Reader’s En-Gauge: How to Store Yarn Scraps


Welcome to another edition of Readers En-Gauge! If this is your first time participating, don’t worry; it’s simple.  All you have to do is answer the bold question below for your chance to win a prize!  We’ve received so many great responses over the last few months, including how to keep yarn tangle free and the best way to obtain neat edges, so if you haven’t checked out a Reader’s En-Gauge post before, don’t miss all the responses.

It’s so easy to enter for a chance to be today’s winner, all you need to do is answer this question in the Comments Section below this post:

How do you store yarn scraps?  Give us your best tips!

We can’t wait to hear your tips! Who knows, your great idea may be featured right here on this blog or one of our websites. We love to hear from YOU!

  • Contest open to US and Canada residents 18+
  • One comment/entry per person.
  • Contest closes February 25, 2013 at 11:59p CST.
  • Please answer the question below in order to be entered.
  • Winner will be posted on this blog.

Edit: special thanks to our lucky winner, Jean!  Jean, please contact us and send us your address so that we can send you your prize. :)

83. Jean  |  February 25th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

I put them in clear plastic bags from the newspapers and use for chemo caps and a new project of making 9 x 9 square of what ever color or colors to make quilt square for a group that puts the square together and gives to cancer, etc. patients. So almost never have alot of bags of thread anymore!

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  1. joanna waddoups says

    Depends the length but i either wrap an index card then slip in a sheet protector in a binder.. if its too small i throw it to the birds for their nests and if its bigger i keep it balled up

  2. Diana says

    I roll them into tiny balls, and store the balls in a zipper freezer bag. If they’re too small to roll, but “fancy” yarn, I store them in a separate bag to use on crazy quilts.

  3. Lisa says

    I need to make more items so I’ll have more scraps! I think those “patchy” scarves are really cute — that’s what I’d do with scraps if I had enough!

  4. Sharon K says

    I wind them around a practice golf ball, it’s a golf ball sized wiffle ball. Sometimes I have as many as 10 different yarns on 1. When I have several balls I’ll start a scrap yarn project.

  5. Mary Pittman says

    I have a 10 year old grand daughter who I am teaching to knit. She has mastered loom knitting and is now practicing with straight needles. When I have leftover yarn scraps from one of my projects, I wind it into a smaller ball and give them to her to practice with.

  6. says

    I wrap my larger scraps into balls and sort into fiber type. If it is a smaller strand, I tie it onto a “crazy ball”. It has all different colors weights, and fiber types. Someday I hope to make a scarf out of my “crazy ball.”

  7. Kimberly Canale says

    I make Warm Up America squares out of them. Roll the scraps into balls and keep them in a ziplock bag so they are easily visible. Michael’s stores accepts the 7×9 squares in any color, pattern, knit or crochet. It’s a great way to share the love and use up your yarn! All Michael’s stores accept the squares and the blankets stay in that community. Most stores also accept yarn donations if you want to “lighten your load”!!!!

  8. Deb Kauffman says

    I roll them and store them in baskets. I love to look at the colors and textures and remember projects completed! So far the amount is manageable but I sure am looking forward to the day when my scraps are overtaking my space! What good thoughts and memories that sight will bring!

  9. joan foltz says

    The smslliest i join to gether in a ball then when i get a big ball a make something like a shawl it looks great with all the colors and deferent. yarn

  10. Always Wright says

    I always wrap my extra pieces of yarn around one of many index cards I have. Then I keep them in a large plastic bin with a lid on top.

  11. Cristi Rose says

    I wrap them around my fingers then slip off into an old Roche candy box. Tiny little skeins fit perfect in the indents in the package and the best part is emptying the candy, yum!

