So I have a dilemma… I have had a zero waste sewing room for several years now. I save every little scrap that can be used even those little dog ears. BUT, recently I read about how the animal shelters really don’t like the dog beds made from these little guys as they turn to concrete when washed. Now I have a full rubbish bin of these tiny things and I am finding it very hard to throw them away. What can I do with these scraps that are too small to be used again?

What do you do with your scraps? I have my strips and squares in plastic shoe boxes by colour. Fat quarters and larger scraps in bins, not so organised! And everything over a metre of fabric is in my stash by colour as well. Not really worried about the larger ones… it’s these tiny ones! These scraps are sliver trims, selvages, and those little corners we trim off triangles. Every scrap is 100% cotton. I save anything I can use as a leader/ender until it is full of stitching, reusing (maybe even abusing) everything I possibly can.

Can they be put on the garden as a weed mat? Can they be buried? I am grasping at straws before I break down and throw them in the rubbish to be taken to the tip. I really don’t want to do that, but I will if there is nothing else!

HELP!!!!! I need your ideas! I am being overrun by teeny tiny little pieces of fabric


15 responses to “Zero Waste”

  1. Debi McIntosh Avatar
    Debi McIntosh

    I know a lot of quilters who do Bonnie Hunters mystery quilts put the little dogs ears into clear xmas glass/plastic round bauble decorations

    1. Avatar

      Great idea!

  2. Sandwich the tiny pretty bits between tulle. Add bits of bright ribbon and sequins. Thread paint over sandwich to hold it together. Make sleeves to fit glass candle holders. Tie long narrow strips into colorful bows.

    I put tiny scraps and bits of yarn, thread on the patio for the birds to use in their nest making in the spring.

    1. Avatar

      Never thought Of the birds, I throw the hair shavings from haircuts out there! What a great idea!! I also love love love the creative ideas of bows and sleeves! Amazing!

      1. Candra Sowder Avatar
        Candra Sowder

        Not good for birds. Makes their nests retain moisture and molds. Chopped finely, use as pillow fill or for tuffet fill… where you need firmness and weight.

  3. As long as the scraps are 100% cotton they can be added to the garden compost pile. They will eventually completely break down as they “cook” in the heat of the pile.

    1. Avatar

      Great! This is so good to know!

  4. Linda Bishop Avatar
    Linda Bishop

    Primary schools and Kindergartens love these scraps for collage art work.

    1. Avatar

      There are several in my area! Perfect ♥️

  5. I made a “confetti” wall hanging one time awhile back.

  6. Felicia Avatar

    Find someone local who makes paper. Cotton thread bit in the pulp make for stronger and more interesting paper.

  7. I have a quilting friend who collects them and sees together to make quilts. The quilts are amazing!! She sometimes uses used dryer sheets as a base to sew them to, then they all are same size blocks. She pieces the pieces into strips or just sews like a crazy quilt to the dryer sheets! Save those scraps!!

  8. Mone Mo Avatar
    Mone Mo

    Sew little or medium bags, add a bag of sand on the bottom, stuff them with the left overs, close them, put them on the floor and use them as door stoppers.
    Or use them as fabric weights when cutting fabric.

    Sew little triangle chicken or triangle santa claus and stuff them with the left overs. Attach them to present or hang them on the walls or in the window.

  9. Sheli Irwin Avatar
    Sheli Irwin

    If you camp at all they make great fire starters. Use an egg carton and fill the wells with scraps and pour melted wax over them let harden and you can leave them in the egg carton if it’s the paper kind or pop them out and put in a bag if the egg carton is Styrofoam

  10. Adriana Booth Avatar
    Adriana Booth

    Anything 100% cotton can be composted or put 8n your garden

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