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How To Store Fabric Scraps On A Budget

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5 tips for how to store fabric scraps on a budget! Creative fabric scrap storage doesn't have to be expensive; save even the tiniest scraps and give them a new purpose instead of filling up your trash.

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:

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.

5 tips for how to store fabric scraps on a budget! Creative fabric scrap storage doesn't have to be expensive; save even the tiniest scraps and give them a new purpose instead of filling up your trash.

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

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Mandy Williams

Thursday 27th of April 2023

Just found this post via Pinterest. Very helpful! I’m in the throws of organizing & determined to use what I got. I’ve saved clear plastic pastry containers from Sam’s and smaller, clear lunch meat containers. Both will be perfect for my fabric scraps. I’m not drowning in them but have started crafting for charity so always saving old jeans, tees, plus my sewing scraps so….. I’m off to scout around your site for more goodness.

Rebecca Camacho-Sobczak

Friday 4th of March 2022

OMG!! Every time I peruse your site, I go nuts! So many great ideas, tips, and great tutorials! Thanks for finding all these wonderful things and sharing!@


Saturday 13th of May 2023

@Stephanie - Swoodson Says, I have just started sewing again, hopefully to sell some things to offset the cost of living. However, material has skyrocketed since I last sewed; mainly clothes for work, no projects to speak of. I have however, been using the rotary cutter to cut some down as I go for a throw pillow, (a non-fancy type, more for kids to "throw around" :) Any thank you for your ideas and sharing them. Oh, and the other day on You Tube I watched a lady take scrapes and make quilt blocks out of them. At first, I thought this was strange by I watched her put a half a dozen squares or, so it was as if it was planned out the way it looked. She then showed one she had previously made and sold it on ebay. We aren't called crafters for nothing, ('"CRAFTY we are") Thank you for sharing, I will be back; Gale

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Saturday 2nd of April 2022

Rebecca, you made my day with this comment! Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to say this!


Tuesday 18th of February 2020

Great ideas. I thought selvages were no good. What do you use them for?

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Sunday 23rd of February 2020

I haven't actually used any of mine yet (haha!!) BUT if you google selvage project ideas you will see lots of fun ones!


Thursday 21st of March 2019

Great ideas for organizing scrap fabric. Thanks. Our sewing group fills a used pillowcase with scrap fabric (about 3/4's full) to make a soft pillow for dogs and cats at humane society or vet offices.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Wednesday 27th of March 2019

That is a great idea!!

Brenda Jerles

Tuesday 17th of April 2018

I work in a quilt shop. One of our regular customers, who does long arm quilting for others, shared a neat tip for scraps. She saves scraps in a bin. Then when she has a good supply off them she sews them together in adding machine tape. She had her son make a wooden holder to hold The roll. They are sewn pretty sides together like you would do a quilt as you go quilt. When she fills up her adding machine tape she cuts off the irregularly shaped sides and makes patchwork blocks with them and eventually makes a scrappy quilt. She showed me a block and it was so cute! I am going to try it. I love scrappy quilts. I thought it was a great way to use your scraps. I also machine embroider so I save the tiniest scraps as they are perfect for applique designs.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Tuesday 17th of April 2018

That sounds like such a cool idea, thanks for sharing Brenda! I'm so glad you save tiny scraps too, I love applique.

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