There are so many gifts to make all year round. Gifts for graduations, birthdays, wedding showers, baby showers, the holidays, and so on. It seems I always need an idea for a quick gift for a teacher, hostess, or guest of honor.
That’s when my bin of fabric scraps and list of fabric art projects come to the rescue. A little fabric fusing here, some hand stitching there, and you have a nice handmade gift.
Here are some of my favorite fiber art projects—lots of no-sew projects for quick gift giving, even a 4-step tutorial on making fabric covered buttons. But, first, some ideas…
Personalize it with a message:
No-sew fortune cookies (pictured above left) made from fabric scraps are an excellent way to send someone a message… literally. Pokey Bolton designed these fun and quirky projects for Quilting Arts TV and they were a hit! Tuck a note inside and it becomes a time capsule. Give it to a special someone and fill them in on the secret!
Wish them the best:
Scrappy Wishing Owls come together quickly with felt fabric scraps, buttons, and beads. Add a little pocket with hand stitching and tuck in a wish for happiness and/or success. They’re appropriate for any age.
Favor them with fancy goods:
Fill a jar with your friend’s favorite cookies, candy, or savory mix, made special with a fabric-covered lid. Perfect for last-minute gifts.
Fuse a fiber collage:
Sandwich bits of fibers, fabrics, trims, and beads between two pieces of MistyfuseTM, iron with a protective sheet, and mount your fiber and fabric collage on painted watercolor paper or a small stretched canvas.
Fabric buttons are easy to make and they use up scraps fast. You can make one large decorative button to wear like a brooch or a set to add a handmade touch to a cardigan. All you need is a button-making kit (available at craft and sewing stores and online) and your scraps.
Here’s how to make a fabric-covered button:
1. Cut out the button-tracing template (on the back of the button kit box) or make your own. Place the template on fabric. Trace around the outside edge of the template.
2. Cut out the fabric circle, and place it, right side down, on top of the mold of the button assembler. Place a button dome over the top, keeping the fabric centered within the mold.
3. With your fingers, push the dome and fabric into the mold. Smooth the edges of the fabric down against the metal dome. The fabric won’t lie completely flat, but fold over as much of it as possible.
4. Lay the flat button back on top of the fabric and button dome already in the mold, shank up. Use the blue cap tool to push the back into place. It will make a popping sound when it is set. Turn the mold on its side and gently push the assembled button out of the mold.
I use these kits to make button embellishments for tufted pillows–another one of my favorite scrap-busting projects.
You can find many fabric art and home dec projects that use scraps or small pieces of fabric in the Modern Patchwork Spring 2014 magazine issue.