As you can imagine, I put my fabric scraps to good use. It’s resourceful, creates less waste, and saves me from spending money on more fabric. Today I’m going to share two examples of scrap repurposing that I have used in my own home. I hope it inspires you to think creatively when faced with your own home DIY challenges.
The Rug Pad
After we moved into our house last year the pressure was on to get rugs for most of the rooms. In the duplex we moved from, the upstairs was carpeted so we did not have a need for rugs in any of the bedrooms. The only rug we had was one in the living room. We still liked that rug a lot, so we used it in our bedroom. That left the living room, sunroom and the kids’ bedrooms needing rugs.
Since this is the first house we have owned, I felt it was time to level up on the rug pads. Big excitement in grown-up world over here. Instead of just getting the no-slip kind, I wanted to get the thick plush no slip kind for the living room. The kind that makes it nice and soft and comforting to walk on. The one I ordered did not disappoint, but since I couldn’t find one to fit the apparently non-standard dimensions of the living room rug, I ordered a bigger pad and had quite a bit to cut off.
The rug that I ordered for my son’s room was not as soft and thick as I thought it was going to be, it was more like an indoor/outdoor rug (curses to ordering things online you wouldn’t normally order online due to COVID). But I still really liked the way it looked. I hadn’t order a thick plush pad for his room, but I realized since his room is so small, maybe I could use the scraps from the living room rug pad to make a small one for his room. And so I did.
I didn’t want any seam overlap because it was so thick, so I butted the edges up together and used a zig zag stitch to attach them. It took a bit of “arm sewing” as I call it- when what you’re working with is so big you have to crouch on it like a tiger with your forearms to guide it through the machine.
After I got all the pieces sewn together I ended up with a piece that was 2 1/2 feet by 3 1/2 feet, for a rug that is 5 feet by 7 1/2 feet.
I strategically placed it under the rug in the spot he’d most likely end up sitting on to play. I thought that some day I’d end up getting him a pad that covers the whole area of the rug, but it’s been a year now and it doesn’t bother me at all. Or him.
My husband has been working from home since last March because of COVID. Since we moved into our new house the first week of April, that means his office has always been our sunroom. Which is kind of ironic, because when we were house hunting, we determined that having a separate office for him was not a necessity, since he’d be going to an office to work, not working remotely. Anyhoo.
Luckily we have a sunroom that is large enough for his office space and mine (aka sewing area). But, being a sunroom with no insulation and basically all window walls, while providing excellent natural light and perfect outdoor views, it has it’s issues with heat in the summer and cold in the winter. Not totally the point I’ll be addressing, but related, it has three skylights as well.
Again, providing great natural light, but in the summer when the sun is high in the sky (which we now majorly notice because of said skylights) scorches my husband’s head. I have literally caught him wearing a safari hat while at his computer in the middle of the afternoon. Luckily he has not yet forgotten to take it off for a Zoom meeting. Yet.
So, he commandeered my help for a solution for the skylight directly above his desk. Conveniently, I had some leftover light blocking fabric from some curtains I made last year. I had also used it to make another solution to a skylight/solar light thing in my son’s room last year (see Instagram for that) so it was definitely scrappy scraps I was working with.
I cut usable rectangles from the scraps that I had, and laid them out roughly to meet the width of the skylight. I would only have enough for about half the skylight but my husband and I were both ok with that, since it was just for the lining anyway. I pieced those pieces together like a patchwork quilt and then moved on to the shell fabric.
I recently made a new slipcover for the daybed in the sunroom. I’m not usually a matchy type of person, but I thought it would be funny and maybe a little cute to use the same fabric. I had enough leftovers from it, and didn’t have any other plans for it. I had a lot more skinny pieces than large areas, so again I had to do some cobbling of smaller pieces. Luckily the print on it helps disguise some of those seams.
We used 3M hanging strips to attach it to the frame of the skylight, and I hand sewed the 3M strips on the fabric side for extra security.
Now my husband works in shade and while that side of the sunroom looks too dark to me, at least it keeps some of the heat at bay, and probably some of the glare too. And as soon as the sun gets lower in the sky come fall, we can rip that baby off and let the sunshine.