WINNER ‘Progress toward circularity’ Marie Claire Sustainability Awards 2023

How to make your own Christmas baubles using recycled fabric scraps

Get creative and make use of your fabric offcuts with these DIY Christmas baubles.

Be inspired by Willow Crossley, author of Handmade Living, who will show you how to transform scraps of fabric into baubles, perfect for celebrations and the ideal festive activity to do with the whole family.

Christmas fabric baubles, styled on mantle

Before you start

Think about the theme you'd like to convey with your baubles. If your goal is to use up fabric scraps, then by all means, use whatever is at your disposal! If you prefer a truly coordinated look, choose a limited colour palette for the fabrics. Or for a full-on festive theme, use scraps of fabric printed with Christmas motifs.

You can also use feathers instead of fabric. It’s much more fiddly, but they look amazing when finished. This is best done in two sessions, as otherwise they get too sticky and end up looking messy.


Materials needed to create a fabric Christmas bauble: styrofoam balls, elastics, fabric offcuts, paintbrush, placed in a white ceramic bowl

What you need to make a Christmas bauble using recycled fabric scraps:

  • polystyrene balls
  • PVA glue
  • water
  • small paintbrush
  • scissors
  • scraps of fabric
  • dressmaking pins
  • thread

Tip: thinking about going even more sustainable? Swap out the polystyrene balls with cardboard or paper mache ones. You'll be able to find them at most craft and hobby shops.

Step 1: Cut the fabric

Cut the fabric into small pieces. The shape is not important.

The floral fabric has been cut into small, irregular shapes with scissors.

Step 2: Prepare and use glue

Mix equal amounts of PVA glue and water. Using a small paintbrush, brush the glue onto the bauble and start sticking on the bits of fabric, overlapping them slightly so that there are no gaps. Smooth the fabric down by painting the glue-and-water mix over the top of it.

Start gluing fabric scraps down onto the styrofoam ball.

Step 3: Smooth fabric down

If the fabric puckers or bubbles, simply snip into it with scissors, lift it up, and smooth it down again with your fingers.

Scissors next to half covered fabric bauble

Step 4: Use pins around the bauble

Stick some dressmaker’s pins all around the bauble in a straight line from top to bottom and back up to the top again.

Christmas fabric bauble with dressmakers pins placed in

Step 5: Add the thread

Measure the circumference of the bauble plus how long you want the drop to be, and cut a piece of thread to twice this length. Fold the thread in half. Starting at the top of the bauble, pull out each pin in turn a little, wrap the cut ends of the thread around the pin, then push the pin back into the bauble to secure. Repeat around all the pins in the bauble until you get back up to the top again; the excess thread will be in a loop from which you can hang your fabric decoration.

Add thread to the fabric Christmas bauble.

Your completed fabric Christmas bauble

Congratulations! You've finished your Christmas bauble using recycled fabric. Looking for more inspiring DIY crafts to add to your home? Get your hands on Handmade Living by Willow Crossley, published by CICO Books and filled to the brim with projects to make your home beautiful for the holidays and beyond.

For more unique and sustainable Christmas decor, Emma Mapp, the founder of Mapp of London, offers a kit to make an upcycled leather Christmas bauble. Vegan option available, made with stunning gold pineapple leather.

All photography for this project is by Claire Richardson © CICO Books, from Handmade Living by Willow Crossley.