As a crafty person, I feel like there’s nothing worse than wasted material. At the same time, though, it’s never a good idea to let your scraps just keep piling up, or pretty soon your craft room turns into an absolute mess! So what do you do with all those little bits of yarn that are leftover after your knitting and crocheting projects? It turns out there are a ton of great ideas for putting these little scraps to use! These projects are easy and fun. Some of them are useful, while others are more whimsical. All of them are giftable. Let’s check it out!
Make simple cable necklaces and bracelets
Yarn can actually be a great material for jewelry, especially if you want to make something simple, eye-catching and sophisticated. These cable-braided necklaces and bracelets are pretty, cozy, and comfortable to wear. The technique is quite simple, and this would make a great project even for a beginner. While the white yarn used in the photos is beautiful, imagine how lovely these could also look in color—especially color changing yarn. These necklaces look great at any length, and like the bracelet which is looped several times, the necklaces can also be looped as many times as you want for a different look and feel. I imagine that several lengths around your neck worn as a choker could actually help keep you warm on a cold winter day. And if you need to organize all your adornments, try implementing one of these clever jewelry storage ideas.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – olgajazzzy
Water bottle carriers
Do you do a lot of walking or hiking? Tired of carrying your water bottle around in your hand or in your pack? This is a wonderful alternative! These knitted water bottle holders look amazing, and they include a strap so that you can wear them as you walk. If you check out the tutorial, you will see there are a lot of variations you can make on this pattern for a different look. Very cool!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – littlehouseincolorado
Give your clock a cozy
… Because all clocks need something warm to wear? It’s an unusual idea, and it might seem a little random at first, but wow if it doesn’t look amazing! Follow the link to the Retrobaby blog to see the before and after images for this wall clock. The original clock was just a plain metal clock, pretty dull and colorless to look at. With some leftover yarn in fun colors, it has been totally transformed into a pretty snazzy bit of art. This is a very cool design, would be easy even for a beginner, and can add a splash of much-needed brightness and warmth to an otherwise colorless wall.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – retrobabydesign
Make some colorful lanterns
While yarn and light fixtures aren’t two terms you probably readily associate, maybe you should—maybe we all should! These adorable sock yarn lanterns by Abigail Grasso are available as a free pattern over on Ravelry. All you need to make them are a string of paper lanterns and whatever yarn scraps you want to use. If you have an odd hodgepodge of colors, that’s great! This is a project that definitely benefits from a lot of different types of yarn. The more colors you have, the more festive the effect will be. You can bet that these would be a big hit at a party. They also make for great ambient lighting every day at home.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – ravelry
Make whimsical sculptures with yarn and glue
This is a really cool idea which you could take in any direction you wanted. Here you see pink and white yarn which has been molded into heart shapes and held together by glue. They have a very nice effect hanging from the shelf. Heart shapes are just one idea though. You could literally create any shape you wanted, however complex or simple. If you can imagine it, you can do it. Flatter shapes like these are probably the easiest to hold together with the glue, and simple shapes are easiest to convey, but you could go totally abstract with this project and come up with some really quirky designs.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – chalkinmypocket
Tassels are just all around awesome. You can use them on anything. Over at The Sweetest Occasion blog, you can learn how to make them quickly and easily out of your yarn scraps (the pictures show full spools of string cord, but you could easily do this project with leftover yarn). What can you use them for? A better question would be, “What can’t you use them for?” In the blog, it’s suggested that you use them for necklaces or to decorate gift packages. These are both wonderful ideas. You could also use them for so many other things though! Use them to decorate the sleeves of a sweater, tie them around jars you are gifting, add them to keychains and bookmarks, stitch them to the corners of pillows, or use them for party décor. They have practically unlimited uses. They can brighten up any object and add a burst of color and pizzazz.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – thesweetestoccasion.
