The Zero Waste House

This nifty little scrap buster is a versatile addition to any sewing room. Build your own house destined to become a pin cushion, pattern weight, tape measure dispenser, door stop (thank you for the suggestion Sophie Benson!) or combine all four for the ultimate eco-home with a dirt-cheap mortgage.

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  1. Place your door and window details on one of the four walls. Sew in place with decorative top stitching.

  2. Along the short edge, sew all four walls right sides together.

  3. If using a tape measure, ensure the base is large enough to accommodate before inserting the panel right sides together around the previous sewn walls.

  4. (OPTIONAL) If using a tape measure, cut another door and super-glue to the end of the tape. Put to one side to dry.

  5. Taking the remaining rectangular roof pieces, sew right sides together along the long edge, leaving a gap in the middle to bag out the house and fill accordingly. If you are using a tape measure, make sure it’s big enough to fit the tape measure through!

  6. Right sides together, insert the triangular pieces along the edge of your rectangular roof. Turn out to check alignment.

  7. Attach the roof to the walls right sides together. Keeping your needle in your work, pivot at each corner for ease of construction.

  8. Turn your house right side out through the hole in the roof.

  9. (OPTIONAL) If using a tape measure, snip into the door of the house, enough to fit the end of the tape with the glued door on through. Ensure the button of the retractable tape measure is flush against the base so you can operate it by pressing on the cloth.

  10. Using as many scraps as you can, fill your house! If you are intending to use the template as a pattern weight or doorstop ensure you include some rice to add heaviness. Wadding can also be used in the roof if needed.

  11. Hand sew your roof closed. You could even try embroidery thread for a final decorative touch.