If you’re drowning in fabric scraps and offcuts, this is the perfect project to upcycle them into something practical.

It’s an idea that came to me while I was in the process of tidying up my sewing space. I tend to keep all my fabric scraps (just in case!) and all those really long, thin pieces were tangling together and making a big mess. After doing a bit of online research on rope making, I found a video showing how to hand-twist rope from tree bark. I adapted the same technique with fabric and it works a treat.

1. Start the Twine

Tie two fabric strips together with a small knot.

TIP: To avoid tangles, use one long strip and one short strip.

2. Twist Away

Working with the strip at the rear, twist the strip several times away from you (Figure A). Then pull that twisted strip over the other strip and toward you (Figure B). Repeat this until you reach your desired length (Figure C). To join strips in order to lengthen your twine, leave a tail of about 1″–2″ and wrap it around the new fabric strip (Figure D). Continue twisting as before. Stagger your joins to avoid weak points.

TIP: The tighter you twist, the firmer your twine will be.

3. Tie it Off

Tie a small knot on the end of the twine to secure it and prevent unraveling (Figure E).

Figure E

Use It

This twine can be used as an upcycled alternative to rope and cord in weaving and craft activities:

» A brightly woven doormat

» Woven chair seat cover, in place of sea grass cord

» Incorporated into jewelry or sewing projects

» A decorative ribbon around brown paper wrapped parcels