Budget-friendly Recycled Fabric Art Projects

I have a bit of a split personality when it comes to my fabric art and my stash. When I'm in my studio, surrounded by heaps and bins of fabric scraps, I think, "Wow. I've got so much fabric. I'll never use it all." But when I'm out in the worldor, heaven forbid, a fabric storeI see so many textiles I've just got to have. More often than not, I splurge.

fabric art sneakers balzer
Painted sneakers by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. "Collage Fast & Furious."

However, this past weekend I reviewed the family budget and also tidied my studio. As I did the latter, I came across many of the experiments, fiber art projects, and save-for-later ideas I've worked on or discovered while writing this blog. Although my fabric stash was a mess, it was all I could do to keep from abandoning my sorting and folding and whisking all those textile art projects over to the sewing area where I could wield the rotary cutter, embroider an edge, or stitch up an unfinished object.

And it occurred to me: I really don't need more fabric. I have plenty of stash and half-finished projects that can be recycled into a new piece of fiber art. All I need to do is apply some screen printing techniques or add some stitchery.

For example, as I was folding scraps and to-get-back-to projects, I came across the patch of my husband's t-shirt I stamped with acrylic and fabric paints and stitched, a la Alisa Burke. This instance of mixed-media fabric art gone wild had me searching for my stash of articles, books, and videos by Alisa to inspire my next move. I'm envisioning an easy sewing project like a spring scarf or a jazzy fabric book cover.

Stamped and stenciled design by Linda Blinn.

The strips of ripped denim from my husband's painting jeans reminded me that I'd like to make more of my painty denim brooches. I gave the directions for Wearable Art in Full Flower on the blog. But looking back, I think this time around I'll take some inspiration from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and add messy textile paint and writing to these fabric embellishments.

A stash of linens that are too good to throw outand to boring to put upmade me think of how much I want  try to achieve Beautiful Results from Recyclable Art the way Linda Blinn, Jane LaFazio, and other artists do through surface design, fabric collage, appliqué and more.

At the end of the day, I had so many ideas for textile art, I decided I could use up all of my fabric stash but it would take maybe 10 years.

And if, by then, I needed more ideas, I'd only have to turn to my library of Cloth Paper Scissors WorkshopTM videos for tips, tricks, techniques and projects from some of the best mixed-media fiber artists on the planet.

P.S. Are you re-using and recycling fabric  and fiber art projects? Or are you keeping the fabric stores in business? Share your stories in the comments section below.


Blog, Fabric Art, Mixed-Media Techniques


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