No-Sew Projects, Tips and Techniques

No sewing machine?  No problem!

You can make your own one-of-a-kind clothing, accessories and home decor items or create beautiful and unique gifts for friends and family without a stitch. The no-sew trend has caught on like wildfire, spawning patterns for everything from hats and scarves to blankets and pillows. Experienced sewers often take on no-sew projects, too, because they’re so quick and easy.  A great craft project for the winter months.

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Plus, right now is one of the all-time best times of year to pick up fabric for no-sew projects as after-Christmas sales and January clearances make finding a bargain fabrics a breeze. 

No-Sew Tools and Techniques

There are a number of ways to create fabric projects without touching a needle or spool of thread.  They are relatively simple techniques, many of which a child could do.

One trick that has found its way into many winter projects is the use of felt.  Felt is great for no-sew applications because it will not unravel when cut.  It can be used to make cozy blankets, warm ponchos, and all sorts of cold-weather accessories.  In most cases, a fringe is cut along the edges and tied together to bind the project.  This also gives it a fancy look with little effort.

Another staple of the no-sew trend is fabric glue.  This type of glue is specially formulated to work on porous fabrics.  It dries clear, so you don’t have to obsess over making a mess with it.  Just wipe off the excess, and when it dries the rest will be invisible.  Some types of fabric glue will wash out, but there are types available that may be washed on a gentle cycle.

Making and covering pillows without sewing can be accomplished in a number of ways.  The fleece technique mentioned above works nicely on square pillows, as does creative folding and fabric glue.  For cylindrical pillows, you can cut a piece of fabric that will fit around the pillow lengthwise, making it several inches longer than the pillow.  Center the pillow on the piece of fabric, roll it up, and secure the same amount of fabric on each side with a rubber band.  Ribbons tied on top of the rubber bands to hide them will complete the look.

Finding No-Sew Patterns

You can find lots of no-sew patterns and project ideas online.  Some craft stores also carry books that feature no-sew projects.  And once you’re familiar with the techniques, it’s not too difficult to create your own projects that do not require sewing.

Of course you can find plenty of no-sew projects on Pinterest, too.  Check out our craft inspiration board for ideas or run a search for “no sew” projects.

Sewing is still required for many fabric projects, but those who can’t or do not wish to sew are no longer left out in the cold.  No-sew techniques have made it possible for anyone to create beautiful fabric accessories and decor.

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Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an the author of "Getting Laid" and "Getting Baked". A sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky, when she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s making tea and writing about country living and artisan culture.
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    • Linda Kinsman
    • December 29, 2013

    I love no sew projects because a seamstress I am not! I will have to check out your Pinterest board. Thanks!

    • Grace Hodgin
    • January 1, 2014

    These types of projects are great and I love to do some while working on big projects that do require sewing because it gives me a break from the projects and I enjoy getting them finished quickly. I guess it satisfys my ‘get it done’ personality’.

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