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Friday Favorite: Stash Busting

December 14th, 2018

One of my goals for my handmade holidays this year has been using up fabric in my stash, things I’ve collected over the years, fabric I love, notions I love, yarn I love. So far it’s been a great plan and I’ve managed to get rid of lots of things (more to come after Christmas so as not to spoil the gifts in case the recipients read the blog). One thing I can share that I’ve been doing to use up fabric scraps: making fabric ribbons. I’ve always loved beautifully wrapped gifts. Wrapping gifts is one of the things that I really enjoy doing during the holidays.

I’ve been sewing up all the scraps of fabric I have into long ribbons, most of what I’m using is holiday fabric that I’ve gotten in grab bags from the thrift store. Some of it matched the gift, as is the case with the Russian Nesting Doll fabric (check back after Christmas to see what I made with this lovely thrift store fabric).

These bows are easy enough to make, I fold fabric in half with right sides facing in, then sew along the ends and towards the middle leaving a 3-4 inch opening in the middle for turning. Turn inside out with the help of a pencil or knitting needle, iron, and it’s ready to use. They take only a few minutes each to make and are well worth the effort!

I’m pretty pleased with the results and will be making them for other gifts throughout the year as well. Most of the recipients are the types of people that will save the bows and reuse them, which makes me happy as well. There’s nothing like reducing waste and being able to reuse something you already have.

Are you a meticulous gift wrapper? What sorts of things do you like to use when wrapping?

9 Comments to “Friday Favorite: Stash Busting”
  1. Deb Berning on December 14, 2018 at 11:01 am

    This is great. I, unfortunately don’t have time to make these although I have enough fabric to make LOTS of these. I have a new granddaughter, so sewing things for her is sa priority. Homemade gifts are the best.

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  2. Joan on December 14, 2018 at 11:15 am

    I love these! My mother wraps presents beautifully, and it’s always such a treat to open them. I save the ribbons she uses to use on my own presents the next year or two. I’ll have to show her your idea – I bet that she would like to sew some of these up!

    I too am trying to do some stash-busting. I don’t sew, but I have five totes FULL of yarn. I’ll never use it all up! I’ve been knitting Christmas presents for people, plus I knit a couple of dozen hats that I donated to the animal shelter for them to sell. The stash busting isn’t going really well though – I keep finding more yarns that I want to purchase. I just bought six skeins of a beautiful blue-green alpaca to make a shawl to wrap up in…

    Reply to Joan's comment

    • Marina on December 17, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      i love the idea!
      I have been using cuttings left from quilting, simply frayed, but the sewing you do will make it a lasting, reusable item, which is even better just repurposing.
      The brown paper is a lovely backdrop for any color or pattern!

      Reply to Marina's comment

  3. Martha Reed on December 14, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Great idea! I make and use fabric bags for presents, but never thought of fabric ribbons.

    Reply to Martha Reed's comment

  4. Brenda on December 15, 2018 at 6:50 am

    This year I have chosen brown paper wrapping over the garish Christmas wrap – I have used purchased wrap to tie them but love your fabric bows so think I might do that next year!

    Reply to Brenda's comment

  5. Meg on December 15, 2018 at 10:00 am

    Such a great idea! After decades of sewing, I have tons of scraps and strays. I make gift bags but now I’m going to make ribbon too! I wonder if you could also serge the edge with a turned coverlock stich instead of turning inside out? Still, your fabric ribbon is lovely with a constrasting side and I imagine two layers add a nice substantial feel. Brilliant.

    Reply to Meg's comment

    • Susy on December 17, 2018 at 9:44 am

      That would be great, it’s also much easier to turn things inside out if you serge the seams and do the whole tail down through the tube method (not sure if you’ve heard of this). I think using colorful thread in the serger would add an additional interest to the ribbons!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Ann Roberts on December 16, 2018 at 8:51 am

    These are gorgeous. But if you are in a hurry, why sew them? Cut the strips and fray the long edges. That is an awesome way to use it as ribbon.

    Another idea is to use a plain fabric and do a few rows of decorative stitching down the length of the ribbon.

    I have even done the frayed edges, and top stitched a nice regular grosgrain ribbon down the center of the fabric, or rick rack……

    Reply to Ann Roberts's comment

    • Susy on December 17, 2018 at 9:43 am

      Also a great idea!

      Reply to Susy's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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