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Sewing Projects

Upcycle your fabric : 100 ideas to reuse clothes and accessories

By April 26, 2022July 28th, 2022No Comments
Woman sorting clothes in piles

This post is also available in: French

In this article I give you ideas to upcycle your fabric. You can create many new objects with old clothes and accessories. You can also make them with pieces of fabric left from sewing projects.

I sorted the projects by size of the fabric piece to use, from mini to large.

Upcycle a MINI piece of fabric

With a tiny scrap of textile you can create one of these objects. Most of them are really easy to make:

  • Sew a pin cushion
  • Apply it in an appliqué embroidery
  • Use it in a patchwork
  • Serge it and use it as a bookmark
  • Create a bag charm
  • Use it as a patch to repair a hole in clothes or sheets for example
  • Serge it and use it as a reusable cotton pad
  • Create a key fob
  • Sew a mini t-shirt for a doll
  • Turn it into a pocket for a garment
  • Create a skirt for a doll
  • Sew a mini pillow for a doll
  • Embroider it and turn it into a badge
  • Create a decoration for a Christmas tree
  • Sew a pouch for earphones
  • Make a covered button
  • Sew a scrunchie
  • Turn it into a coaster
  • Sew a mug rug
  • Make a fabric brooch
  • Sew a reusable decorative bow
  • Make a covered hair clip
  • Sew a mini face mask for a doll

Reuse a SMALL piece of cloth

If you have a piece of fabric a little bigger your can use it for one of these projects. Some of them requires a specific type of fabric like terry cloth or jersey.

  • Sew a purse
  • Create a t-shirt for a baby
  • Sew a diaper for a doll
  • Make a dress for a doll
  • Sew a pouch
  • Turn it into a pen holder
  • Create a pencil case
  • Make a glass case
  • Turn it into a sleep mask
  • Sew a tiny tote bag for a doll
  • Make a headband
  • Create a mini doll
  • Turn it into a post card
  • Sew a case for picnic cutlery
  • Make a handkerchief case
  • Turn it into a label for gift wrap
  • Use it as a kitchen wipe
  • Sew a pin book
  • Turn it into a hoop art
  • Sew cute puppets
  • Turn it into a needle organizer
  • Sew a tooth fairy pillow
  • Turn it into a cloth pad
  • Make fabric vegetables
  • Create a carnival mask

Reuse MEDIUM fabric piece

With a medium piece of cloth you have many upcycling options. Here are some possibilities to upcycle your fabric in that case:

  • Sew a napkin
  • Turn it into a hand towel
  • Make a first aid kit
  • Use is as a stabilizer for embroidery
  • Use it to test new embroidery designs
  • Sew a baby bib
  • Create a made to measure notebook cover
  • Make a washcloth
  • Sew a heating pad
  • Turn it into a custom made sleeping bag for a doll
  • Sew a panty
  • Create a pouch for headphones
  • Make a Easter basket
  • Create a reusable Christmas Wreath
  • Turn it into party decorations
  • Make a pot holder
  • Sew a gift envelope
  • Make cozy slippers
  • Create a belt bag
  • Sew a fabric folder
  • Turn it into a tic-tac-toe bag
  • Make a graphic tablet case
  • Sew a tablet sleeve
  • Create a lunch bag
  • Turn it into gloves
  • Sew a hooded towel for a baby

Recycle LARGE fabric piece

If you have a larger fabric leftover to upcycle you can choose one of these projects and bring it to life:

  • Sew a pillow case
  • Turn it into a cover for furniture
  • Create a halloween bag
  • Use it as a baby swaddle
  • Make a kitchen towel
  • Serge it and use it as a furoshiki
  • Make a shoe bag
  • Create a vanity case
  • Sew an apron
  • Make a sustainable Christmas tree
  • Turn it into a quilt
  • Sew a customized tote bag
  • Make a skirt
  • Turn it into an art bag
  • Create a quiet book
  • Sew a laundry bag
  • Make a reusable advent calendar
  • Turn it into a vinyl record bag
  • Sew a quilted laptop case
  • Create a backpack
  • Use it as a toile for a sewing pattern
  • Sew a cover for your sewing machine
  • Make an iron table cover
  • Create a work vest
  • Turn it into a bike bag
  • Sew a painter’s smock

I hope this list give you new ideas to reuse your fabric and that you will no longer view fabric as something to throw away!

Let me know in the comments if you have other ideas and patterns to upcycle old garments and cloth.


I'm the creator of Filafaire. I conceive machine embroidery designs and sewing patterns for nature lovers and upcyclers.

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