  12. Susan Benesch says

    I roll theminto small balls and store them in zipper sandwich bags in my stash.. If they are too small, I give them to the birds to use or if a natural fiber, I add them to our compost bin for the earth worms. Also use them for ties in the garden. When my son was younger, I gave them to him for creative play/art projects. Use them for trim

  13. Susan Benesch says

    I roll them into small balls and store them in zipper sandwich bags in my stash.. If they are too small, I give them to the birds to use or if a natural fiber, I add them to our compost bin for the earth worms. Also use them for ties in the garden. When my son was younger, I gave them to him for creative play/art projects. Use them for trim

  14. Jessica Nelson says

    I roll them into balls if they are large enough in keep them in an Ikea 10 in x 10 in clear bin so I can look at the all. When the bin gets full, I will make a scrap throw. I also use them if they are the same weight for striped projects or if I get the urge to do a “snack” project like a washcloth, small stuff animals, etc. I call them “snack” projects because they are small, portable, quick, and satisfying.

  15. Carmen says

    I roll mine up into balls and store them in shoe boxes. I’m at the point where I think I should group them by colors (or at least light/dark).

  16. says

    I store my balls of yarn in plain sight in plastic pretzel jugs, strawberry containers, gingersnap cookie boxes. Since I do a lot of shopping at Costco, I have a lot of these hanging around and now they sit in seats of honor in my entertainment unit in my livingroom and people now think I’m so clever! Nope, just thrifty (cheap)!

  17. Nikki P says

    I had so many small balls of scraps that I decided to make what I call my “Ugly Snuggly.” It ended up being a cozy sized lap blanket of all the bits and pieces together in a weird array. NOW I thoroughly enjoy it because it reminds me of various projects and the loved ones I made them for.

  18. Lee Viliesis says

    I keep extra yarn in small balls and store them in mason jars by color. They look beautiful as decoration in my craft room and then when I’m ready to do a scrap project I can visualize the combinations that are available.

  19. Terri says

    I don’t store mine well. I’ll try some of the above because they either fall off the shelf of the cats get them out of a container I have if the lids not on right….then I store them all over the living room floor….unwound.

  20. cathy says

    I have a huge wicker basket, I wrap the yarn up in a ball and store them there. Lots of times I will go to the basket and crochet for charity to help reduce my stash.

  21. Cindy Floyd says

    I just store them in plastic sacks and the make patchwork afghans or stuff animals with them. They don’t stay long

  22. tammy jo wilke says

    I roll mine into balls and put all of them into a large re-useable bag..(easier for me being confined to a wheelchair). when I am between projects, I match up the balls and make small projects hot pads, dishcloths, scarves, hats, mitts, lapaghans, slippers.. always on the look out for cute projects and small balls of yarn come in very handy.

  23. Linda Myers says

    I wind my scraps into balls and store them in clear plastic tubs for easy viewing. I plan to start making scrap s scarves since they’re so popular these days!

  24. Melissa says

    I roll them up and put them in a clear plastic ‘scrap drawer’. When I have enough I use them for scrap projects.

  25. says

    I wind it into a ball and keep it in the bins for when doing scrap blankets or small items. If too short to keep like that I keep them in a plastic baggie depending on color type for when I need a little for eyes or buttons etc.

  26. Pam M says

    Roll them on my thumb with the tail coming out of the center. Store them in a big basket so it’s easy to see hiw colors go together for smaller items, hearts, flowers, scrap blanket in favorite stitches!

  27. Beth Meneely says

    I put them all in a basket that I keep on the bottom of my coffee table so that I can use the scraps easily for various projects such as markers, putting together fingerless gloves or adding to another skein of similar yarn in a project.

  28. Maxine says

    I keep them in little balls. (They are usually that way when I’m done with the project.) I match varieties of yarn by coordinating colors. Then I make short row scarves with them. Textured yarns can be added into the mix to make the scarf more interesting.

  29. Debbie Ziebart says

    I wrap them up in little balls, and store them in a pretty basket, so when I need yarn for a small project, they are easy to find.

  30. Helen Rittenhouse says

    I have several baskets full of leftovers that I use on other projects if I can or save for some future use ( I need to make a few “scrap afghans” soon :)

  31. tracy mahon says

    I buy cute purses at yard sales and I use one for the project that I am working on and all the small balls of extra yarn go in the rest and hung up on the wall!!!

