Ideas for using up knit fabric scraps are hard to come by – most of the projects using up scraps call for woven fabric. I love sewing with knits, which leaves me with lots of scraps, and I try to keep my trash can as empty as possible. So often when I’m reading blog posts or in Facebook groups, people urge one another to “just pitch it!” if scraps are smaller than 1/4 of a yard. DO NOT THROW SCRAPS AWAY! At the very least, give them away on Freecycle or Craigslist (or your country’s equivalent). If you’re ready to make things with them yourself instead, read on for lots of ideas!
See the cheap way to store fabric scraps that I use!
I’d love to hear any others I might have missed, I’ll happily add them to the list and keep this as a continuously updated post. Inspiration is everywhere – Alabama Chanin actually has a sofa made from knit scraps, you have to see it!
Knit Fabric Scrap Tutorials
1 Use them as “fabric” and sew a pattern that is specifically made for upcycling and/or using up knit scraps, I have a huge list in this post.
2. Give them away! Freecycle, Craigslist, or local Facebook groups are all great options for getting rid of free stuff. Beginning sewists, kids, or other creatives will be happy to pick up your garbage bag of scraps and keep them out of the landfill.
3. Make shoelaces! There’s a fun tutoriall on Tidy Mom.
4. Use them for applique! Don’t forget there are lots of options, traditional, reverse, & free motion. I have a guide for how to machine applique for beginners here.
5. Make a softie – like this stuffed balloon animal from Little Inspiration.
6. Add a peplum – see some fun examples on Pattern Revolution.
7. Chop them up and use it all as stuffing! This can work for softies, bean bags, and pillows. (Handmade bunny shown below)
8. If the scraps are 100% cotton knit, you can compost them.
9. Sew headbands! There are a ton of free tutorials for both adult & kid sizes, I tested 4 adult ones that I loved. Radiant Home Studio has a free downloadable pattern, too! Sara came up with 5 different ways, for kids, too!
10. Make a necklace, A Beautiful Mess has a tutorial.
11. Sew some mittens or a cowl! Filles a Maman has fun patterns for them.
12. Make socks – Me Sew Crazy has a free pattern & tutorial.
13. Baby beanie hats are perfect for knit scraps, I tested four free patterns in this post, on my son.
14. Sew long strips together to make “yarn” and then crochet or knit with it! Here’s a tutorial, on Creative Jewish Mom.
15. Use scraps & fusible transfer to make a pattern, like argyle – Melly Sews shares a pattern & tutorial.
16. Play games with the scraps! I shared two ideas in this post.
17. Take the tiniest of scraps, add wash-away interfacing, sew, and make a whole new fabric! Call Ajaire shows how, in this clever post.
18. Sew undies! Kids or adults – Greenstyle* is one of my favorite designers and their pattern(s) are on my “to sew list”.
19. Replace your cotton balls with reusable fabric squares! I use the white for my face, with toner, and the grey with coconut oil, for eye makeup remover.
20. Make a patchwork maxi skirt, like this one from A Vision to Remember.
21. Make infinity scarves! There are lots of different versions out there, Serger Pepper has a scrappy tutorial.
22. Slice up scraps, sew them on to a spare sock, and make yourself a DIY duster – I have two that I use all the time.
23. Make a scrappy teepee! See one fun version on Instagram.
24. Make dog toys, like Alicia from Felt with Love Designs
25. Donate them to Goodwill! Most Goodwills shred low quality clothing and fabric and resell it to textile recyclers (it gets turned into insulation) to raise funds. Call ahead and make sure they accept rags for shredding, if you want to be sure!
26. Use them for pockets! Pants pockets, shirt pockets, hoodie pockets. Behind the Hedgerow has 10 fun tutorials all listed for different pocket styles – some are shown in woven but could be used with knits in such a small spot.
27. Sew some legwarmers /babylegs – I heart naptime has an easy tutorial!
28. Do a collaborative art project with your kid(s)! I saw this in a Facebook group – basically the kid picked which scrap went where and sewed it on. How fun! (photo courtesy of Brittany Ivie)
29. Get crafty! Wrap scraps around a votive, like this from DIY Crush.
30. Add Mod Podge and create fabric scrap wall art! I shared a fun version in this post.
31. No pattern needed, sew a stripwork skirt with this tutorial from Jonie/Knot Sew Normal on Sew McCool.
32. Colorblock! Nienke wrote a great tutorial for Upcraft Club on adding colorblocked shoulders to a pattern.
33. Twist it all together and make fabric twine! My Poppet shows you how.
34. Make knit fabric flowers! Make it and Love it has an easy tutorial.
35. Make a rag rug, Artistic Endeavor 101 has a tutorial.
36. Make doll clothes! Knits are great for doll clothes because you don’t have to finish the seams. There are all kind of dolls and doll clothes patterns; I’ve only made some for Only Hearts Club dolls, shared here.
37. Make bean bags – the ultimate kids toy. If your knit is thin, do a double layer. Squishy and fun to play with. I like to fill all my “bean bags” and softies with poly pellets* so they can be machine washed still.
38. Use them as an extra stability layer for inserts snaps, reinforcing them.
39. Make t-shirt yarn and roll it up into decorative yarn balls, adding texture to your shelves. See an example at Alabama Chanin.
40. Make heart handwarmers – I shared a tutorial & pattern for a pair using sweaters and old tshirts, but any knit fabric would work well.
41. There aren’t many knit fabric softie patterns, Funky Friends Factory has some tips on using interfacing so stretchy fabrics can be used on any softie.
42. Knit those scraps together, for a sparkly scarf, as seen on Craftster.
43. Make a drawstring bag with knit fabric, In Color Order shares a tutorial for a shoe bag in knits.
44. Sell them! People sell bundle envelopes of knit scraps often – sell them on Etsy, Ebay, Instagram (#thegreatfabricdestash) or in a Facebook group like Knit Destash.
45. Make a quilt! All those monster faces are made with knit fabric scraps- see what I thought of the class, in this review post!
46. Make quick and easy bookmarks! Tutorial here at Swoodson Says.
47. If doll clothes aren’t your thing, what about plastic animal clothes? This is a cute idea for making winter gear, at This Heart of Mine.
48. Make a cute earwarmer with this pattern from AppleGreen Cottage!
49. Take your fabric scraps in to H&M’s recycling program and get a discount!
50. Make fabric beads, these are so cute!
Make scrunchies! I have a tutorial for how to make a scrunchie here.