DIY Fabric Scrap Garland

DIY Scrap Fabric Garland

If you are a seri­ous fab­ric hound as I am, chances are you have quite a bit of fab­ric scrap lying around the house. The solu­tion? Turn all of your fab­ric scraps into a lovely gar­land with this tuto­r­ial from con­trib­u­tor Sonya Yong James of Mod­ern Fiber Lab. Prob­lem solved!

The fab­ric used for the gar­land was what remained from prior sewing projects, old clothes, vin­tage fab­rics from thrift stores, and, believe it or not, old bed sheets. I had been hold­ing onto a stash of old bed sheets that I just couldn’t bear to throw away or part with. These were often really fine 400-thread count sateen damask cot­ton or Marimekko sheets that had sim­ply faded or that my dogs had ruined over the years.

The gar­land is incred­i­bly easy to make – you just need a few basic tools. It’s per­fect for a lit­tle girl’s birth­day party or even for her bed­room. I recently used the ver­sa­tile gar­land at a friend’s barn wedding.

DIY Fabric Scrap Garland


  • Fab­ric of any kind
  • Scis­sors
  • Rope (I used jute rope left over from my garden)
  • RIT dye

Step 1: Cut The Fab­ric
Cut the fab­ric in 2-inch inter­vals, roughly one inch from the edge. Next, care­fully tear the fab­ric into your desired length. I pur­posely left the pieces in slightly dif­fer­ent lengths and widths to give the gar­land more inter­est. Most of the pieces were roughly 40 inches long.

Step 2: Dye The Fab­ric
I’m an avid fiber dyer, so I dyed the Marimekko bed sheets and other fab­ric with RIT dye, leav­ing some of the strips plain. You can find RIT dye at any craft sup­ply store or even at the gro­cery store.

The best way to achieve deep, bril­liant col­ors is on the stove top. Use a large pot and bring to a boil for about 30 min­utes. After much exper­i­ment­ing, I real­ized that the only way to get great color was to add a whole cup of table salt to the pot and the entire packet of dye. I then hung it out to dry on a clothes line.

A sim­pler method would be to dye the fab­ric in the wash­ing machine and then dry it in the dryer. Dye the whole sheet in this way, oth­er­wise you will have huge crazy knots of fab­ric that will take hours to untangle.

Of course, dye­ing the fab­ric isn’t nec­es­sary… just a fun way to play with color.

Step 3: Tie The Fab­ric
I took one of the strips of fab­ric and tied it onto the rope at the mid­point of the fab­ric. I pur­posely left a lot of jute rope at each end for tying the gar­land later. Tie the fab­ric in a sim­ple knot and you are on your way.

Repeat with the next piece of fab­ric. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Con­tinue until your gar­land is the desired length. That’s it! It took about 24 strips of 2 inch wide fab­ric to make a foot of the gar­land. The fin­ished gar­land was approx­i­mately 7 feet long and included roughly 168 pieces of torn fab­ric. Dimen­sions will vary based on the fab­ric that you use.

Happy craft­ing!