The Fabric Bandana Dilemma

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The Fabric Bandana Dilemma

Using scraps from leftover sewing projects, and of all places, the dog groomers!
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The Fabric Bandana Dilemma
Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 5:00pm


I have mountains of fabric scraps. Well, maybe not mountains, but at least mounds. Some are from leftover sewing projects, and some are from, of all places, the dog groomers.

Every time I take Newton The Pug to the groomer, he comes back with one of those scrap bandanas tied around his neck.

Now generally, I enjoy making my own doggie shampoo and giving Newton a bath at home. But sometimes, it’s just not practical.  And after several pets and many years, I’ve ended up with a box full of those fabric scraps. 

So what can you do with them?

The scraps are usually seasonal, and just too pretty to throw out. For my fur-babies, they’re a triangle, about 12 x 12 x 24. But if you have a bigger pup, your scraps might easily be 24 x 24 x 48. Either way, that’s certainly big enough to do something with.

Here are a few ideas...

Tie it up.
Use the leftover scraps to tie up your hair. They look cute tied around a ponytail, or you can go 70s and tie it over the top of your head and around the nape of your neck, like a hair band. Or roll the scraps into flat pieces, iron, and tie several together and use as a cute belt.

Hang it up.
Make wall hangings from scraps and old frames or embroidery hoops. Get details at Or, piece scraps together and glue to a cork or wood board to make a cute place to display pictures or leave notes. Check out for more ideas.

Serve it up.
Wash and iron scraps. Then trim into rectangles with pinking shears. Fold and use as casual cocktail napkins at your next party. 

Wrap it up.
After washing and ironing the scraps, you can use them to wrap small gifts. Or you could use them as ties around jars or boxes for homemade goodies.

Bag it up.
By sewing several of the scraps together, you can make a patchwork piece big enough to make a cloth bag.  Get how to’s for making a lined bag at Associated

Sew it up.
Make a cute fish shaped toy from fabric scraps. Get instruction at

Patch it up.
If you get a hole in your jeans that you don’t want, use leftover scrapes to make a patch. Cut fabric into any shape you like, leaving at least an 1/8 inch edge. Cut a piece of fusible interfacing the same shape, but without the edge.  Fuse shape to interfacing with an iron, following manufacturer’s instructions. Trim or turn 1/8 inch around design to make a neat edge. Then simply iron the patch onto your jeans. This works great for kids clothes, too.

No matter what you decide to do with them, don’t throw out your fabric scraps. They’re a good resource for sewing and crafting projects. is dedicated to our users. We focus our attention on changing the world through recycling, waste-to-energy and conservation. We reward our users for their sustainable behaviors on our website, through our Greenopolis Tracking Stations and with curbside recycling programs.


Keywords: Recycling | Reusing | bandana | dog grooming | fabric | textiles