Round Ups

Ten Ways to Use Up Yarn Ends

I HATE sewing in the ends of my crochet projects. It feels like a waste of time when I’m already chomping at the bit to get started on the next thing!
But at the weekend, we had a day out which involved a bit of a car journey, and it seemed like a good opportunity to get this job done, and a couple of projects actually properly finished!
And I did it, and I was suitably pleased with myself.
But I was left with this pile of riotously coloured ends, that I couldn’t bear to just throw out.

So I posted in the Make Do and Mend-able Facebook group for inspiration, as well as asking Twitter, and trawling Pinterest, and have compiled this list, just for you…

1. Leave them out for the birds

I think this was the most popular suggestion!
Apparently, if you leave them out for the birds, they come and take them to make their nests with. Not only are you helping out our feathered friends, you should also end up with some pretty funky looking nests around your garden!
You can put them in a cage-y thing like this from Fiber Farm:

Or you can make your own holder from an old t-shirt, like this one I found on Pinterest!

2. Use them as stuffing

If you make toys or any kind of stuffed thing (think decorative hearts and the like) then saving up all your yarn ends is a super thrifty way to save on stuffing

3. A Yarn ends bowl

This has to be one of my favourite things on Pinterest. It looks so cool! I have no idea how acheivable it is, or how practical the finished item is, but I’ll say it again, It looks so cool!
The picture is from MaRRose CCC and there is a great tutorial too!

4. Decorations

This pin recommends sewing the yarn ends between two sheets of plastic. My zero waste inner voice was wincing at this (although it does look adorable), so I got thinking, and thought that they would look pretty cool in a clear bauble on the Christmas tree (is it too early to mention the ‘C’ word..?!)

5. Felted wool balls for the kids

There are some instructions for these on Give Me a Purl, and they sound super easy!
I wonder if these would work as tumble dryer balls too?

6. Make your own fabric!

This tutorial from PinTangle uses something called ‘dissolvable fabric’, and I have no idea of it’s eco-credentials, but it does like an awesome way to use up yarn and fabric scraps!

7. Make pipe cleaner letters and wrap them in yarn

There’s some instructions here from BloesemKids.

8. Make a printing block

Wrap your yarn scraps around a block of wood, as demonstrated in the Print Workshop book, or if your ends are super short like mine, then glue them on, and make a stamp! You can make some super thrifty and very funky wrapping paper using this!

9. Make little felted beads for jewellery

Like these ones from Cut Out + Keep

Or these smaller ones from Julie k

10. Make flat felt, and embellish it with your yarn ends

Using this tutorial from Handmade by Rosie Pink

And if all else fails, I am reliably informed that local playgroups, pre-schools and schools might be grateful for them to use in their craft boxes!

What do you do with your yarn ends-do tell!

Yarn Ends - p


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  • Reply Trying Something New & Having Fun! – Gifted Goodies March 22, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    […] So I googled uses for yarn ends and came up with this post from My Make Do and Mend Life entitled Ten Ways to Use Up Yarn Ends that was perfect and I’ll definitely use some of the suggestions. I’ll definitely be […]

  • Reply Linda Marcella March 31, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    I am the same, but I must find a use for them. My latest plans for small pieces is to tie them together and knit or crochet a twiddle muff fot Alzheimer patients. You can google them but basically it’s to knit or crochet a muff (like girls used years ago to keep their delicate hands warm) and tie on things they can twiddle with their hands. Buttons, fluffy yarn, ribbons, beads, I use up some of all my stashes! If you haven’t heard of them, here are some examples:;

    So now you have 11 ways!


  • Reply Heather Dewar December 7, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    If you really love the plastic heart option, I’d really recommend asking friends for the plastic out of packaging they’ve bought – think the plastic from the cut out sections of toy boxes that will abound this time of year! It doesn’t recycle, so even if the cardboard box is put in the recycling bin, the plastic ends up in landfill anyway, so taking it out of the boxes that are going to be recycled before they get sent off means it can be used for something lovely and not end up in landfill.
    You could even save up the plastic from this year to make ornaments next December!

    • Reply Jen December 8, 2015 at 11:00 pm

      Great idea Heather, thankyou!

  • Reply Susie - secondhandsusie.blogsp December 6, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    I love all the felt-y ideas, I hadn’t thought of doing that! I tie all my ends together and I’m crocheting a round ‘thing’ with them at the moment, I think it might end up being a cushion cover when it’s eventually finished, or I use the smaller ends as stuffing for amigurumi or toys.

    • Reply Jen December 8, 2015 at 11:00 pm

      That sounds awesome Susie! Do show us a pic when it’s done!

  • Reply Chris December 6, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    I crochet in my ends as I go saves the tedious job of sewing in ends. If you put out your yarn scrapes for the birds make sure they are a natural fibre, you dont want loads of man made fibres all over your garden and in the guts of the birds.

    • Reply Jen December 8, 2015 at 11:01 pm

      Great point, thanks Chris

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