Our business is making cotton bunting and we’ve been doing this for 15 years now. Cutting the bunting is quite therapeutic actually, although fairly time consuming.
To make best use of our fabric, we cut our triangle shapes by turning our template upside down each time we draw around it, this means we end up with rows of triangles both pointy end down and pointy end up. This throws up other issues when creating a design as we NEVER make bunting with an upside down pattern, so we have to make sure we use one directional patterns or be prepared to lose half of the triangles we cut out.
Once we’ve cut out all our rows, then our triangles, we are left with the corner pieces – if you can imagine cutting a triangle out of a rectangle you are left with smaller waste triangles. These are our scraps. I am a great believer in using all our scraps up, as I never throw out fabric, regardless the size of the fabric.
So, what do we do with all these scrap pieces – apart from seriously cluttering up my work space!
- Cake Bunting – this is a great way of using up fabric scraps. We’ve a mini template we use for cutting out all the triangles and create either ready made cake bunting (similar to the one we currently have in our shop) or we use it to make personalised cake bunting mainly for birthdays, weddings and Christenings. They are fairly easy to do, but does require you to be quite dexterous! We had stamp our mini flags too, using regular stampers and ink. We’ll write a blog on how to do this later on.
- Bunting Craft Kits – for those larger pieces, we save all the big bits to make mini bunting craft kits. These triangles are about 10cm and 12cm long, so not too big to work with. We add 30 triangles to the pack along with 3 metres of cotton bias. The pack comes with full instructions as to how to make it up, even if you can’t sew you could staple the bunting together! Seriously, I have seen that done!! We’re putting craft kits in our shop too, so it’s a great way to start learning how to sew and great for kids too!
- Mini scrap packs – these we get together and sell for a £1 a bag at local craft fairs and events. It means you can buy a range of fabrics and use them for lots of different crafting projects without having to spend too much money buying FQs of fabric. I’ve seen people use the fabric in card making or even covering buttons, or in patchwork. Any of those crafts would be ideal. We used to do a lot of patch-working, but sadly just don’t have the time at the moment.
- Local School or Craft Club – about twice a year we have a big clear out and pass on any large fabrics or even scraps to local schools or craft clubs. We donate these for free as I know they will be put to good use and the crafters will enjoy using them. And to be fair, we get given a lot of fabrics from various people who look at their old curtains or duvet covers and think, “Mmm, that would make lovely bunting! – which of course it will. We have made brilliant Spiderman and Star Wars wedding bunting out of old duvet covers!!
I think the key message here is, in a time where our world is crying out for us to look after it, we can do our best to reuse all our scrap fabrics, and if we can’t make use of them, either sell or gift to others who might benefit. I like to do a bit of both.
If you have any questions about how to use some of your scraps, or need help with bunting, please don’t hesitate to message me!