew simple.....
Fabric Notice Boards
Once you have changed your drop-in seat pads and are looking for an excuse to use your staple gun again, you can use the same principle to make a charming notice board too. These don’t use up a huge amount of fabric, again 60-70cm would cover the notice board but you may need a bit more depending on the pattern. You will also need a few other things such as the back board, wadding we sell it in the shop at the moment) and way more ribbon than you think.
They are well worth the extras as they look great in kitchens, home offices and even children’s bedrooms and will smarten up your family reminders a great deal. And did we mention that you can use the staple gun to make them? Not only that, but they make great gifts come Christmas and with fabrics 150cm wide you can get 2 out of just 70 cm making them extremely cost effective too.
Sounds like a great idea, but what kind of fabric should you use? Well really you can use anything as long as it doesn’t have any stretch; in the past we have made notice boards for the shows and have used anything from our favourite Alexander Henry Print to a heavier cotton Panama. The key is to use a nice co-ordinating ribbon or ric-rac to stretch over the board in a criss cross formation to make the places to slot in all your party invitations....
Draft Excluders from Fabric Scraps
Finally, this might not be quite the time to be thinking about keeping the heat in, but there will come a time all too soon when that is all we are thinking about. A patchwork draft excluder is both a great way of using up some of your scraps as well as a great way to keep the heat in during the colder months.
There are many patterns for them on Pinterest, but the principle is much like the lumbar cushion we spoke of earlier. You want to make a tube the width of the door, fill it with wadding or cushion stuffing - we would recommend making this first and then a cover for it so you can wash the cover without getting the stuffing wet. By making a patchwork cover you can use up all those scraps and make something unique and perfect for your refreshed interiors scheme. Although as it will move around, it might be an idea to make it from heavier soft furnishing scraps to make it last.
Why Remnants are Perfect for Up-cycling
Now, let's face it, even the best stocked fabric scraps stash may not have everything you need for these up-cycling projects and budget home decorating ideas. In that case our remnant collection is just what you need. Handy small off-cuts of fabric which might otherwise go to waste in various patterns, colours and sizes. Visit our remnants collection to complete your up-cycling projects and don't forget to show us the results on social...