Crochet is a wonderful way to unwind after a long day, but all that leftover yarn from your projects can be annoying. Instead of throwing away the leftover pieces of yarn, we have a few ideas to recycle them into new designs.
To gather leftover yarn, start a box in your hobby room or closet and label it for recycling. Once you have enough, you can start your project.
The next time you throw away leftover yarn, take a moment to browse these ideas and try to recycle it into something beautiful! Plus, you’re helping to save the environment.
1. Test Your Gauge
One of the easiest ways to use leftover yarn is for exploring new stitches. Before you start a new project, it helps to do some test stitches to get an idea of the width and tightness of your stitches.
Everyone has a different technique for crochet, so it’s essential that you test your hook size, tension, and yarn width before you start a new design. You can do this by crocheting one or two rows and measuring them.
The gauges will be a different size, depending on your technique, yarn, and hooks, so you should always remember to do a test beforehand. Just keep in mind that you want to use a test yarn weight similar to the one you’ll be doing your project with.
2. Practice a New Stitch
Another one of our great ideas to use leftover yarn is when you’re learning a new stitch.
Like many other hobbies, there are always new things to learn. You can create exciting new designs by learning stitches you’ve never tried before. But you don’t want to buy expensive yarn to experiment with. Just use your leftover pieces.
3. Make Mini Accessories
Not all crochet projects require several skeins to complete; some designs are small scale so you can use leftover yarn to make them.
For instance, you can make scrunchies for your family and loved ones. When you’re working on a farm or planting seeds in a small urban garden, it’s good to ensure your hair is out of your face. But it’s easy to misplace your scrunchies when you need them.
You can make them in different colors, textures, and patterns so you can choose a new style for every day of the week.
Face scrub pads are also ideal for making use of your leftover yarn. You can create a few circle patterns and keep them in your bathroom for cleansing or removing makeup at night. The good thing about recycled face scrub pads is that you can wash them and continue using them in the future.
Before throwing them in the washing machine, check the label on the original yarn and check which setting is suitable for the material.
Here are some other ideas for mini accessories:
- Christmas tree decorations
4. Use Leftover Yarn for Teaching
Crochet is a way to share gifts with the people in your life, but it’s also a great way to bond with friends and family. Whether you’ve recently started crocheting or you’ve been crocheting for years, why not use leftover yarn to teach someone this handy skill?
When learning a new skill, you need to practice a lot and improve your basic knowledge. For crocheting, the best way to get better at creating is to nail down the basic stitches. You want to master the ones that are used in many designs first.
The next time you have a bundle of leftover yarn and want to share your hobby with friends or family, meet up for a coffee and learn to crochet together.
There are great books out there for teaching beginners how to start with the foundation stitches.
But, if someone can watch you crocheting, it makes the learning process easier. It’s a fantastic project you can do while you hang out with friends during the holidays or after work!
5. Yarn Clippings for Stuffing
Yarn clippings are the small pieces of thread that are cut off when you’re stitching your ends into the main piece of fabric or are leftover from the tail ends when you start a new skein. Unless you think of creative ways to use yarn clippings, you’ll be wasting bits.
You can add yarn clippings to the inside of amigurumi projects or as a replacement for toy stuffing.
Save up enough yarn to fill a whole toy. Otherwise, you could be left with an empty teddy bear or other design.
6. Art Supplies for Kids
Allow kids to repurpose the yarn clippings into a collage and make a piece of artwork. If you hang a large corkboard, you can hang up the yarn clippings with pins. Or, tape or glue yarn pieces to a piece of paper to create images.
This is a great project to start and continue throughout the year as you use more skeins and build up new yarn clippings.
7. Water Bottle Carrier
There are many ways to make crochet decorations in your home, but crochet can also be used to make accessories. Did you know you can make a crochet water bottle carrier from leftover yarn?
Everyone knows that frustrating feeling when you have a pocket full of keys, your phone in one hand, and your water bottle in the other. It’s pretty easy to drop and lose an item accidentally while you’re fumbling around.
A crochet water bottle carrier is the perfect way to free up a hand and looks cute.
When you finish a tote bag or a row of bunting, you might look at your work and think, “I want to add more detail.” If that’s the case, crochet tassels are smart ideas for your leftover yarn.
Depending on the item’s size or clothing, you can create tassels with just a few strings of yarn. And they instantly make a difference to the design and add a lovely texture. You can also make tassel keyrings as gifts or make tassel jewelry for yourself as a treat.
9. Dishtowels, Coasters, and Trivets
If you like to spend your time making homemade meals, you know what it feels like to look for a dishtowel and realize that they’re all dirty. To avoid this situation when you’re cooking, you can use leftover yarn to make a stockpile of dishtowels.
You can also make trivets to place your hot pots on or coasters to place cups on.
This project is the perfect way to pass a few extra minutes in the day, giving you something practical to use in the home. If you want to find ways of making extra income, you can also try selling your crochet dishtowels at a local farmer’s market.
You can also wash and reuse them as often as you’d like!
10. Napkin Rings
When you have people over for festive dinners or birthday events, it’s nice to set your dining table with special plates and glassware. But, often, people forget about the little details like napkin rings until the last minute, and there’s no time to buy them.
Leftover yarn is a great material for quickly crocheting some napkin rings and adding them to your dinner table. If you have the time, you can embroider the initials of relatives or friends onto the ring and place them on their seating area.
This is a lovely way to decorate your kitchen without investing in any new decorations.
Amigurumi is a playful and creative Japanese tradition of making toy-like creatures from crocheted yarn. You can make more than just animals, though. You can also make a cake or other food items, or little people.
If it’s someone’s birthday, you can make little amigurumi cakes and give them as a birthday gift. Or make little stuffed birds for the bird-lover in your life.
Use your leftover yarn to crochet a headband. These can be purely decorative or just handy to have when you’re out in the garden.
Like the scrunchie, you can use your headband to pull your hair back off your face. Very useful when you’re wrist deep in dirt.