How to Use Up Your Yarn Stash in 2023- Ingenious Ideas for Leftovers!

Don’t we all have leftover yarn that we struggle to find a use for? Today I want to share 8 ingenious ideas on how to use up your yarn stash – so you can stop being stressed out by all the leftovers!

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I don’t know what to do with all this leftover yarn, so I’ll just buy more…”

As crocheters, we’ve all been there. Leftover yarn can be a huge pain. It can be stressful. It’s easier to just buy more yarn rather than deal with what we have.

I get it.

But ugh! When is enough enough?

If we continue in this attitude forever, we will become more skilled at collecting yarn than we are at actually CROCHETING.

fingering weight hand dyed yarn

Now don’t hear me wrong. I don’t think collecting yarn is bad…as long as that’s not ALL we’re doing.

Maybe you’ve come to the realization that “enough is enough” like me. If you’re ready to get some ideas on how to use up your yarn stash, you’ve come to the right place.

So let’s jump right in!

How to Use Up Your Yarn Stash - 8 ingenious ideas!

1. Learn a new skill

Ok, this is always my GO-TO thing to do with yarn that I don’t know what to do with. It is GREAT for experimentation!

Maybe there’s a stitch you want to learn, but you don’t want to use nice yarn in case you mess up. Just use that yarn you don’t care about instead!

To get the ideas flowing, here are some of my suggestions:

Have Extra Crochet Thread?

Thread (typically used for doilies) is perfect for learning how to do bead crochet. Or, make yourself a pair of crocheted earrings!

Have leftover worsted weight yarn?

Worsted weight yarn is perfect for learning new stitches! I have over 40 crochet stitch patterns on my blog that you can learn how to make.

You can try things like new textured stitches, open lacy stitches, or advanced stitches if you’re farther along in your crochet journey.

advanced crochet stitches

2. Get ahead on crocheting for Christmas

Another great thing you can do with unused yarn is use it for Christmas gifts! Making things like ornaments, or small projects for gifting (like coasters or cowls) can be great to use up leftover yarn!

Here’s some of my favorites:

Ornament Stash-Busters

  1. Simple ball Ornaments
  2. Star Ornaments
  3. Snowman or Tree Ornament
  4. Angel or Bell Ornament
  5. Snowflake Ornament
  6. Scarf, Hat, and Mitten Ornament
  7. Red Truck Ornament
Crochet Ornament Patterns

Crochet Patterns for Gifting

  1. Quick Hanging Baskets
  2. Lacy Flower Coasters
  3. Easy Striped Washcloth
  4. Crochet Face Scrubbies
  5. Round Dishcloth
  6. Crochet Dice Bag

3. Find One-Skein Crochet Patterns

Another type of leftover yarn I’m sure we ALL have are random single skeins. Maybe you could only afford to buy one hank of that specialty yarn in your local yarn store, and you’ve never found the perfect project for it…

Or maybe you made a larger project and just had one skein leftover…

However you obtained them, they still need to be used!

Patterns that use a hank of Fingering Yarn:

  1. The Autumn Leaves Cowl
One skein crochet cowl pattern

2. Waves & Rainbows Infinity Scarf

One skein crochet infinity scarf

Looking for one skein hats, gloves, bags, shawls, and more? I also put together a HUGE LIST of one skein patterns that you can find right here!

Further Reading:

4. Make a Stash-Buster Blanket

Another AMAZING use of leftover yarn is to make a custom stitch sampler crochet blanket. This is a great way to learn new techniques, but also make a lovely piece for your home at the same time.

Here is an amazing pattern that is available for FREE on the Nana’s Crafting Home website!

Stitch Sampler Crochet Blanket - how to use up your yarn stash

5. To use up tiny balls, make small accessories

There’s the time you need one skein crochet patterns, and then there’s the time when you need patterns to use up those teeny tiny balls you have tucked away! (Please tell me it’s not just me! LOL😂)

My advice in this situation is to find some small, accessory type things to make. Here are some ideas:

  1. The Two Toned Scrunchie uses up tiny bits of leftover fingering weight yarn:

2. These little cross appliques can use up leftover bits of fingering, worsted, OR bulky weight yarn depending on the size you want!

cross applique crochet pattern

3. These face scrubbies use up tiny leftover bits of cotton yarn!

Scrubbie crochet pattern for girls

4. These Flower Coasters are great: since they use two colors, you need minimal yardage in each!

crochet flower coaster

7. Teach Someone to Crochet

If you have lots of extra yarn, why not teach someone you care about how to crochet? I find that it is such a pleasure to share my hobby with someone else.

So many times we focus on ourselves, but using a hobby to serve another can be a very rewarding experience.

Teaching Crochet to use up leftover yarn

If you aren’t able to teach someone, another option is to find a young crocheter without much yarn, who would be overjoyed to receive some for free.

I remember so clearly when my grandmas gave me their leftover yarn when I was first starting out – it absolutely made my day!

6. Organize Your Yarn to get your creative juices flowing

Another interesting thing you might try to help with busting through your stash is to ORGANIZE IT!

Yarn Stash Shelves - how to use up your yarn stash

I know, I know, this doesn’t directly result in using up leftover yarn. But I believe it can really help get your creative juices flowing.

You’ll be able to see exactly what yarn you have as you sort it. You can take inventory and decide on what you might not need anymore. Which leads to our last point…

8. Donate your leftover yarn

Ok, you probably have thought about this one before. Let’s be honest – sometimes our old, out-dated yarn is just not worth keeping. Crochet is in a new era – there are SO many new and fashionable ways to crochet, and some of that old yarn is just not designed for that.

So I give you permission – clean out your stash! Don’t be afraid to get rid of some of some of your yarn stash.

Donate it to your local thrift store, or as I said before, give it to someone just starting out.

Bonus Tip – What to do with Yarn Clippings

Before we end, there’s just one more thing we can’t ignore…how can you use up yarn clippings?

You know, when it’s no longer a ball, but just random scraps of yarn.😂

You have a few different options when it comes to these. But here’s what I do.

Throw Them Away

Sometimes you just gotta do it! Trust me, I know it can be hard because it feels wasteful. But if you truly have no use for them, it may be better to make the cut.

Save them for Stuffing

If I’m going to make anything that needs stuffing (like this amigurumi frog, for example) I save my yarn clippings in a plastic bag!

crochet frog

They’re not quite as plush as polyfill, but they work great in a pinch. And they are a cheap alternative to buying more stuffing.

So there you have it – 8 of my best tips, plus a bonus tip, for busting through your yarn stash.

I hope you have found a new idea – if you did, let me know in the comments!


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Happy Crocheting!

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  1. Thanks for the ideas. Another use for those yarn clippings; cut them into small pieces, pput them into one of those mesh bags that you get with vegetables or fruit and hang out for the birds for their nests

    1. Oh great idea! I’m actually thinking of doing a separate post dedicated just to clippings 😄

  2. Tiny balls of yarn are also great for making doll clothes, and clippings are what I use for stitch markers. And if you have a tiny piece of a bright color like pink or orange, keep your yarn needle on it- it makes it a lot harder to lose.😄

  3. Thanks so much for talking about donating. I run a craft club at school (I am on my lunch break) and couldn’t survive without donations of supplies. The students and I REALLY APPRECIATE donations!!

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