It can be overwhelming to figure out how to store fabric scraps when they add up so quickly! I know it is tempting to just pitch them, but even if you don’t have time to sort and save them, you can always give them away to other quilters or crafters (even kids’ art classrooms!).
I was inspired to share all this because Jen from Faith and Fabric is hosting a series of “Sew Much Fun Blog Hops. I’m joining in today with tips for storing fabric scraps on a budget! Despite being focused on using up every last scrap and blogging about scrapbusting, I’ve never shared any pictures of how I store my own scraps. I sew in a spacious dungeon with unfinished floors and walls, which makes it the last place I ever think to take pictures.
I realize all of my scrap sorting may seem over the top, but I really do try to produce as little trash as possible in my sewing room.
These ideas and tips apply to fabric scraps of any kind; be sure to check out:
- my list of 60+ ways to use up knit fabric scraps
- 25+ ways to use up felt scraps
- 30+ the best woven fabric scrap projects
Most scraps start in the stacked recycling bins*; they’re all mixed together in larger chunks or upcycled shirts that are half cut-up. Towards the left in the 3 drawer organizing carts*. you can see more specific scraps with batting, interfacing, and selvages (the long thing edge that tells you the designer and line name). Below that is another organizer that store my notions – I do save elastic scraps and bias tape/piping scraps in with the whole packages as well.
All designer quality quilting cotton scraps end up here, if they are big enough for a hexie or a log cabin strip.
I also have a big tote full of certain substrate scraps that I don’t use as often like leather, felt, PUL, and minky. If I cut into a bundle of fabrics from the same line, I keep the scraps together as well.
The last stop on the line is this area; if I don’t like a fabric scrap or it’s an odd shape, etc. it gets sorted here.
Play fabric scraps are large enough that I can see them working for doll clothes or some other kid project, but not nice enough for me to justify saving/sorting them. Periodically, I sort through this and give away big bags to local art teachers or crafters.
For all the scraps that don’t fit into any of the aforementioned categories, they become fabric scrap stuffing! I use my Olfa rotary cutter* to slice everything up quickly, and then I use it to add weight to stuffies, pincushions, beanbags, etc.
I try to do a little each time I sew, and then store it in this hamper. I just used a huge bag of it to re-stuff and fluff our footstool poufs!
So, that’s my scrap storage system. It certainly is not pretty, but it does a decent job of keeping fabric scraps organized so I can find them when I want them instead of having to buy new yardage.
Tips for Storing Fabric Scraps
1- Work with what you have. I totally empathize with the temptation to go out and buy fun, colorful, coordinating storage totes, and more power to you if you want to, but it can save you lots of cash to evaluate what you have on hand! I was ready to take that hamper to Goodwill and run to Target afterwards to buy a storage tote, but it works just fine.
2- Sew fabric storage, with fabric scraps. How beautiful is that fabric scrap display! Much prettier than mine; but you can look for all sorts of tutorials for sewn baskets, trays, and bags to store fabric scraps.
3- Recycle bags! The zippered, heavy duty vinyl bags that sheets and duvets come in are perfect for storing craft supplies. Plain old Ziploc bags work well too.
4- Sew fabric storage, with upcycled materials. I used denim remnants to make this simple fabric bucket; it would be perfect for holding selvages.
5- Recycle old boxes! Shoeboxes keep the dust away; you can also cut cereal boxes like magazine/file holders, or cut the top off square cracker boxes. If you’re feeling fancy, cover them in fabric or scrapbook paper.
Let me know if you have any other tips and I’d love to add them! Be sure to click around and visit some other blogs to hear what they have to say about fabric scraps., but not before you make sure and read all my tips for saving money while sewing