Making The Cut: Five New Uses for Fabric Scraps

Today's post is inspired by the beloved art of Putting Things Off—in my case, the putting off of a pile of gorgeous patterned fabric scraps that showed up at my office door one day. They're a white-and-lime linen, just the sort of playful, modern punch the apartment needed. Still, they sat stubbornly folded within the bottommost cell of our bookshelf until a lazy weekend of home updates inspired us to do something with them. Ideas for your own after the jump.

  1. What better way to update dark-brown big-box kitchen chairs than new upholstery? Our application was pretty straightforward: cut fabric about 3 inches wider than the cushion, remove the cushion and drape the fabric over it. Pull taught taut; secure with a staple gun to the wooden underside. And presto! Totally posh new perches.
  2. We used the scrap edging from the upholstery project as tie-backs for a quartet of rather unruly curtains. Since the bedroom and kitchen area are two separate rooms entirely, it doesn't seem like matchy-matchy overkiil.
  3. Soften the industrial, unstylish look of a built-in heating/cooling unit. Fold a piece of scrap fabric to fit on top of the radiator (making sure the vent isn't obscured); place plants, lamps, books and more on top.
  4. At dinner parties, introduce another tactile, textural element. Put a cut flower on each place setting and tie a piece of scrap fabric into a bow around the stem. It's a pretty way to dress a table and gives guests a little take-home treat.
  5. Here's an idea I got after purchasing a super-modern Lucite desk with a white lacquer desk chair: Drape a wide piece of scrap fabric over the chair back to add a woven element to a modern, sharp-lined vignette. Start at the seat, run the fabric up the inside of the back and hang over the outside—much like a tablecloth for the chair.

(Image: Virginia Quilter)