Eco Tutorial: Free and Eco Friendly!

Submitted by ecokaren
Visit the ecokaren blog

How to get FREE fabric and be eco friendly!

That’s right.

FREE!

Read what I did recently.

I stopped by a local upholstery fabric store last week. I can never afford anything in there but I like to peruse the aisles hoping something will be on, like, 90% off SALE . It doesn’t cost anything to wish or window shop, right?

Well, I found this wicker basket on the floor, filled with $1 per piece fabric swatches. I dove in head first. I found so many pieces that I fell in love with that I ended up spending $20.

How is that getting them for FREE, you say?

Read on.

When I got to the cashier with a pile of fabric samples, the clerks were so happy to get rid of them that they started asking me questions, like what I was going to do with them. I told them that I was going to upcycle them into something practical and sell them in my store on Etsy.

Then, one of them said, “You know we have more books of samples that we either throw out (WHAT???!????) or send them to schools for kids to play with. Would you like some?” (Oh boy, would I?) I almost peed in my pants with joy.

So that’s how I got all these books for free! And they told me I can come by and get any free sample books I want.

Here are some pictures of my FREE fabric.

I cut off the fabric from the heavy stapled binding. That was easy. But the tricky part was removing the paper backing of the fabrics. I tried ripping it off and of course, it wouldn’t be that easy. Then, I steam ironed the part that didn’t get ripped. Well, that took care of the paper remnant but the glue was still on the fabric. So, I soaked the fabric and hand washed it. When it was dried, the fabric was perfect but the part where the glue was on the fabric became stiff.

The whole process took too long and wasted too much electricity. And the result wasn’t 100% satisfying. So, I decided to use the pinking shears and cut around the paper. I might not get the whole piece but when I have this huge fabric sample books, for FREE, I am happy with whatever I end up with.

Look at these gorgeous colors. They are all cotton blend.

I can’t wait to start sewing.

Now, go raid, I mean, ask your upholstery store for some FREE samples. They will love to get rid of them. Let me know what you make with them. Or maybe you made something already with FREE fabric you upcycled? Post them here and share with us.

♥

Karen