Many of us have leftover fabric scraps, but I save the scrappiest of scraps. Seriously, I will save the smallest bit of something because “you never know”. Well, after accumulating lots of fabric scraps that were too small for any real pattern and in the need of a last minute Christmas gift for my then two-year-old nephew, I created the scrap heap monster. This is a great project for using leftover fabric. While you can download the pattern I created here, the idea of the scrap heap monster is that you don’t need a pattern. Does it have one eye? Two? Three? I don’t know, it is up to you and your leftover fabric to decide. I’ve made lots of different versions and honestly the most fun part is that no two are ever the same. I’d love to see your version of the scrap monster. Happy scrappin’!
- Leftover Fabric (fleece, flannel and woven cotton all work well
- Scissors and sewing machine
Cutting out the pattern:
- Print the pattern linked here or create your own based on the materials you have.
- Cut the body from the largest piece of fabric. I typically fold my fabric in half and then cut both body pieces at the same time. It saves time and then I know they are the same size.
- Cut out all of the facial features out of felt. I recommend felt because it is sturdy doesn’t fray and comes in lots of colors and I usually have lots of scraps of it laying around. The only facial features that I don’t cut out of felt are the eyelids. I typically do them out of fleece.
- Cut the legs out of the fabric of your choice. I have used both quilting cotton and flannel. I like to have the legs have a fun pattern that is different from the rest of the body.
Sewing the scrap heap monsters face:
- THE FUN PART! Sewing on the face. Place the face parts on the right side of the fabric. Play around with the layout. You’d be surprised how tiny things like adjusting the size or location of a pupil can really change the feel of your scrap monster. Don’t be afraid to make up your own face features and mix and match. Once you are happy with it, pin everything in place. Note: I put the horns on mine to get a sense of everything, but you will pin them later!
- Sew the face parts starting with the eyes. I use a zigzag stitch with contrasting thread around the eyes as it gives a more whimsical look, but a straight stitch will also work. (Tip: if you aren’t confident sewing with a zigzag stitch, practice first on a scrap to get the cadence right, experiment with the length and width until you find the stitch you want – another great use for scraps). For the pupils, you might want to do a straight stitch as it is less likely to show.
- If you are doing eyelids, sew them on after the pupils are done.
- For the mouth, just sew a straight line across the flat edge.
- Lastly, sew the heart with a zigzag stitch all the way around.
Sewing the scrap heap monsters legs
- After the face is done, take the rectangles that you created for the legs and fold them in half so that the two long edges are together with the right sides facing each other.
- Starting on one of the short sides near the folded edge, sew straight across using the edge of the presser foot for the seam allowance. When you get 1/2” from the corner, leave the needle down, but lift the presser foot and pivot the leg so that you can sew up the long edge. When you get to the end of the long edge back stitch to keep the opening from getting bigger when you stuff the legs.
- Turn the leg right side out. I find using a chopstick is helpful and I make sure that I really push out the bottom corners. Once the leg is right side out, stuff it with polyfil stuffing. Repeat Steps 10-12 for the second leg.
- Place the face on a flat surface and then position the horns (or ears) pointy ends down and place legs so that the toes (the end that is sewn shut) are facing up. If the legs are longer than the body, you may need to fold and pin them back to keep from sewing over them.
- Place the body back over everything. Be sure that if your fabric has a right and wrong side, that you place the right sides facing in.
- Carefully pin everything in place. Pay special attention to pinning the legs and the horns.
Finishing your scrap heap monster:
- Now it is time to sew around the body. Start about a third of the way up from one of the bottom corners. You will need to leave a two inch opening so that you can turn your monster right side out. I usually mark this section with two pins on each end of the opening, perpendicular to the seam and then one pin in the middle that runs parallel to the seam to remind me to stop sewing.
- Carefully sew all the way around your monster (again using the edge of the presser foot as the seam allowance). Stop when you get back to the pin that marks the opening. I like to start and finish with a backstitch to ensure that my opening doesn’t get larger when I turn my monster right side out.
- Turn the monster right side out and use a chopstick if necessary to push out the bottom corners.
- Stuff your monster to your desired level of fullness and then, either machine stitch or hand stitch the opening closed (a blind or ladder stitch works well).
- Yay! Your scrap monster is done and, hopefully, it has eaten up some of your scraps!
Looking for other projects to use up leftover fabric? Check out this zipper pouch with a heart cutout!