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Ideas to use up scraps of furnishing fabric…

Ideas to use up scraps of furnishing fabric…

–In our line of work it’s a question that comes up often. In the pub, from friends and family, at networking meetings after we’ve explained what we do for a living. And, from the lovely students who attend our upholstery courses. So, as we had a ‘beginning of the month’ that really should have been the ‘end of the month’ workshop tidy up, with a few baskets of scraps piled neatly in the corner, now seems a good time to think about the question more carefully. And give you an answer!

To be fair it’s been a crazy, busy and exciting few months: a new studio and workshop, lots of new customers, new students on our courses. We’ve barely had time to draw breath. But none of those should be excuses. So, to help answer this question I asked some of the team to suggest how, (if they had the time!), they would make better use of the swatches of fabric that get left on the floor after a project. They took a quick internet surf and chose some of their favourite ideas.

Let us know which ones you like, or better still, make them and post pics on our Facebook page!

Nik (that’s me!)


I happen to have a few days to myself planned for this month. So I’m choosing this fabric Lampshade Cover project from House by Hoff. I don’t think it’s THE Hoff, as in David…but you never know….

It’s so simple I don’t know why I haven’t tried this yet. Here’s what you do:

Source an old lamp from a charity shop (or the attic!) and remove the fabric leaving just the wire frame.

Cut the scrap fabric into 1” strips. Wind the strips around the top and bottom of the frame using a glue gun to secure each piece in place.

Next, start tying the strips of fabric across from one strut to the next, one at a time, completing a full round/layer before beginning on the next one, above the first. I imagine this takes a while but could be quite therapeutic. I’ll let you know…

Once all the strips are in place, spray with fire retardant spray. Don’t forget this step, it’s the most important.


Tor has been known for putting keys down and forgetting where. So the perfect choice for her was a fabric key fob. Her favourite tutorial was found on Craftiness Is Optional

And, instead of buying a specialist ring for the fob, one of the many larger curtain rings we have in abundance in the workshop (as we make LOTS of curtains!) is ideal; making the whole thing ‘oversized’ – and easier to find.


Robbie decided to tackle his “Lip protection on the go” dilemma and chose this cute Lip Balm Holder from

Okay, I am of course kidding. What Robbie actually chose was this CD Holder from Hope Studios. Again SO simple to make but very useful. All you need is card, fabric scraps, glue gun and scissors. And a sewing machine! Click on the link above for the step by step guide.


In an attempt to keep us tidy in the workshop Petra has vowed to make these waste bins – but in GIANT size. You can find lots of tutorials online but the favourite was from Jillianinitaly

Another simple sew with minimum fabric and minimum effort. And they look pretty ‘snazzy’ too?!


Artur (under much duress!) chose these functional but quirky coasters that I might actually ‘borrow’ for our cottage in France if he does make them. We think there’s more chance that our resident pups Pod and Harry might have a go though! The tutorial for these is on FAVEQUILTS. They’re ridiculously easy to make and use less than 5” of fabric.

So, as you can see, no excuse to throw anything away after you’ve completed an upholstery project! Obviously, as a busy workshop, we have quite a few more fabric scraps lying around than the average home. So the majority of our leftover materials find their way to local schools and charities.

But why not contact us to book a makeover for your favourite chair or sofa? We promise to give you ‘first dibs’ on any fabric scraps after; so you can try your hand at one of the projects above.

Have fun,