  32. Stephanie Hamblin says

    All about the birds. I love seeing my favorite scrap colors in the nests/trees outside my kitchen window!

  33. Debra Webber says

    Like most every one I roll mine into balls and store them in a large lidded plastic container. I keep small scraps in a drawer with mesh bags (the kind that hold fruit, onions etc…). At the first sign of spring we fill the mesh bags and hang them from trees for the birds to use as nesting material. Fun to walk through the woods and see which scraps they have used for nesting.

  34. Laura K. says

    I wrap mine in balls and put them in plastic bags according to color so I can find them easier when I need a small amount for a project.

  35. Beth Lee says

    I use plastic pop bottles…if I have quite a bit of one – or if its a new skein I’m working witih, I use a 2 liter, if not any size will work. Clean and dry it completely, cut off the bottom, and place the yarn inside, pulling the end thru the neck of the bottle. Keeps them clean and you see what colors are in each bottle. This woks very well with new skeins, keeps them clean while working with them…and the cats can’t get to them!!! AND, the best thing is, they are free!!!

  36. Sherry says

    I store my yarn scraps by color, in clear plastic covered bins. Easy to see when I pull out to use in my locker hooking projects.

  37. Lori Buswold says

    Like many, I store the larger scraps in a rolling plastic storage drawer unit. The smaller balls get put into a wicker basket that sits on my window sill by my chair. If the scrap balls start to pile up I take them down to my daughter’s Kindergarten class. The kinder teacher has an art station where the kids get to do their own thing with all sorts of mediums and crafty things to work with.

  38. Marjorie Jones says

    I have one drawer of my yarn dresser just for my small balls of scrap yarn. I use them in making amigurumi or loom knitting.

  39. Goldie Pelton says

    Depends on the size of scraps. Some I tie together and start a ball, when the ball gets big enough I make a scrap granny or something else with it. Larger balls I save in Ice-cream tubs. They are easy stack and easy to see in. It keeps the yarn clean and we always have ice-cream tubs around. They also make good holders for crocheting. Drill several small holes in the lid, feed your strand of yarn through the lid. Put lid on container and crochet. Keeps clean and tangle free and easy to tote around for to go projects.

  40. says

    I make them into balls, then store in storage bins by type – mostly baby or “other”. I save even the small balls as one never knows when you’ll need a small amount for a flower or other embellishment.

  41. nancy dean says

    i store mine rolled in balls and place them in freezer bags by colors, then store them in bins in the closet. works good for me.

  42. Sharon Arends says

    i wind them in a ball and put them in a yarn bag. When i need something i love to sit and pull out all the different colors and textures that i have saved up and remember about the different projects done!

  43. Tina K. says

    I have a drawer in the dining room hutch which is the designated ‘yarn scrap’ drawer. I wind them and line them up in the drawer. Easy to see and color coordinated so I can grab the perfect color when I need a small amount for something. If there is very little of one yarn left, they go in clear bead or floss organizers and then into the drawer.

  44. HBACingmama says

    If I have a large scrap, I roll it into a little ball and line them up in a shallow drawer. For smaller scraps…only a few yards, I have two ongoing throws that I add scraps to. One for worsted weight and one for bulky weight.

  45. Karen White says

    I roll my small scraps of yarn into small balls, then keep them in a large canvas tote ball because if I don’t my kitty unwinds them around everything in my craft room!

  46. Nancy Bubenik says

    If long enough I like to make center pull balls with my yarn winder, then store in a big tub. To help keep them from unwinding, I like to put a pipe cleaner through the middle and twist ends together around the ball.

  47. Sharon Addington says

    I have a big netted shopping bag that I keep my scraps in. I roll them into balls. If they are small balls, I give them to my cat. It keeps him out of my other yarn…

  48. Sandy Kay says

    Wrap them into balls, put them in a basket, when the basket looks full enough, make squares to take to Michaels for blankets.

