DIY Mission: Turn Fabric Scraps into Fabric Tape
I can't sew a lick. Don't even own a sewing machine, and I feel completely out of place in a fabric store. Yet, I have a pretty decent stockpile of scrap fabrics left over from no-sew projects, and I'm always on the look out for projects that make use of that fabric.
Over the past year or so, I've come across the idea of turning my fabric scraps into tape more than once. What better time than the holidays to put this project at the top of my to-do list? Obviously, this tape isn't going to hold your packages closed for shipping, but they are a great way to add some loveliness to your gift-wrapping or lunch bags, or an extra special touch when leaving a note for someone.
My favorite web finds
Obviously I'm not the only person out there wondering what to do with my fabric leftovers; there are tons of ideas on the Internet which are great for using up extra fabric. (Hello, Pinterest!) The fabric I'm using in this tutorial is left over from making this garland a Christmas or two ago. TipNut provides links to 50 projects specifically for scraps and remnants, but beware because some require sewing. DIY Life also has a nice roundup of fun projects.
What I made
The best thing about this project is how cute the end product is. The second best thing is that all of the materials are things that most of us have around the house already - no shopping required! You will need:
- Wax paper
- Scissors or rotary cutter
- Ruler or cutting mat
- Glue (white school glue will be perfect; I used Aleene's Tacky Glue
- Fabric scraps
- Paper packaging tape
Step 1: Cut fabric into strips
Cut your fabric into strips slightly longer and wider than your paper tape. You will be trimming the sides later to make it nice and neat. As a side note, this project also works well with fabric ribbon. I used some vintage ribbon my mom and I found at an estate sale for 25 cents:
Step 2: Adhere tape strips to wax paper
Tear a piece of wax paper, a little longer than you want your tape to be, and place it on your work area. Then cut strips of tape to desired lengths and place sticky side down onto the wax paper (my tape strips varied from about 18 to 20 inches long). Use your palms or a roller to press out any air bubbles.
Step 3: Apply glue to tape strips (and use sandpaper, if needed)
If your tape has a shiny, slick surface, you will want to roughen it up with sandpaper so the glue and fabric will adhere properly and not peel away from the tape strip later. Spread glue across the surface of your tape strips. I found the easiest way to do this was to squeeze a line of glue down the length of the strip and then spread it out with a brush.
You will trim the edges of your tape later to make them nice and neat, so you don't have to spread the glue all the way to the edges. I had some fabric with a nice fringed edge that I wanted to keep on the tape, so in that case I took the glue all the way to the edge and let the fringe hang over. As you'll see, it's easy to adjust each step to achieve the look you want!
Step 4: Adhere the fabric strips to the tape strips
After applying glue to the tape strip, lay your fabric strip on top. Use your hands or a roller to smooth any air bubbles or creases in the fabric.
This is what my strips looked like at the end of Step 4:
Step 5: Cut your tape strips
Aside from using the tape, this was my favorite step. I love seeing the final product taking shape! For this step, you cut the tape strips into your desired width with scissors or a rotary tool. Leave the wax paper on -- you'll remove it when you want to adhere the tape to something. You will end up with something like this:
Once I got the strips cut out, I went over them again with my roller to make sure the wax paper wasn't going to slide off. Now your tape is ready to use! I recommend rolling it around something round for a little while to mold it into a tape roll. Then use liberally!