If you crochet or knit, chances are you’ve accumulated a large stash of leftover yarn comprised of partially used skeins in a variety of colors, many too small to make up most projects. What to do with them all?
Instead of gathering dust in a craft cupboard, here’s a list of free patterns to whip up that features a variety of lovely designs, most quite practical and useful while some are more decorative or just for fun.
Because they use up leftovers, they’re essentially free and many items do well stocking craft tables or given as gifts.
These are great time-fillers and are just the ticket when looking for small projects to pick up while watching a favorite tv show without tying yourself down to big projects.
So far there are over 100 ideas listed, I’ve separated them into groups for easier browsing:
- General Assortment
- Kitchen Items
- Health & Beauty
- Pouches, Cases, Purses, Bags
- Baskets & Bins
- Jars, Bottles, Cans, Containers
As you can see from the list above, the vast majority are for crochet but there’s still a good assortment of knitting inspiration.
I’ll be adding more goodies to this collection as I find them so you may want to bookmark this page for future reference. Have fun!
New Collection Update: August, 2022
Yarn Stash Busters: Free Patterns & Ideas
As always here on Tipnut, the only patterns included are those that are provided 100% hassle-free! That means no fees & no emails to submit or memberships to signup for. If that has changed since being added to this collection, please let me know in the comments section below so I can remove it.
If your skills are at the beginner level, small items like these are great for practicing new stitches or techniques (and reading patterns too).
Directions: Click on images to view project pages, a new browser tab will open & save your spot here
This first batch is a general assortment of goodies that will nicely utilize even the smallest strands of leftover yarn. Also check out these larger, specific collection pages that will use up scraps nicely:
Have a drafty house or a little one that is fond of slamming doors? Here’s one solution: make an easy-to-remove door bumper to soften the blows.
One size fits most but is easily customized for both length & width (as desired).
Now this is clever! Keep a quarter close at hand at all times for shopping carts. These are crocheted with a top loop that will securely hold the ring that’s attached to your keychain.
Toilet Paper Bin
A cute cover/holder for stashing a couple of toilet paper rolls. Features a pretty scalloped edging & she offers designs for matching square baskets (large & small) that will nicely hold other toiletries in the bathroom.
Garnet Bead Keychains
Made with a 3.5mm crochet hook, light worsted weight cotton yarn (25 yards) & a keychain clip. Finishes at about 5.5″ long (folded).
Garden Curtain Ties
Strands of pretty blossoms in an array of colors to tie back your kitchen or bedroom curtains–so lovely! Instructions provided via free pdf download.
Also checkout these individual collections that are nice to keep on hand:
Daisy Towel Toppers
The ring for the towel to slip through is elastic (a ponytail holder) & the center of the flower is a button so it’s easy to remove from the handle it’s hanging on.
These worsted weight chair leg socks are ideal for protecting floors from being scratched & scuffed. Easy to whip up!
Protect hands from piping hot bowls right out of the microwave with these clever covers.
Granny Mug Cozy
Three little grannies are stitched together to fit a mug then two loops added on end & buttons on the other to secure in place.
A terrific stashbuster that you will use again plus they make terrific handmade gifts. Find more freebies here (for both knitting & crochet): A Treasure Trove Of Handmade Dishcloths.
Health & Beauty Items
Hand Sanitizer Cozy
Designed to fit 2fl oz bottles & worked in continuous rounds. The “handle” is secured by a button so this can be attached to purse/backpack straps, etc. Free pattern download (pdf).
Soap Bar Covers
These little “coats” are really easy to make & the stripes can run vertically or horizontally as you prefer. This design has a looser weave so it will suds up nicely (on the outside) yet still offers enough texture to work as a defoliator…also features a little loop for hanging.
Ruffles Face Scrubbies
I have a few textured rounds for skincare in the gallery below but this set is a little different, it has ruffled loops on the surface & a band across the back to slide fingers through. Nice project!
Pouches, Cases, Purses, Bags
Toddler Toy Bag
Could this be any cuter? A little sack the kiddos can stuff with all their treasures & tote around. Features a chunky drawstring that’s easy for little fingers to open & close. Free pdf to download.
A simple, easy project that can be customized in a variety of ways (as shown in the photo). Ideal for gift giving.
[ imagine lots of heart emojis here ] Adorable! A zipped & fabric lined case to safely stash away your sunglasses (or reading glasses). Includes tutorial for adding a zipper & the lining so no worries if you’re not an expert seamstress.
Baskets & Bins
Jars, Bottles, Cans, Containers
Also see 90+ Coffee Cup Cozies & Sleeves
How cute! This little “hoody” will carry iPods, small phones & other tech gadgets. The bottom of the jacket is stitched shut to make the pocket & the arms are attached to the side of the body so they don’t flop around. Notice the hood is open for earbuds to plug in.
These can be used as little gift bags, sachets, soap savers & trinket keepers. Sizing is easily adjusted (bigger/larger).
Made with superwash merino, this little rib necked sack has endless uses but certainly perfect for toting earbuds. Pattern via free pdf download.
So stinkin’ cute! Little sweaters to cover the tops of keys, color-coded so you can see at a glance which key to use. Worked on DPNs.
I have a large collection for crocheted flowers but not knit so this is a nice keeper to have on hand.
Little “sweater” cases made with scraps of sock yarn to hold purse-size tissue packets.
Three rounds (small, medium, large) are stuffed with fiberfill (or scrap fibers), flattened, stacked then sewn together (down the middle) with a button for the center. An long-time favorite here on Tipnut.
Worked in the round on double pointed needles with a picot edging, made with cotton and acrylic yarn.
A cute little treat to make for your knitting bff, can be made into a brooch, fridge magnet or keychain holder, something along those lines.
Bonus: Larger Projects
Don’t forget that you can gather up all those scraps of yarn and combine them to make one larger item–even if the original pattern sample shows otherwise.
Some go-to ideas:
You can use a mish-mash of hues for a random color explosion, or pick out all the scraps in a single color (such as a range of blues or reds) to make a more polished, “ombre” style product.
Whichever direction you choose to go (large or small, random color burst or more intentional palettes), using up leftovers from your stash can produce gift-worthy items for family and friends and be quite useful around the home…all while building your knitting and crochet skills.
Random Quick Tips
- Keep a bag of leftovers on hand for teaching new knitters/crocheters or for yourself to practice new techniques & stitches.
- If you’ve inherited a bunch of acrylics/wool or your collection has grown overwhelmingly large, consider contacting local churches or assisted care homes for the elderly–many have groups that gather weekly or monthly to make prayer shawls, baby blankets, mitts and scarves for those who need them. They will happily take all the skeins and balls you’re willing to donate 🙂
- Pretty Edgings can be made for hems on jeans, shirts, cuffs, etc., and only need a teeny bit to whip up.
- Fiber wrapping clothes hangers will help make them non-slip.
- Looking for organizing inspo? Visit Organize Your Stash, Yarny Distractions and DIY Storage for great ideas!
- This DIY Yarn Holder is pretty nifty.
- I thought this tip for pattern reading was very clever.