Scrappy Stash Busting Project Ideas

By Zoe Lewis

After a few completed crochet or knitted projects, it’s almost certain you have some leftover yarn sitting around. Maybe your piece didn’t need every inch of fiber, maybe you slightly overbought, or maybe you keep every single little cut-off end in a jar.  These little pieces are not garbage, and you don’t have to use them to make prettier garbage either.  Get out your needles and get out your hooks! Here are 5 project ideas with free pattern suggestions that you can make with odds and ends that are actually useful (because who has ever used a mug cozy anyway?)

Hair scarf/ribbon or Bandana 

This project is great for beginners and pros alike since there is such a wide variety of patterns! A simple knitted piece like The Seed Stitch Hair Scarf can be worked up with less than 50 yards. For the crocheters, the Granny Triangle Bandana would be the perfect way to use up a variety of leftovers.  Using under 100 yards of yarn, you can mix and match scraps to create a cute hair accessory that will bring a pop of colour to any outfit!

Baskets and Bowls

This Sraptacular Basket crochet pattern can be made with as little as 110 yards of yarn and is written with scrap usage in mind.  You can also adapt the size to the amount of scraps you have to use! A small basket would be perfect for notions while you work or lip balms and hair elastics on a desk. A larger basket can become a home for larger skeins of yarn!

For the knitters with leftover natural fibers, why not try your hand at felting? This Large Shallow Felted Bowl can also be made with as little as 110 yards. I think it’s perfect for scraps as you can work different colours interchangeably and then bring it all together with felting at the end.  It might be a good idea to do a small test swatch before felting the entire thing.  Once you felt it cannot be undone, so tread carefully!

Face Scrubbies

Reusable cotton rounds (aka face scrubbies) are one of my favourite sustainable swaps I have made in my skincare routine! They are super soft on the face, you can control the amount of product on the round unlike pre-wetted products, and are less wasteful than single-use alternatives. You can make these even more sustainable by using up your cotton yarn scraps! This is a perfect way to use up a very small amount of yarn as this Face Scrubbies pattern can be crocheted in only 15-30 yards each. You can even make a scrap basket to hold your new scrappy scrubbies! 


I refuse to purchase a bookmark since there are so many things you can use for free! The paper receipt from the store isn’t the prettiest thing, so why not use a few yarn scraps to mark your spot? This crocheted C2C Corner Bookmark looks like a simple, practical bookmark you can easily work up in 25 yards of yarn or less. I also thin it would be great to put on some of your most prized possession reads as a corner protector on the shelf! 

For the knitters, this Bookmark Trio looks like a beginner-friendly and fun way to practice some new techniques! With only 20 yards, you can whip up some beautiful classic bookmarks for all your bookish friends and family. 


Appliques are a super fun way to add a little colour and personality into your makes! You can spruce up an old project, prepare for an upcoming one, or use it to elevate a thrifted piece. This crochet Simple Flower Applique can be made with close to nothing and would look so cute added to blankets, scarves, and cardigans. 

This Easy Knitted Leaf also barely uses any material and is packed with potential.  Think outside the box, like making a whole bunch of these in all different colours and layering them over a simple tote bag.  

I like to intersperse small projects like these in between bigger and more time consuming projects.  It helps to maintain my skills while giving my mind and hands some time to recover before jumping into the next big thing. I hope that these project ideas have inspired you to shift your perspective on all your scrap and excess yarn!  We can use “waste” to actually help minimize our waste! These are just a few suggestions to get you started but there are so many more out there.  Happy crafting!

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