Crochet a picture frame
I just love these adorable picture frames! Picture frames make a popular gift item for holidays and anniversaries, but think what a beautiful personal message you could send by gifting one you’ve handmade using leftover yarn. I particularly love the soft pastel colors used in these frames; with the patterns used, they create a beautifully delicate look. You could go with any colors you choose though. Matching the colors in the images you are framing is a wonderful idea. Five different patterns are available here for you to try. Again, they would make excellent gifts, or you can use them to frame pictures on your own walls! These could also make great tree ornaments if you made smaller versions and added hooks.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – dailyfix
Crocheted cell phone cover
Here is another free pattern from Michaels.com. The tutorial is really brief and this is a simple design that even a beginner could tackle. This is an amazing gift idea for a technology lover; just adjust your pattern to match the right model of smartphone or tablet. It’s a very cute alternative to a cell phone cover you could buy at the store and will fetch lots of attention and compliments! We have lots of other creative smartphone makeover projects if you’re keen to spice it up a little more.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – michaels
Crochet beautiful flowers
This idea comes from a blog from the Netherlands which is in Dutch, but the author has included instructions in both Dutch and English for these adorable yarn flowers! They are absolutely beautiful, and there are so many ways you could use them. Brighten up the décor in your home, put them on top of gift packages in place of bows, or even glue a hair clip to them and wear them in your hair. It looks like a fast, easy pattern for flowers that will last forever!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – ing-things
Love the bookmark idea, but looking for something fancier and maybe cuter too? It is hard to get any more adorable than this sweet little gecko bookmark! The knitted gecko has little arms and legs, feet, a curled tongue, and even little eyes and a tongue. The knitted gecko would make a great gift for a child, or a fun project to do with your kids. The gecko bookmark is more than just a bookmark; it’s a cute little reading buddy. Find the free pattern over at Lion Brand Yarns.
I could easily fill this whole list with nothing but yarn bookmark ideas! Search and you will find dozens of free patterns similar to our gecko friend. Bookworm bookmarks, beautiful crochet patterns with ribbons, and other exciting yarn bookmark projects await you. Check them out!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – lionbrand.
Crocheted spider web
Here’s a great project to work on if you love Halloween! There’s no pattern available for this particular crocheted spider web, but in theory you could use a loose version of any doily pattern that you like. Then you just need to secure it to a corner. This particular spider web is very cool because it doesn’t have a completely regular pattern, which gives it more of a natural look. Still, if you are looking for more guidance, you can check out this YouTube video, which will teach you how to make a more orderly, basic version of the crocheted spider web.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – yanaknits
Yarn ball collage art
This cool idea was found over on WeHeartIt.com and in a few other collections. The original page the idea was on doesn’t appear to exist anymore, but it is way too cool not to be included here. The idea is incredibly simple. Even a child who has no idea how to knit or crochet could do this project with your leftover yarn! The idea is just to wrap the leftover yarn up into tiny little colorful yarn balls, and then set the yarn balls in a frame in such a way that they form some kind of a pattern. I really like the one in the lower right. What an exciting way to create some modern art!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – weheartit.
This pattern by Selina Kyle over on Ravelry for catnip bunnies is just adorable! These would make wonderful treats for a kitty cat, but filled with stuffing instead of catnip, they would also make a wonderful little plush toy for a child. Then again, they are just so cute you may want to keep them all for yourself. It is an easy pattern, and the creator recommends it for both children and adults to learn knitting.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – ravelry
Christmas ball ornaments
This idea comes from the same Dutch blog where we got the crocheted flowers. Once again, the instructions are available in both Dutch and English. This is a wonderfully colorful pattern which would make awesome tree ornaments, though you could use them anywhere in your house.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – ing-things
Knitted hot air balloons
If you are a member of Amigurumipatterns.net, you have access to tons of great knitting patterns for free. One pattern which would be great for using up your yarn scraps is this adorable hot air balloon project! You can get very colorful with these balloons and come up with lots of cute and eye-catching combinations. Just think how sweet these would look hanging in a child’s bedroom! They could also work as tree ornaments.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – amigurumipatterns
Little knitted hedgehogs
This pattern isn’t free, but it’s only a couple of dollars, and these little hedgehogs are just so cute I can’t get over it! These would make a wonderful gift for anyone, and would make a fun knitting project to do with your kids. As the creator suggests, they not only make adorable plush toys, but can also work great as pincushions to help you out with your other projects. What knitting and sewing enthusiast wouldn’t want a little hedgehog to keep them company? These hedgehogs make great gifts for other crafters as well as a cute addition to your own craft room.
Available on – Etsy: Toy knitting pattern for a little hedgehog.