  49. Rebecca Harris says

    I wind all my yarn into balls before I start a project and when I’m left with any amount of yarn I keep the balls in a large wicker basket. I work with the children at my church and I frequently use the leftover yarn in our crafts. My scraps will also show up as gift wrap accents or small flower pins or appliques for coworkers.

  50. Monte Oiler says

    I roll the bigger amounts into balls and put them in a small storage container. If it’s short amounts of thread I tie them together so I can knit crazy scarves.

  51. Missy lane says

    I take a plastic water bottle , that’s cleaned and emptied , cut the bottom out of the bottle ,stick small ball of yarn in it. Then thread the beginning of yarn thru the top of bottle . I then tape the the bottom back to the bottle. And start using the yarn thru the top the ball of yarn stays tangle free. :)

  52. says

    If I have enough, I crochet a square (type of granny square I learned yrs ago). When I have enough squares I will sew them into an afghan for one of my kids. If there is not enough, I wind it into a small ball & store in ziplock bags.

  53. Linda Campbell says

    I store mine, in balls, in reusable totes, sorted by weight. Then I use them to make baby sweaters to donate or granny square afghans to give away.

  54. LESLIE says


  55. Christine says

    I store all end clippings in a ziplock baggie in my yarn tote until its nearly full. Then I put them in a suet bird feeder I hang on the tree outside. The birds use the yarn as part of their nesting material. This is not only approved by the National Audubon Society, it’s so neat driving around your neighborhood & seeing bits of your bright yarn sticking out of the nests :-)

  56. judy Grivas says

    I have a huge heavy guage plastic container that used to hold dog biscuits… I washed it out and now it holds all my balls of leftovers and I can see what I have at a glance.

  57. Mary Murray says

    I roll them into small balls and put in a bag. I’m saving up for a scrap afghan that I’ve been dying to make, but need lots of scraps.

  58. DPadgett says

    I roll my scraps in a ball.. someday I will make a blanket or something out of them! I have given them to an elementary school classroom to use for their art projects too!

  59. Lisa says

    I wrap in a ball and attach with a safety pen the original wrapper so I know what it is. Then it goes in my scrap bin to be used later.

  60. susan lee says

    I wrap my larger scraps of yarn around a wooden clothes line clip. It keeps the yarn meet and they don’t unravel in the basket. The ones that are to small I put put outside for the birds to build their nest.

  61. Jean says

    I put them in clear plastic bags from the newspapers and use for chemo caps and a new project of making 9 x 9 square of what ever color or colors to make quilt square for a group that puts the square together and gives to cancer, etc. patients. So almost never have alot of bags of thread anymore!

  62. Lesa says

    This dont have anything to do with the question,but when making purse handels that are crocheted,after they are done run a piece of ribbon through them and tie at the end of each one,keeps them from stretching.

  63. Kitten With A Whiplash says

    I keep a few scrappy projects going, so as soon as I have the scraps, I use them. I can’t stand a lot of clutter, so I’d probably just throw them away if I didn’t use them right away.

  64. Miriam Bates says

    I wind my scraps in balls and store them together in a ziploc bag. The more scraps I have, the bigger the bag! I also use clear, zippered storage bags from bedding to store my stash. Perfect size, easy to handle and easy to see what I have, and keeps everything clean and fresh.

  65. Kathy Way says

    I roll the leftover yarn in to yarn balls and store them in a basket in our family room. When my grandson comes to visit we play “yarn ball” games with them. He has named one of the games “smack ball”. It’s like baseball but we don’t run any bases. Sometimes we have “yarn ball” fights.
    Never a dull moment around here. :)

  66. Mary Roberts says

    Roll into balls and store in zip lock bags til needed. Very small amounts are cut into 4-6″ lengths and left for the birds for their nests.

  67. says

    I like to hold the end between my 2 fingers then start winding. When I get to the end, I pull the yarn out from the middle and can use it like a brand new skein. Keeps it from knotting up.

