fabric samples from furniture store

Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, ALJuly 7, 2011

Cleaning a closet yesterday reminded me of the free fabric bits that furniture stores throw away at least twice a year. (Jan/Feb. and June/July.) The manufacturers update their fabric selections at these times and send samples to the stores that sell their products. I know because I used to bring them home when it was my job to cull out the discontinued ones and add the new ones. I still have boxes of them waiting for new inspriations.

They can range in size from a few square inches to almost a square yard. If anyone has any projects they can think of for small pieces of upholstery fabric, ask at a furniture store, preferably a mom & pop store where they take special orders (and someone might care enough to throw them in a box and call you.)

One year I made ornaments with fabric scraps. I noticed these cardboard rings in the trash and had an idea. (You could also do this with a cardboard mailing tube cut into "slices.") I hot-glued christmas-y looking fabric around the rings. Then I got out my old cards and cut pictures that fit the circle opening for one side, pic of the family on the other. 2 pics of family would work, too. Cut to fit, glue together, then use festive cording (like round ribbon) around each side (with hot glue) to hold pics in the middle. A dab of hot glue on top to attach a little ribbon ring for hanging on tree. I made about 25 ornaments for about $5 which I spent on ribbon, cording, and hot glue sticks.

I did have an idea to make little doll quilts but haven't done it yet. Some of the fabrics are not washable, also, being for upholstery.

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Good idea. I cannot cut the cardboard without bending it tho. How do you cut yours?

One thing I have done with that type of scrap is sew them together into large specialized bags. I made one for my self to carry painting/art canvases. It can hold 14 x 16 size articles with two dividers inside. At Dollar Tree I bought some foam board to divide the paintings. It has been two years since I made it and I still love it. Cost $1.00 for the foam board!

I also made several bags to donate for a sale for quilters to carry supplies. Large bags like these go for big money at JoAnnes and quilt supply stores.

Do you have more ideas? I need to make more donations this year.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 8:22PM
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I've used a couple of the heavy pieces to cover seat of antique chairs. They were patterned & looked good with the antiques. I got a whole book of lace pieces like you would put on a dress. Collars are delicate but there are heavier pieces also in all colors. Hope to find something to do with them. I've used a few & gave some to DIL. Each sold for around $10 ,some more but I got the entire book for $2.98. I thought it was fabric samples as it was closed & encased in plastic. I was really surprised as it was about 6 in. thick.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 2:09AM
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You can use them over your home made canned items, like jellies and jams.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 4:30PM
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This would be great to make bags for nursing homes/ assisted living facilities. Put ties on them so they can tie them to their walkers and they have something to carry their treasures in to keep them with them.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 9:12PM
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cover inexpensive spiral notebooks by hot gluing the fabric to front and back

leave pinked edges showing and overlap cut edges to remove from sample book

leave enough material on spine to be able to open notebook & lay flat

easy & quick especially with low melt hot glue, but any craft glue would work

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 3:04PM
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Fabric flowers! So many online tutorials and uses.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 9:03PM
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I would use them for doll beds & blankets.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 11:48AM
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lady_alicia Zone 5/6 PA

We only seem to have JoAnn's and they sell their drapery/upholstery samples. Ugh. I don't know of any Mom-and-Pop stores, but they probably sell them too. BUT I found a bunch at a thrift-type store for .50 each and I make wine coaster markers out of them and sell them. Unfortunately the store is 2-1/2 hours away from me, so it's not like I can run out and shop more any time soon. I do, however, find valances at thrift stores and use those. They're usually in good condition because they just hang on your window, and of course I wash them and only buy the ones that look practically new. A lot of times those valances end up in the trash because people want new decor, so it's a way of upcycling!

Here's one I did using some of those samples, and I mixed different coordinating fabrics. Sometimes I use all the same fabric, and other times I mix it up a bit. :)

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:45PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Lady_Alicia, that's pretty!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 8:56AM
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lady_alicia Zone 5/6 PA

Thanks, purpleinopp. I have loads of fun making them. I like coordinating the fabrics and seeing what I come up with. :)


    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 9:05PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Nice ;) I've also thought a quilter might make a Christmas tree skirt of them, or smaller-scale stuff, like clothing on figurines/dolls.

