How To: Fabric Flower Pin – Recycling Your Fabric Scraps

 Fabric Strip Flower Pin

I hate to throw stuff away. No, I’m not a packrat, but I do object to tossing out perfectly good scraps of beautiful fabric when I can easily turn them into something useful. OK, I use the term “useful” very loosely here, but fabric trimmings can be used in a variety of ways other than as landfill waste. Jewelry, for example. Here, I’ve made a flower pin out of selvages and pieces that I’ve trimmed off when straightening the edges of my fabric for other projects.

To make your own fabric flower:

Collect small strips of colorful fabrics, or cut strips specifically for this project. My scraps ranged in size from ¼” to ¾” wide, and were all less than 9 inches in length. The strips don’t have to be straight or uniform in length. Remember, these are scraps! The number you need will vary depending on the size of your flower. For mine, I used a total length of about 85 inches. This doesn’t have to be a precise measurement, but you want enough length to make your flower nice and full. If you use too much length, it will be difficult to sew through the center of the flower.

Sew down the center (lengthwise) of all your strips, one after another, on your sewing machine. Don’t cut the threads between strips—just keep sewing until all your strips are sewn together in one continuous, long strip.



Fabric strips



Wrap the strip around a large plastic ring, being sure to cover the entire surface. You can use a very large plastic washer from the hardware store, or make a ring out of cardboard if you like. Here, I used a plastic pendant I found in the jewelry section of my local hobby store. I don’t recommend using a metal washer, because you will be going back to your sewing machine in the next step, and while sewing into hard plastic probably isn’t good for your machine, I’m quite sure that hitting a metal washer with your needle is a very bad thing!


Fabric Strips on Plastic Ring

Attach a darning or free-motion embroidery/quilting foot to your machine and drop the feed dogs. Please consult your manual if you don’t know how to do this. Sew the strips together by stitching in a free-motion fashion in the open center of the ring, being careful not to hit the ring. Take your time. The fabric layers might be quite thick.

After securing the center of your flower, use scissors (embroidery scissors work well) to cut the outside edge of the flower away from the washer.

cut strips away from ring

Sew on a button or other decorative center, then sew on a pin-back, and you have an inexpensive and fashionable piece of jewelry or an embellishment for your bag, hat, or scarf.



button and pin back