Make a Scrap-topus

What’s an octopus made of scrap fabric and thread that you’ve got all over your sewing room floor?  A scrap-topus!  This is a little project I did this summer at camp, on the days we designated “scrap days”.  With 100 kids coming and going through the sewing studio, our scrap bins got really fun.  I wish I had a picture to explain how much stuff was exploding out of them.

Now, you are probably saying to yourself– why not just throw it away!  That seemed like a bad lesson for kids, and scrap day had another meaning– it was a day to get creative with the little things, or figure out how to make lots of little things one big thing.  Enter the scrap-topus.  It’s more of an octopus-jellyfish, because the sheer material lets you see all the guts inside.

We had lots (I mean LOTS) of googly eyes on hand, but you can use buttons, paint, embroidery, what have you.  What you’ll need:

  • Sheer fabric (tulle, organza, chiffon, pantyhose)
  • Fabric and thread scraps (the smaller the better)
  • Ribbon, string or rick-rack
  • Googly eyes
  • glue (hot or fabric glue is  best)
  • scissors

Lay your pile of scrap on the tulle and gather up the corner until you have a little package of scraps.  Tie it off with a little bit of ribbon.

Cut enough ribbon to be able to fold it in half 3 times (I did 4 feet).

Place the bundle of scraps in the middle of your folded ribbon and tie a good knot.  Then cut the loops so you have eight “legs”.

Now glue some eyes on that sucker!

This is a really easy thing to do with kids because it involves no sewing, little gluing and is a good lesson in reusing materials. They can also have fun arranging the “insides” of their octopus.

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