Stash Busting: Cuff Me!

A while back, I mentioned on the blog that a scrap of fabric has to be at least as big as a piece of paper for me to keep it in my stash. I’m pretty good about holding to that rule, but I have a much harder time with deciding how big a scrap of elastic or ribbon or other trim has to be to make the cut. The drawer of my sewing table is riddled with little bits of debris that I should have thrown away long ago, but I’ve always known in my heart that there must be some use for them. I think I’ve finally found it: easy little wrist cuffs!

For each cuff, I started with a 1-inch wide scrap of elastic, just 2.5 inches long. I’m using regular waistband elastic for these, but you could use a colored elastic or a fold over elastic, too. Really, the key is working through those scraps!

For the rest of the cuff, I used either a piece of ribbon 5.5 inches long, or a scrap of fabric 5.5 by 2.5 inches. My wrist is 7 inches around, so adjust as needed for your wrist size and desired tightness. 

For a fabric cuff, I sewed my 5.5 by 2.5 inch piece into a tube along the long edge of the fabric, and then turned it right side out and pressed it lightly.
If you’re using quilting prints or other lightweight fabrics, I suggest running a piece of grosgrain ribbon through the body of your tube to give it a little extra stability.

3-easy-cuff.jpgThen, it’s just a matter of stitching the ends of the elastic scrap to the ends of your tube, wrong sides together. Flip it right side out and ta-daaaa! Instant cuff!

4-easy-cuff.jpgBut wait! There’s more! These little cuffs are so quick and simple that I’ve come to think of them as tiny canvases for creativity. (If I don’t like how one turns out, no big deal — it’s just scraps!)

I made a ruffled cuff by simply pleating some leftover ribbon to a grosgrain base, and then stitching some elastic lace trim on top of that.


These also can be used as an alternative to old-school I.D. bracelets. I used my the basic letter stitches on my sewing machine to make this simple corduroy cuff. If your machine has decorative stitches that you never use, this would be a great project to put them to work.
7-easy-cuff.jpgReally, the sky’s the limit here. You can just use fabric if you have a print or design that you really love. (What a wonderful way to keep your fabric favorites with you all day long!) You can add beads, buttons or fabric flowers. You can just use a small cut of beautiful ribbon. This is the time to make use of all those teensy pieces you’ve never been able to toss!

Here are a handful of cuffs that I made this morning: 

8-easy-cuff.jpgThe ruffled cuff mentioned above, a Star Wars cuff made from a scrap of quilting fabric, and a cuff made from velvet ribbon layered over corduroy and accented with hot fix rhinestones.

9-easy-cuff.jpgMy I.D. cuff and a pretty damask print.

10-easy-cuff.jpgThis project can also be useful! A 1-inch wide cuff makes a perfect spot to clip a small MP3 player like an iPod shuffle. And all of the ones I made here are machine washable, so I can take this on a run and then just throw the sweaty cuff in the wash with the rest of my running gear.


These can also be made as gifts or party favors. Theme them to a holiday party or event as a special memento. Depending on the fabrics you use, you can also use these as scent cuffs by putting a few drops of your favorite perfume oil on them (be sure to test for discoloration first).

My scrap stash has never been so inspiring! I’m super excited to keep going with these!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *