How To Make the Cutest Scrappy Fabric for Unique Sewing Projects

scrappy fabric stuffed heart

 If you sew, especially if you are a quilter, you are going to have fabric scraps. In this blog post, I’m going to show you how to make the cutest scrappy fabric panels that you can use to make some really unique sewing projects.

gift card holder

As you can see, I have my share of fabric scraps.

This is just a small portion of them. I have a video tutorial showing you my method of storing fabric scraps that you might want to check that out.

Oh, I just love the random look of different colors and prints thrown together.

I guess it’s the hippie part of me and the artist coming out in my sewing.

What do you do with this scrappy fabric?

Oh, you can make so many fun things.

scrappy fabric stuffed heart

This process is quite addicting and you’re not going to want to stop with just one scrappy fabric panel.

This is a beginner sewing project, something really fun to do.

So gather up your fabric scraps and let’s get started.

*If you don’t have a fabric scrap collections yet, no worries, just cut some small pieces off some of your favorite fabric.

Materials and Supplies Needed

1 -Getting Set Up to make a scrappy fabric panel

It’s nice to have a little basket that you can sit by the side of your sewing machine while you’re doing this project so that they are easy to grab.

You’ll want to have variety of colors and prints in your basket.

  • Press any pieces that my be wrinkled.
  • If you have a ¼ presser foot, apply that to your sewing machine.
  • Thread your machine with a neutral color of thread.
  • Have a pair of fabric scissors accessible.
  • Get your iron heated up.scrappy fabric pressing

2 -Cut out paper pieces

I like to use magazine pages because they tare really easily, however, some scrap printing paper will work fine.

You can make these scrappy fabric panels as big as you want, but what I find helpful is to not start with such a big panel but to just make little 6×6 inch panels, and then to sew those together to make a bigger panel.

I really like using this small paper cutter. It works great and really speeds up the process.

3 -Sewing the fabric scraps to the paper


The first piece that you’ll put down will be placed somewher in the center of the paper.

I like to kind of start with a smaller piece of fabric. It doesn’t have to be perfectly square.

Find another piece that is the same width as one of the sides. You can trim fabric down as you need, (that’s the beauty of having your scissors handy).

Place the pieces RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, lining up the edges you are joining.

Arrange them somewhere in the middle of the paper and sew them together using a ¼ inch seam allowance. NO NEED TO BACK STITCH AT THIS POINT

scrappy fabric

4 -Adding more pieces to the scrappy fabric panel

Fold the top fabric over and either finger press or you can use your roller tool to flatten out that seam.

Choose another fabric scrap. You want the top piece to have a straight edge, and you can trim the uneven bottom pieces after you sew. The scraps can be placed at an angle.

scrappy fabric

I like to place the scrap in different places before sewing to see if it’s long enough and that it looks like I want it to.

The fabric scraps that extend out to the edges of the paper, you will need to backstitch at the paper edge.

This will prevent the seam from coming unsewn when you are pulling off the paper.

It is a good idea to flip the paper over periodically and cut off the excess fabric about a ½ from the paper edge so you can see how much more you need to add to cover the paper.

scrappy fabric strips

If you don’t have a scrap that is long enough you can sew two or more scraps together to make a longer strip.

scrappy fabric

*** If you are sewing a lighter color of fabric onto a darker fabric, make sure to trim the seam so that you do not see the dark color showing through.

Continue adding strips until the paper is completely covered. 

I like to sew four panels together for most of my projects.

5 -Pressing the scrappy fabric panels

Once you have your panel complete give it a good pressing.

scrappy fabric trimming paper

6 -Trimming the fabric edge

After pressing the panel, take a ruler and trim the fabric even with the paper edges.

Using a rotary cuter is very helpful, however this can be done with a pair of scissors as well.

scrappy fabric

7 -Removing the paper backing

I find this process very enjoyable for some reason. It’s almost therapeutic.

Start ripping pieces of paper off the fabric until all the paper is removed.

If you can’t find an edge to pull, just crinkle the paper and it will usually tear, giving you something to pull.

Once all the paper is removed, give it another pressing.

Continue this process until you have as many scrappy fabric panels as you want.

scrappy fabric

8 -Joining the fabric scrappy panels together

Once you have the panels trimmed and pressed, arrange them how you would like them to look.

Place the top two pieces right sides together and sew down that seam backstitiching at the beginning and at the end of the seam.


Open that up. Sew the other two panels together.

Open up the seams and press.

So you don’t have a lot of bulk where the seams are joined here is a little trick.

Press one seam allowances to one side and the other facing the other direction. Line up the seam and pin or clip that in place. 

Then sew the seam.

scrappy fabric

9 -Stabilizing the fabric scrappy panels

You’ll want to stabilize the fabric with some kind of stabilizing material.

I really like this fusible fleece. You can also use cotton batting, or Soft & Stable foam batting.

If you do choose these materials, you’ll want to pin the fabric to the stabilizer in several places and quilt.

scrappy fabric fleece

10-Applying the fusible fleece

Place the stabilizer with the bumpy side facing up.

Then place the scrappy fabric panel onto the stabilizer with the WRONG SIDE FACING DOWN.

Before pressing, trim off any visible stabilizer with the ruler and rotary cutter. This will ensure you don’t get sticky glue onto your iron.

(If you ever get glue or need to clean the bottom of your iron, check out this tutorial HERE).

Press the fabric panel well until the stabilizer is adhered.

scrappy fabric






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Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

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