Coming at you today with a super fun, super FAST tutorial. You don’t even need to break out your sewing machine for this one! Let’s learn how to make fabric tape. I started making fabric tape a few years ago because I hate to throw out scraps! Hey, you paid for that entire yard of fabric, didn’t you? Let’s make it all work for you the best it can!
Fabric tape a super easy way to use up the too-small-to-sew-with scraps in your life. I usually will save up a bunch of scraps from different projects in a small bag, and once that bag is relatively full, I’ll dedicate a little bit of time to making fabric tape!
So what exactly is fabric tape? It is pretty much what you’d expect it to be – tape, that’s made of fabric. In our case, specifically, you end up sprucing up double-sided carpet tape with your little fabric scraps to create beautiful tape! I like to use my fabric tape when packing up orders, sending letters, or wrapping gifts.
I’ve seen tutorials for fabric tape that have you start with 2″ wide strips of fabric and create a ton of the same tape. My method is slightly different. I want you to use up all the little bits of fabric you’d normally throw away and turn them into something pretty! Let’s get started!
Fabric tape relies on having the right kind of tape to start with. You need a tape that is strong and durable enough to really hold on to the fabric you stick on top. You also want a tape that is double sided, with one side stuck to removable paper. That way, you can make a bunch of tape all at once and then use it whenever you’re ready.
- Double Sided Carpet Tape – I prefer this Duck brand indoor variety
- Small fabric scraps – I use anything that is at least 3/8″ wide by 2″ long. They can be bigger/longer/wider, but try not to use anything smaller than this.
- Iron and ironing board
- Ruler, mat, and a dull rotary cutter
How To Make Fabric Tape:
First, pull out all of your scraps and give them a press with your iron. You want them to lay nice and flat with no wrinkles so that they create smooth fabric tape.
Then, separate out your scraps by width/length. This helps when placing the scraps on the tape to end up with less unused tape.
Unroll a small portion of the double sided tape, sticky side up. Start placing your fabric scraps on top, being careful not to overlap them. You want to end up with a single layer of fabric covering the tape. I like to run my finger along the fabric to make sure it is stuck to the tape.
Carpet tape is really sticky! Be mindful when you’re positioning your scraps, you won’t be able to lift them off the tape to reposition, so know where you’re going to put stick the fabric before sticking it down. The first few are a little tough because there’s no good place for your fingers as you work. But once you have a few pieces of fabric stuck down, you’ll notice it is easier to work.
Once you’ve stuck down all your scraps, it is time to cut them out! Because of the way the tape is created, and because it is sticky (it is tape, after all) I find a rotary cutter far superior to scissors to cut out my fabric tape. Make sure you’re using a rotary blade that you don’t want to use for fabric! Once you cut tape out with it, it won’t cut your fabric. I have several rotary cutters for quilting, and I designated this yellow handled one for paper and other misc. projects. Which means I always know this one is not for fabric.
I find that a blade that is dull for fabric actually still cuts paper well. So when you swap out your dull blade for a new one, consider keeping it for papercrafts and projects such as this! My system is when I swap out the blade on my fabric rotary cutter, I put that one onto my paper rotary cutter, and I put the blade that was on the paper one in a container to throw away safely.
Once your fabric tape is all cut out, there should be no sticky edges on it and you’re ready to store it until you need it! I love using all the bits of fabric, even cute selvages make great fabric tape! I’ve accumulated quite the collection.
You can choose to cut down your tape to even lengths, cut it on the diagonal on the short edges, or just keep them straight! I like to leave my tape the size of my scraps because I can always cut them further down when using. However, if I was gifting it, I would try to get even-ish lengths for the recipient.
Because fabric tape is useful as well as pretty (and great for small scraps!) it makes a fun little stocking stuffer or gift for a friend. It doesn’t have to be someone who sews, either. Anyone who enjoys washi tape or other cute stationary supplies will love receiving some curated fabric tape!
If you love to use up scraps, I’ve got a whole blog post dedicated to sewing with scraps!
Have you ever made fabric tape? What are your favorite uses for it?