Top 5 Uses for Your Scraps of Old Fabric



Fabric scraps can be used to make creative bags.
Fabric scraps can be used to make creative bags.
iStockphoto/Gina Smith

If rags and rugs were one step too close to demolishing your beloved Ts, turn them into a tote you can wear over your shoulder. Your shirts already coordinate well with other clothes in your closet, making it easy to match your new bag with any outfit.

To make a scrap bag you will need fabric scraps, two 12 by 16 inch (30 by 40 cm) pieces of fabric for the lining and two long pieces of fabric to use as handles. To make the handles, take two pieces of fabric of equal size and fold them in half lengthwise. Sew a seam along the open edges of each handle and then turn them right side out and iron them flat. Then, set the handles aside to work on the bag.

Sew your scraps into two large rectangles measuring 12 by 16 inches (30 by 40 cm). Then match one of the sewn-scrap rectangles with one of the lining pieces. Before you start sewing, be sure that the sides of each piece of fabric you want to see outside and inside your bag are facing out, not toward each other. Where the top of the tote will be, slip the ends of one of the handles between the two pieces of fabric so that the handle ends are sandwiched between the fabric pieces. Pin the pieces together to hold everything in place and sew the tote's top seam to secure the handle. Repeat this process for the other half of the tote. Then, take the two halves of the tote, and pin them together with the lining facing out. Sew the bottom and side seams and turn your finished bag right side out [source: Scrap].

If you'd rather stay away from the sewing machine, there are plenty of other options to make your favorite bag. The book "Simply Sublime Bags" contains instructions for making 30 bags that require little or no sewing. Many of the book's projects require only a roll of duct tape, some fabric and a stapler. If you can't afford to purchase the book, directions for some creative crafts, like a beach bag or a no-sew tote are available free online [source: Kahn].

If your bedroom needs an upgrade, the perfect crafts are waiting for you. Grab a few more shirts and keep reading.