Skip to main content

Creative Ways to Use Spare Fabric Samples

All too often beautiful samples of fabric are scrapped prematurely. With sustainability becoming more important than ever before in the design industry, we are so willing to find ways to recycle. This week we have put together these useful and innovative ways to repurpose samples of fabric, ranging in size, difficulty and uses.


Applique is a staple technique here at our Design Studio. From headboards and cushions to mannequins and sofas, applique brings a handmade and elaborate touch to any room.

Why not have a go at creating your own applique cushions? This small project is a great way to use any spare fabric scraps and samples by layering and embroidering. Explore this idea further in our blog post Design Threads: Applique.

If you don’t feel like making your own, our recent collection with Annie Selke includes hand appliqued and embroidered cushions, such as ‘Lily Pad’, designed in pink and cyan colours. See how to get the look or shop the collection, available from Shop Kit Kemp, Annie Selke and Andrew Martin.

Another way to create interest through applique is by incorporating more 3D elements. Stack your fabrics to create raised and uneven textures. You’ll find examples of this in The Soho Hotel’s Library, where two large Pippa Sofas have been embroidered with individual flowers and petals.

Patchwork Tote Bags

Tote bags are versatile as they can be used as handbags, shopping bags and even for days at the beach. Try making your own patchwork tote bag. This is an easy way to reuse samples of any size and you can really use your imagination when designing the layout of each different square – or any other shape you are doing! You can use random patterns, or you could create a colour coordinated theme. To finish your bag, we recommend using bold coloured straps to bring all of the various samples together. Avoid putting any unnecessary strain on the bag by using fabrics of a similar weight. This will also allow the bag to hang straight. Here’s one that we made earlier…

Drawstring Bags

Drawstring bags are incredibly handy for keeping things tidy. A larger sample of fabric could be used to make an entire bag. If you only have small samples, you could use patchwork in a similar way to a tote bag. When working with rectangular samples, line them up together lengthwise and then sew down the lengths. This will create one long rectangle of fabric which you can then fold over. Just like that, you’ll have created yourself a little drawstring bag!

Patchwork Lampshades

Lampshades are the perfect opportunity to inject personality into your living space with colour and pattern. Another creative way to be resourceful with spare fabric is to create your own homemade lampshade. To learn more about making these, visit our blog post: Design Threads: Make Your Own Patchwork Lampshade.

Patchwork Toys

Our Patchwork Toys are an adorable example of why you should never let your spare fabric go to scrap. Available from Shop Kit Kemp, these toys are created from our offcuts and recycled fabrics.

Discover our Spring / Summer Limited Edition Patchwork Toys, made with some of our favourite fabrics here.

Loop Hole Bags

Inspired by the Japanese art of origami, these Loop Hole patchwork bags are also available to buy from Shop Kit Kemp. Made with a mix of linen and wool fabrics sourced from our Design Studio, they make unique gifts or even a special treat to yourself if you don’t want to make your own patchwork tote bag!

Thank you for exploring these ideas with us and we hope we’ve inspired many new creations with your spare fabric samples. Share your designs with us on Instagram @KitKempDesignThread.

Back to top
Our website uses cookies to improve your experience. By continuing to browse our site you are agreeing to our cookie policy.