the international scrap festival – 10 ideas for your scraps

small sewing projects made from scraps in a basket

Welcome to the 6th annual international scrap festival (this is a thing I 100% made up)! The time of year when we celebrate our scraps a little extra. I’ve gathered 10 awesome ideas for your treasured little bits of fabric.

Over in the stitch club community we’ll be sharing our favorite scrap projects, plus there’s an international scrap swap and a new free pattern coming later this month.

learn about the stitch club community here


In addition to the 10 ideas below the free pattern page here has tons of scrap friendly projects (everything in the basket above plus more) and past scrap festival posts are a wealth of ideas too:


10 ideas for your fabric scraps

vintage wool sweater mended with cotton print fabric scrap patches

1.  mend a sweater
If this is wrong, I don’t want to be right.  I came across this non-traditional and very visible mending idea on pinterest. I love the make-do, holly hobby feel of it. It’s perfect for this moth eaten wool hoodie.

2. stuffing
Did you know that historically scraps were used as stuffing and batting? I’ve definitely come across a quilt within a quilt (a worn quilt used as a batting for a new quilt) but the idea of scraps as stuffing is new to me. There ‘s a DIY video about how to turn those little bits of fabric into fluffy stuffing here. And the video where I first encountered the idea is here- the little packages are fascinating

quilt blocks made with vintage scraps

3.  foundation blocks
By the end of 2024 this quilt will cross the finish line. I’m using the foundation method and cotton scraps. I could probably knock this out in a couple weeks if I machine sewed everything but at the moment it’s an easy thing to take with me to hand sew at random in in between times.

fabric scrap tassels in bright colors

4.  fabric tassels
Festive and easy – and sweet to make with little folks. And a perfect companion and scrap festival favorite – make some twine too.

5. 9 patch quilt
An ideal project for really little scraps. Find a tutorial here and for inspiration checkout KZ Stevens glorious naturally dyed 9 patch here.  If I wasn’t already working on a scrap quilt I’d be starting one of these… I’m probably going to start one anyways.

mini fabric flags in ivory linen with slowstitches and patches pinned to antique ribbon

6. mini bunting
Love these slow stitched little flags.

tiny scraps of fabric and paper with charms and buttons stitched to string

7. even minier bunting!
It’s so dear and so much fun to make. You could go on forever with these little strings of tiny scraps. Wind them around packages or hang with mini twinkle lights. Magic.

8. slow stitch collage
Not ready to commit to the 100 day stitch challenge? Test drive the idea with one page. Gather your scraps and spend 5 days stitching for 15 minutes today – see where it takes you. You will be surprised.

long pin cushion in warm vintage prints with other patchwork sewing kit pieces

9. long pin cushion
You need one! And it’s a perfect way to celebrate scraps. Make it with the free tutorial here. The super sweet example is by @bricolosdulundi

hand stitched pouches with more in progress- made from small prints and linen

10. patchwork pouch
Make it from scraps and take it with you everywhere. It’s just the right size for a mini needle book and a few spools of thread. Find the sewing pattern here.

Do you have a favorite scrap project? Does tiny bunting make your heartbeat a little faster? Were you today years old when you found out about scraps as stuffing? Let us know in the comments.


  1. I just came up with a way to use really tiny fabric scraps and thread waste. I sandwiched them between two pieces of tulle (the kind with tiny holes) and pinned the pieces together to hold everything in. I set my sewing machine up to do free motion stitching, then stitched through all the layers densely in a random pattern to essentially make a small quilted fabric. I’ll send you a picture if you want.

  2. I just love all of these ideas! As far as the mini bunting is concerned, it’s adorable but oh how I’d love to see the big size out in my backyard to enjoy from my living room window! I’ll bet the hummingbirds would love it, too! Scraps. Scraps. Scraps. Alas, I got rid of all of my small scraps in an effort to downsize. I knew that trend was dangerous to my creativity and it really proves the saying “Don’t throw that away because you might really need it someday!” *heavy sigh*

  3. Eloise M Holland

    I love the sweet tiny bunting. I use big ugly scraps for stuffing for a poof (footstool) But the beautiful ones could be tiny sleeping bags for tiny bunnies.
    The sweater fixing is lovely, and yes please International Scrap Festival should be a real thing.

  4. Great ideas, as always!❤️ I once found a really ugly old draught excluder (you know, for keeping out draughts at the bottom of doors) at a thrift shop, which I bought because I thought I could see a tiny bit of interesting fabric through a hole in the ugly material. Turns out it was stuffed with gorgeous old scraps from 1940’s clothing, all cut up small and very worn, with loads of old darns and stitched mending included. There were even scraps of silk stockings, but they were all unbelievably heavily mended, with only small areas of undamaged stocking left. Those clothes must have worn until they were literally falling apart. And then they were turned into something useful for the house. Fascinating and poignant❤️

  5. Valerie Oneil

    Thank you once again Ann for this sprinkling of interesting scraps projects from you and all the others who comment. I want to jump in and make nearly every one……..But not until the end of the 100 Days challenge! I do already have a Prayer Flag project going for the past 5 years – and I love every one and just keep going.
    Never enough scraps – Never enough time to play with them!

  6. My mum taught me that scraps can be used for stuffing, way back in the 70’s and 80’s we used it instead of the polyester filling – was that even a thing back then? I feel really nostalgic when I use scraps for my projects. And we’re helping the planet, what’s not to love? ❤️

  7. Love these ideas! Looking forward to making some of these!!!

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