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40+ Ideas for what to do with knit fabric scraps

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Wondering what to do with knit fabric scrap? Check out this list of tutorials and inspiration for how to use up knit fabric scraps!

what to do with knit fabric scraps

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!

If you like this post, be sure to check out:

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!

Pin this roundup of ideas for what to do with knit fabric scraps with this link or collage image:

knit fabric blog

What to do with knit fabric scraps

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.

PDF Patterns for Upcycling & Using Up Scraps

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.

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!

Free Headband Patterns - Tested

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 – Ellie Mac has a free pattern for them.

13. Baby beanie hats are perfect for knit scraps, I tested four free patterns in this post, on my son.

Free slouchy beanie hat sewing pattern

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.fabric scrap games

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.

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.

knit fabric scrap and sock duster

23. Make a scrappy teepee! See one fun version on Instagram.

24. Make dog toys, like Alicia from Felt with Love Designs

knit dog toys

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. Check out the three pocket templates I used for refashioning my daughter’s clothes!

27. Sew some legwarmers /babylegs – Ellie and Mac has a free pattern!

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)

knit fabric scrap art

29. Get crafty! Wrap scraps around a votive, like this from DIY Crush.

candy corn knit tutorial

30. Add Mod Podge and create fabric scrap wall art! I shared a fun version in this post.

fabric scrap art

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 [2024 the tutorial pictured no longer exists, but here is a youtube video on how to colorblock!]

color blocked shoulders

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.

knit scrap fabric flowers

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 knit with it or roll it up into decorative yarn balls, adding texture to your shelves. 

40. Make heart handwarmers – I shared a tutorial & pattern for a pair using sweaters and old tshirts, but any knit fabric would work well.

DIY Upcycled Heart Handwarmer Tutorial - use up wool scraps and upcycle yourself the perfect Valentine's Day gift or Christmas stocking stuffer!

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.

Beginner friendly quilt alert! This is a fun and easy Craftsy class that I'm reviewing, to make your own quilt-as-you-go applique monster quilt.

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!

Looking for a five minute, fast and easy fabric craft? No sewing needed - these DIY bookmarks are a great way to use up knit fabric scraps. Look no further for a Mother's Day craft that kids can make, let them pick out the fabric and help glue and then you drill the hole and add the tassel!

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!

51. Make scrunchies! I have a tutorial for how to make a scrunchie here.

fabric scrap mending tutorial

52. Mend holes! Checkout this tutorial for how to use fabric scraps to mend here.


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Jacob Garcia

Wednesday 29th of January 2020

There are only 22 ideas. There are not 40 ideas you liar..

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Wednesday 29th of January 2020

Aren't you kind! Not sure what went wrong for you but there are 51 in the post.

Jayme Crow

Thursday 23rd of January 2020

Hello! I love your ideas :) You mentioned there not being many softie patterns for knit. I have one that is easy and fun you might want to share: Fuddlesnugs Soft Toy pattern at These were featured in the STUFFED magazine a few years ago. They can be made with knits, wovens, corduroy - but the knit ones are the easiest and softest! Thanks!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Thursday 30th of January 2020

I will check them out Jayme, thanks!


Saturday 18th of August 2018

That link for making shoulder inserts is brilliant thanks. I have the Union St Tee pattern anyway and a ton of of spare knit scraps!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Saturday 22nd of September 2018

Yay! Happy scrappy sewing :)


Wednesday 14th of February 2018

Great ideas! Do you have any ideas for short (under 24 inches) lengths of polyester suiting yardage? I was gifted a box full from a fabric store that was going out of business, but all I can think of is fabric grocery bags. Rag rugs, maybe? I'm in the middle of a craft room destash and will try and use up as much as possible! Thanks for your help!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Wednesday 14th of February 2018

Hmm that is tough. I kinda hate polyester anything, to be honest, so I don't work with it often. Rag rugs are a great idea! Or rope bowls with the strips wrapped around the rope would be cool :D

Helen L Dehner

Sunday 12th of March 2017

I use long strands cut into two 38" pieces, find large buttons with two holes, halve the pieces and thread through holes, wrap all jersey strands around wrist, bring looped ends up and around button to secure. Loose ends become 'fringe' which hangs down.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Wednesday 22nd of March 2017

Helen, I am very intrigued but I feel like I can't picture it very well - do you have a picture online anywhere? I'd love to see it!

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