Wednesday, 19 May 2010

There's nothing like some scrap!

Let's be honest this sewing lark can get quite expensive. 
All those fat quarters mount up, the wadding, threads, the list is never ending, and with all the great on-line shops around and sites like etsy it's very tempting to keep buying. Of course the end results are more personal and unique than most things you can buy, but making something yourself is usually the more expensive option, so this is where I think thrifted fabrics and re-purposing textiles can play apart.

I love having a rummage through other peoples junk whether in a charity shop, at a car boot or a jumble sale so was delighted a couple of years ago when a friend introduced me to my local scrap store. I'd never heard of the scheme before and didn't realise until recently that there are over 100 scrap stores in the UK and I believe elsewhere in the world. The general idea is that local businesses and people donate safe scrap to their local scrap store who sell it on at a low price to playgroups, schools and the general public, who then in turn reuse and recycle it!
The scrap can be anything from paper to plastic, wool to wire. In the past I have been lucky enough to find 3 rolls of vintage wallpaper that I used here, blank envelopes for handmade cards, and an endless supply of paper and card for the boys to use in their art work! In fact if your children love crafting this is definitely the place to go.

And to my pleasure my local scrapstore also have a whole section dedicated to fabric.

Of all shapes and sizes. Some large like the fabric above which was over a meter in length and I have already used it to make a scarf for myself. Some small pieces perfect for patchwork.

Some floral,

and some vintage, like this double sheet.

And when you think this was all acquired under one roof in one shopping trip it can't be bad.
I'm not sure if the schemes are all run the same way, but at my local store you pay £5 for a years membership and can then fill a supermarket size shopping bag for £1. With larger items like the vintage sheet being also a pound. So what can be better than a fabric fix that's easy on your purse, the enjoyment of finding such a diverse mix of vintage and new, plenty of materials to keep the kids happy and busy and the thought that in your crafting your helping to reduce landfill sites.
If you would like to find out more head over to  or follow this link to find one close to you.
Fingers crossed that you may just discover your own little crafting haven.


  1. Thanks so much for the information. I do hope there's one near me. I'm always hoping to find fabric in my local charity shops but haven't had any success so far.
    The double sheet really reminds me of a table cloth we had at home when I was little. I have used it, and mum's other old ones, to make a picnic blanket - lots of memories. Juliex

  2. Oh wow! I had no idea such stores existed but what a fantastic idea! Only yesterday we went to a local charity warehouse and bought a pair of curtains for £15... I bought them as the material was amazingly thick and hardwearing yet very beautiful and they were completely lined and I thought of all the things I could make from it (bags, teapot cosies etc) but then when I got home Tim's mum suggested it would be perfect for re-covering the sofa when we move and I realised that it was and I couldn't have found that much material for cheaper anywhere else. I can't believe what finds you have had and will have to go seek out our nearest store!

  3. Wow thanks somuch for this and there is one near me which I will be paying a visit very soon. Thanks so much once again!! Justine xx

  4. Oh My Gosh, that is such an amazing piece of information. I had no idea such placews existed. I have just emailed the contacts for the TWO in my area for more information. I can't wait to go take a look.

    Thank you!
    Lottie -x-

  5. Oh me Oh my Oh goodness I so so so need to know if we have a scrap store in New Zealand! What a fantastic idea.

  6. what a gorgeous idea, thank you, i had no idea these existed! the one closest to me doesn't seem to let individuals join but there's another one for me to investigate - yay! :D

    Carla x