Handmade Jewelry Using Fabric Scraps: Show Off Your Sewing Skills
Leftover swatches of fabric contain a treasure trove of material for handcrafting beautiful textile jewelry. With some basic sewing skills and creativity, fabric scraps transform into stunning wearable art like embroidered brooches, woven bracelets, and fabric bead necklaces.
This guide explores ways to give fabric leftovers new life by making them into jewelry. Learn techniques like rolling cloth beads, stitching shapes applique, using looms, and more. Discover project ideas to turn fabric scraps into one-of-a-kind earrings, necklaces, and layers any seamstress would love.
Benefits of Using Fabric Scraps for Jewelry Making
Fabric scraps offer many advantages for jewelry making:
- Provides inexpensive material readily available from sewing rooms
- Allows repurposing and upcycling textile waste otherwise discarded
- Wide selection of colors, prints, and textures to work with
- Soft and comfortable for wearable art against the skin
- Lightweight jewelry using cloth is suitable for all day wear
- Easy to cut, shape, glue, sew, knot, and manipulate into designs
- Takes embellishments like beadwork and embroidery beautifully
- Can mimic the look of more expensive materials like leather when layered
Must-Have Tools and Materials for Fabric Scrap Jewelry
Basic sewing tools assist working with fabric:
- Sharp fabric scissors – Cut intricate shapes cleanly from fabric
- Ruler – Measure consistent strip widths for bead rolling and fringe
- Sewing needle and thread – Stitch layers together and add embellishment
- Fabric glue – Quickly bonds elements like sequins and buttons
- Jump rings and pliers – Attach clasps and connect components
- Hole punch – Punch stringing holes in fabric pieces
- Embellishments – Beads, buttons, ribbons, appliques, charms
- Clear nail polish – Seal ends of lacy fabrics from fraying
- Jewelry findings – Wire, chain, clasps, crimps, headpins, ear wires
4 Handy Techniques for Crafting Fabric Jewelry
These fundamental skills allow transforming scraps into wearable art:
Fabric Bead Rolling
Tightly wrap strips of fabric around a dowel to create textured sewn beads perfect for necklaces and bracelets.
Fabric Strip Braiding & Weaving
Braid 3 strands of fabric together using an over-under knotting pattern. Or weave strips through jump rings or loops.
Fabric Tassel Making
Cut fringe, wrap tightly at top, sew crisscrossing thread spokes, then trim bottom edges evenly into a tassel.
Fabric Applique & Embellishment
Sew on buttons, beads, ribbons, lace, embroidery, sequin details, and found objects to decorate plain fabric surfaces.
Easy DIY Fabric Scrap Jewelry Tutorials
Follow these tutorials for beautiful results upcycling fabric into jewelry:
Scrap Fabric Necklace
- Fabric scraps
- Needle & thread
- 1 yard cord
- Cut varying widths of fabric strips using a ruler and scissors.
- Sew strips together end-to-end into approximately 18-inch segments.
- Fold each segment in half lengthwise and tightly sew closed into 18-inch tubes.
- Cut open short segments of the tube to insert cord then resew closed.
- Glue cord lining inside the remaining tubes to prevent slipping.
- Knot cord ends and add decorative tassels.
Embroidered Fabric Brooch
- Cut a fabric shape like a flower, leaf, butterfly, heart etc. approximately 2 inches wide.
- Design a pattern to embroider using contrasting embroidery floss.
- Hand embroider the design using basic stitches like stem stitch outline, satin stitch fill, and lazy daisy stitches.
- Cut a piece of felt in a coordinating color to the same size. Layer together.
- Hot glue the layered fabric shape onto the center of a brooch finding.
Fabric Scrap Lariat Necklace
- Variety of fabric scraps
- Clear nail polish
- Jewelry pliers
- 1 yard leather cord
- Jump rings
- Necklace clasps
- Cut random organic shapes from assorted fabric scraps.
- Seal the cut fabric edges with clear nail polish to prevent fraying.
- Use pliers to attach jump rings to the top of each fabric shape.
- Arrange pieces along the length of the cording, attaching each with jump rings.
- For longer pieces, use multiple jump rings to allow pieces to slide and cluster.
- Finish by attaching clasps to the ends of the cord.
Inspirational Jewelry Projects Using Fabric Scraps
Need more ideas? Take inspiration from these ways to give fabric scraps new life through handmade jewelry:
- Charming bird brooches crafted from layered fuzzy fabric scraps atop embroidered bodies
- DIY ribbon choker necklaces woven through with scraps of lace, burlap, and metallic fabrics
- Mixed printed fabric bead necklaces taking on a bohemian look when combining many eclectic scraps
- Tiny fabric flower clusters made using yo-yo techniques into floral stud earrings
- Upcycled sweater bracelets with felted wool scraps incorporated into chunky knotted macrame cuffs
- Vintage doily bib necklaces decorating laser cut doily lace with mismatched buttons down the lengths
- Puffy decoupage resin buttons using dimensional fabric scraps and ephemera layered under epoxy domes
- Fabric scrap bead loom bracelets weaving together tie dyed silk remnants along with metallic cord accents
- Folded origami fabric earrings that open and close like flowers using printed cotton quilting scraps
- Fabric scrap lariats with sizable shaped felt charms linked together down the necklace lengths with jump rings
Tips for Perfecting Scrap Fabric Jewelry
Use these techniques to master the art of upcycling fabric remnants:
- Tightly wrap dowels with fabric strips when bead rolling to eliminate lumps. Use sheer strips over cording to prevent sliding.
- Cut off-grain for straighter non-raveling strips. Or use pinking shears for zigzag edges that don’t fray as easily.
- Incorporate fabric scraps from finished projects for meaningful jewelry made using pieces of handmade clothing items.
- Iron fabric selections flat before cutting shapes to prevent distortion and facilitate detailed cuts.
- Stabilize delicate fabrics like soft knits with an interfacing back before cutting intricate shapes to prevent stretching.
- Consider colorfastness. Opt for darker saturated hues over pale fabrics prone to discoloration over time.
- Select lightweight fabrics suitable for wearable jewelry that won’t weigh down pieces noticeably.
Creative sewing skills give fabric scraps renewed life and purpose when upcycling them into stunning one-of-a-kind jewelry designs. The possibilities are endless between selecting from diverse prints, colors, and textures while deciding which shapes to cut and how best to layer and assemble pieces.
Let fabric scrap jewelry become an eco-conscious creative challenge. Transform leftover bits of cherished fabrics and unfinished projects into meaningful wearable art keepsakes. Or give renewed vibrancy to unwanted samples and swatches headed for the trash.
With just simple cutting, stitching, and embellishing techniques, fabric scraps transform into remarkable jewelry reflecting your unique DIY style. Show off your sewing skills through ingenious scrap fabric creations!