by Christina S
If there is one thing that a modern mom knows, it would be the frequency in which children stain, tear or simply grow out of their clothes. Often, small rips or stains make these clothes too damaged to donate and end up at the bottom of a garbage bag bound for the dump, taking quite a bit of usable fabric with them. But with a little creativity and a few inexpensive craft supplies, you can make the most of your kid’s clothes and create a number of useful and decorative items.
When salvaging fabric it is important to know how to cut and what to keep. Although your first instinct may be to use a seam ripper in order to save as much fabric as possible, it is actually better to cut just outside of the seam. Ripping the seam is not only laborious and time-consuming, but the holes from the original seam will still be present and require trimming anyway. After removing the flat panels, pockets and hemmed edges, discard the bare bones. Iron and organize these scraps using gallon-size freezer bags separated by color or pattern.
Denim Pockets Wall Hanging
Make use of the back pockets of jeans, shorts and pants by creating hanging wall storage for your kid’s room. Cut out the pockets leaving the inner layer intact with a 1/2-inch margin around the edge. Gently fray denim with your fingers and add embellishments, such as buttons, bows or fabric paint. Mount the pockets onto a fabric-covered stiff backing with hot glue and then attach a ribbon for hanging. This can be used over a desk to hold pencils, rulers or scissors.
A great way to use colorful prints is by creating fabric flowers for hair, brooches or handbags. Begin by cutting a long strip of fabric, about 12 inches long and four inches wide, then fold in half lengthwise and iron the crease flat. Using a needle and thread, run a slip stitch down the open edge, cinching the fabric to create a circular frilly shape. Secure the shape with 2 or 3 double knots and attach a button in the middle. For these purposes buttons with a shank on the underside work best. Using hot glue attach the flower to a hair clip, pin or a recycled headband made with the sleeve of a knit shirt.
Scrap Crazy Quilt
Due to its irregular shapes, salvaged fabrics lend themselves perfectly to crazy quilting. Weather created all at once or added to over time, you have the freedom to fit the pieces as you like. Once the top is complete, add batting and under layer and stitch in a random pattern. Run seams along the open edges with the frayed ends on the outside. Rag the edges by snipping the fabric at ¼-inch intervals and running the quilt through a washer and drier.