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Uses for Leftover Yarn

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If you crochet or knit, you probably have a stash of leftover yarn. This is a guide about uses for leftover yarn.


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July 22, 2009

Dogs and cats always enjoy getting something new, whether it's a blanket or toy.

I crochet quilts and always have yarn left over. Each time there is yarn left over, even a piece 10 inches long, it is tied to the end of another leftover. This is wound into a ball. This hodge-podge of colors is used to make my dogs crocheted blankets, sweaters, and toys. They don't mind if the colors don't match.


I used to have a cat and she was always getting a new toy of some sort to play with. A single crocheted chain attached to a crocheted ball made a mouse, as far as she was concerned. Sometimes I sprayed it with catnip spray.

Source: As a depression baby, mother taught me to never throw anything away. All scraps could be used in some way. That has stuck with me, and saved me money.

By Clynnaltemus from Inglis, FL

Comment Was this helpful? 6
September 1, 20100 found this helpful

Good for you, Clynnaltemus! I must say that I'm not quite so vigilant as you in my recycling. But it is inspiring to hear your hints. :-) I recycle something else for my cats. As my daughter grows out of her socks, I make toys out of them. I have a large jar of dried catnip (got it at a pet supply store). I stuff the sock rather tightly with catnip, turn the opening inside, and stitch the opening closed (I go over this seam a few times for strength). Our cats love the catnip socks. One licks and drools on the socks, another holds onto them with his front paws and kicks with his rear legs, and the youngest just goes insane tossing and pouncing.

Thank you so much for sharing with us. I enjoyed your hint!

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March 24, 2010

A softer way to tie up your vine type plants is to tie the vines to a post, fence, etc. with a piece of yarn. It is much softer on the plant than wire ties and can easily be removed with scissors. It's also a good way to make use of left over bits of yarn.

By thriftsavvy from West Dundee, IL

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March 30, 20100 found this helpful

I also use yarn to tie up my plants, but instead of using just the piece of yarn, I crochet or knit several rows with it. This way it's less apt to damage the plant.

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May 25, 2012

My grandma was a big crocheter, and was always getting left with small, 1-3 inch balls of yarn she had no use for. I came up with a way to use the small balls of yarn. I would crochet single stitches, then go back down the singles with another row of single stitches, making small doggy leashes for my Toy Poodle. For a clasp, I would cut off old ones from the over the shoulder purses I had worn out. The clasps were perfectly fine and the perfect size to hook on my little Angel's leashes.


When I got the chain as long as I wanted to have the leash, usually about 4-6 feet, I would simply bend the end over and crochet it to the leash, to put my hand through, and I was done. I had free leashes of all colors to match the collars. Then I discovered a new twist to my leashes. If I could not find a clasp, I would crochet a bigger loop on one end for Angel's neck, and one smaller for my hand.

Then I would take one of those little rubber bands that my daughter used on the braces on her teeth, and pull it over the "head loop". To tighten the loop up, I simply had to lower or raise the rubber band, and it was a perfect fit for any doggie. My little Angel is now a "real" angel, gone from me for many years, but I still have her little leashes, just in case I am found by another little doggie needing me.


By Jacketbacker from Greer, SC

Comment Was this helpful? 2
January 18, 20160 found this helpful

I have been looking everywhere for simple (and cheap) slip leashes for my three dogs. They used to be a couple of bucks. Well, surprise surprise: not anymore.The only ones sold these days are fancy and cost $20.00 and up.

Your idea just made my day. Thank you ever so much.

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February 3, 2012

Don't throw away those yarn tails and left over small amounts. If you have an extra skein of yarn laying around, it makes great stuffing instead of the polyester stuffing.


September 3, 20044 found this helpful

Do you have piles of leftover yarn that is in knots instead of balls? Try this, take an empty toilet paper holder, put a little split on one end, cut the yarn anywhere, and attach to the holder.


June 22, 20054 found this helpful

I just saw an interesting tip on how to use up excess yarn by making baskets. Well, I use my excess yarn by making drinking glass sweaters. They are excellent for sweating glasses in the summertime.



Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
May 19, 2009

I have lots of rug yarn, the 4 inch pieces. I don't know what to do with them. What do you do with left over rug yarn?

By kemptongirl from Sequim, WA

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May 19, 20090 found this helpful

You might want to use them somehow to make colorful poofy luggage tags. They would enable a person to easily spot their luggage at the airport. You might be able to weave them into some small pieces of plastic canvas with some initials for gifts. Hope this helps.

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May 21, 20090 found this helpful

Hair for small doll or ornament heads, I even use the wild stuff for my angels hairs. Stuff small items with it as it is pretty soft and plushy for small toys etc. You can buy rug hooking canvas by the yard and try making what I call a crazy carpet. Cut a 4-6" square or circle of rug canvas (leave a row or two of canvas holes for turning under) Then just go wild, hooking with a latchet hook until the shape is covered. Turn under and hand stitch the raw edge to the back. Use self adhesive felt to line the back side.

Use it as a mug rug or coaster for drinks. I have also made several, and stitched them together like a patchwork rug, again backed with felt, the sewn on type this time to coordinated with the colors of yarn used in the pieces since you will only sew the patches together in about 4 spots, so the felt will show through. if you use round patches it kind of looks like one of those felt rugs called a penny rug, only bigger circles of course. You can make it any size and I recommend button twist or extra strong thread known as carpet thread for sewing it together for strength and durability.

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May 21, 20090 found this helpful

You can buy blank rug canvas and create your own design!

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May 31, 20090 found this helpful

Good to "paint" with. Using cardboard, plywood, or whatever as your foundation, You can paint on a background color first - if desired. Using Elmer's Glue All, start filling in areas of your "painting" with the yarn pieces.

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0 found this helpful
June 24, 2012

I am looking for ideas for scrap yarn projects other that knitting or crochet. Anyone have any ideas?

By mkay from IN

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July 1, 20120 found this helpful

Cut colorful yarn in 1" pieces and stuff them inside plastic/glass ornaments.

Make bows for the upcoming Holidays and for other gifts like Birthdays, Anniversaries, etc.

Use them for curtain tiebacks.

Make pom pom's for hair barrettes.

Find a simple vase or glass jar and begin wrapping the yarn around it for a new and improved look.

Wrap into balls and make a bowl of pretty decorative yarn balls for any room.

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2 found this helpful
July 28, 2010

I decided to make a prayer shawl that used some of the Lion Brand yarn stash I have accumulated while making various other prayer shawls. As you can see from the stash photo, my palate leans toward the earthy colors. When I was about half done with the shawl, my daughter informs me she liked it better than her solid red one and I have to admit it is looking better than I had hoped. I cast on 80 stitches and knitted rows in varying widths using up my stash of yarn.

I donated the shawl and failed to take a picture of it, but am in the process of creating other striped shawls. It is a great way to use up your stash of like weights of yarn.

By skibum1910 from Prospect, KY

Various colors of yarn.

Comment Like this photo? 2
December 7, 20100 found this helpful

Those are very pretty colors. That's a good way to use leftover yarn.

Reply Like this photo? Yes
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