If you get any inspirations that also involve acorns, I hope you'll share! My mom has a tree that makes a bajillion really pretty ones and it's a shame for them to just lay there doing nothing. Also getting rid of using some of this fabric I've hoarded would be an excellent thing.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 12:35PM
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Haven't been here for awhile but am still very interested in T2T and adore upholstery fabric samples and ends. I made a gazillion bags of various styles (tote bags with zippers, open shopping/knitting bags, even a large duffle bag) which I sold and gave away, as well as kept a few. My dog has her own bag for traveling or going to her sitter! LOL Those larger things were made from upholstery fabric ends I bought really inexpensively from 2 upholsterers. I washed them all and most came thru fine. I don't use any that won't wash well. I've also sewn book covers and a tissue box cover.

I also got a stack of upholstery fabric samples free from a company that was going out of business. Most are at least 12" square or so but most larger. I'd like to piece some together in an interesting pattern to upholster a chair seat - that's a future project. I also plan to make a bunch of throw pillow covers by piecing coordinating colors together.

Years ago I used burlap as picture frame mats and I think upholstery fabric could be used that way as well. I used braid glued to the inner edges.

For more ideas check out the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: things to make with scrap upholstery fabric

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 11:37AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Hey, Lucky Gal! Good ideas.

And you reminded me that I've used these scraps to "upholster" picture frames before. You can buy new ones, or even get kind of beat-up ones from a thrift store or garage sale and give them a whole new life with an interesting new look. The thicker the border is, the better I think for a patterned fabric. Use staple gun or hot glue, use cording or ribbon if you want for edges, glue on other things if you want. Great inexpensive gift, especially if you know someone's decor!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 4:30PM
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Anyone heard of this organization? Zero Landfill. They have chapters all over, and they arrange for interior designers and retailers to make their discarded samples available for reuse.

Here is a link that might be useful: Zero Landfill

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 6:20PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

That's an awesome entity, thanks for sharing! It looks like they deal with a wide range of materials.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 10:42AM
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lady_alicia Zone 5/6 PA

Wow, I love the links shared. It's been awhile since I've been here to see what everyone else was saying. I love that idea of covering a frame.

There are so many creative minds on here! :)


    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:57PM
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I frequent our local thrift store at least once every week. They always seem to have remnants of fabric there. I've found some that were several yards long and in great condition. I love it when I can just go through my stash and never have to buy anything to make my next project. Here is what I made for my 4 yr old grandson's last birthday. The fabric I used was a fake suede. I used a permanent marker to draw on the features, then washed it so I could be sure it would not fade. It came out fine. I created my own pattern and hopefully it resembles a striped bass. This little boy LOVES to fish!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 1:04AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

That is SO CUTE! Great job! It looks so soft and cuddly.

I'd forgotten about this thread, glad for the resurrection.

Here are some mini garden planters I "quilted" with fabric scraps. I painted elmer's glue with a paintbrush, applied the squares, let dry for a few days. Then coat with urethane. Made these for my Mom and DH's Mom for Mother's Day, they love them!!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 10:37AM
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I like the mini gardens. Are any of the little plants in them real?
It must be fun looking miniatures to decorate them with. Cute idea. I know your parents are enjoying them.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 11:37AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

The plants are all real. Forgot to mention, each one has a little chair I made out of florist wire with a tiny upholstered seat - which also used up a few more fabric scraps. Also sprayed those with urethane so they don't rot too quickly or grow mildew.

The hardest part about the whole thing for me was patience - waiting for stuff to dry thoroughly, and finding the plants to use. Due to the burst in popularity suddenly of mini gardening, WM & L's have had tiny succulents available. Possibly HD too, none close enough to visit.

DH nailed the boxes together from scrap wood at his work. Sprayed everything, not just the quilted part, with urethane inside/outside so it will should last for a few years.

I've got a thread about it in the house plant forum, if anyone would like way too many more details, more pics of these and other people's minis.

OTOH, my Mom made one for my Son's teacher with all faux plants since we didn't know if she would appreciate the responsibility of live plants. She used much more mature-size stuff compared to the scene since they obviously won't grow to fill it in. It's daggone cute too but there's nothing quilted about it. It's in a little glass terrarium thing.

This post was edited by purpleinopp on Thu, Jun 6, 13 at 11:54

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 11:53AM
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