Thursday, 26 November 2009

Gift Tags From Fabric Scraps

by Kate
Living The Frugal Life

I'm not really much of a crafter. I don't spend much time accessorizing my house, and I don't like to spend money unless there's really a good reason. But. I also don't like to waste things, so I put effort into finding a use for things that most people would consider scrap or garbage.

During my recent sewing competence project, my sewing mentor encouraged me to tear the edges of the fabric I had purchased in order to start with more or less straight edges. This just about killed me as it both made my gift wraps smaller and produced small pieces of fabric that weren't going to be good for much of anything. Still, I went along with her meticulous approach to sewing, fully aware that she was teaching me the proper way of doing things. But I couldn't bear to throw away the scraps, so she sent me home with a small bag of narrow remnants, including some of hers which she otherwise would have thrown away.

I decided to find some use for the scrap pieces. Some of the really narrow pieces I think I will use to bind up bundles of herbs or flowers for drying. They'll look nice hanging from the beam in our dining room. But the scraps that are about an inch wide, I'm using to make decorative gift tags. Since they're made out of some of the same fabrics that went into the gift wraps, I will have gift tags to match, if I wish. Or I could mix and match swatches as suits my mood.

All I needed for this project was a piece of cardstock, the fabric scraps, scissors, a piece of paper (in a contrasting color) to write on, and some glue to assemble all the elements. When the gift tags were done I used an office hole punch to make a hole in each one. It took very little time to assemble a large assortment of these tags. If I were being really, really green I would put the gift recipient's name on the tag in pencil, so that it could be erased and the tag re-used.

If you pursue sewing projects, or know someone who does, perhaps you can use this idea to personalize your holiday gifts this year, and prevent waste at the same time.

What creative uses have you found for fabric scraps or other waste materials?


Sarah said...

I have a lot of uses for scraps (having young kids who like to craft and all), but one thing I do that you'd probably like is a scrap keepsake. At the beginning of the year, I get a new large wooden embroidery hoop out (I find them cheap at thrift stores) and every time I do a project, I tie a small scrap around the hoop. By the end of the year, the whole hoop is filled with a beautiful bunch of memories.

belle said...

I use those skinny scraps to make string quilt blocks...they're really easy, no corners or points to match, and use all those scraps. You don't have to have a finished quilt in mind, I make a block or two when I have enough scraps, when I think I have enough blocks, I join them up.

here's a link to 'how to' some pictures as well of finished blocks and quilts.


GooseBreeder said...

Nice one.ATC's are a good use,collage, cards.I like Sarah's idea!

Allison said...

I have done this to great effect:
I do lots of paper and calligraphy art, so I always have scraps of origami paper and thick white paper.
I use these to write little calligraphy cards (For Susan - Thanks!). I also cut out simple shapes from colored paper and glue onto a square/rectangle of cardstock -- you could make a little hen with her chick for spring, a snowscape for winter, some hearts, and so on. Keep shapes simple & arrange them to make or abstract patterns.
I got my design ideas from a book on Penny Rugs I got at a fabric store. Lots of ideas!

GardenMom said...

Like Sarah said, they are great for kids...I use scraps for kids to practice sewing on...the make great pillows and blankets for barbies or other small dolls. I plan on using some fabric scraps to sew around my son's bean bags. The bean bags were very poorly made from the store, and fell apart the first time they got wet. I am going to 'remake' them.