  68. says

    I usually only have little scraps so I save them for the birds. I am going to find a small wire mesh basket and put all the scraps in there and then just hang it outside for the birds to use in their nests.

  69. Bonnie Lincicome says

    I’ve been twisting them up tight for the suet cage. My husband loves feeding the wild birds and this Spring we’ll have nesting material for them.

  70. Nicole Much says

    I store mine in a bin labled scrap yarn. I started making a scrap granny square blanket. I need more scraps though. :)

  71. Elaine Crossman says

    I take the scraps of yarn and crochet with different needles, a stitch that I regulary use or a new one. This comes in handy when I am teaching my friends a new chainstitch. I then have a visual to show as well as teach how to do it. It helps to show the different sizes that the stitch will make. I then add it to a photo page in a scrapbook.

  72. Mary Mac says

    I store like colors in plastic bags then store the bags in my plastic bins. Yarn scraps to small to save I leave out in my yard during spring and summer for birds to use as nest material.

  73. Betty Plemmons says

    I roll mine unto empty paper towel cones and label each one with the color and number. I then store them in big plastic containers.

  74. Jessica E says

    I roll them into balls and sort them into clear ziploc bags by color. I use them to make baby booties, baby hats, etc.

  75. Florence says

    I started teaching knitting and crocheting three years ago to the boys and girls I work with the scrap yarn I had laying around the house using my own needles and crochet hooks. Now I roll the scraps into balls in case anyone needs yarn to use for their projects.

  76. Diana Salmon says

    I save the true scraps in a baggie and when I make something that needs to be stuffed like a snowman, I use these scraps first. The birds here didn’t go for the scraps so this is my alternative.

  77. Evelyn says

    If they are real small I save them and then when my granddaughters come over we will make cards and use them up. If they are bigger I try to ball them up and keep them in a fabric over the door shoe holder with see through plastic. I then roll up the shoe rack and put it away until I need it.

  78. Marti Albers says

    I keep all my scrap yarn in and big tin that use to hold popcorn of 3 different flavors. however it is starting to get hard to keep the lid on so I may have to come up with somethig else.

  79. Dorothy Rose says

    I bought an footstool that has a lid and you can store whatever you want in it—it got so full,
    I went out and got another one

  80. Cheryl McGown says

    I roll them into balls, put them in large zipper bags and save them for granny squares when I want to work on squares to save until I have enough to make a blanket!!

  81. Terri L says

    I join them into a magic ball and store them in clear glass vases. When the vases are full, I know there is enough for 1 large or a few small projects -then, knit, crochet roll magic balls and repeat!!!

  82. Shirley Valvo says

    I wind my scraps into center pull balls and store them in various bags and baskets. There’s no real organization to it. I really love the adventure of searching through it all looking for inspiration.

  83. says

    For longer scraps, I keep each one in its own ziplock bag with full skeins of the same yarn. I end up having something I am using that color of yarn on and just integrate the scrap along the way! :) For the little scraps that come from cutting ends, my dog has the propensity to steal them when I am not looking and eat them so we have a very colorful yard full of yarn scarps! :)

  84. Claudia Burleson says

    When I have a small amount of yarn left, I wind it into small center pull balls. To keep the balls from unwinding or getting tangled, I put like color balls into small zip-lock plastic bags. Small scraps either go to the birds for nestingm, or to my granddaughter for art projects.

  85. Becky S says

    I buy pretzels in large plastic barrels from Sam’s Club. Once the barrel is empty I wash and dry it well and then use the barrel for my scraps, leftovers, and odd skeins of yarn that I pick up from the clearance rack. The barrels are clear plastic so I am able to see what is in each container. Surprisingly at times, these random items present themselves as a lovely combination that have become tiny hats, scarves, and lap afghans.

  86. Virginia Bronner says

    Just saw this posting this morning, hope it’s not too late to enter. I store yarn scraps on pieces of cardboard and store them in clear canisters on a shelf. So not only are they stored and easily accessed, they are also decorative. Thank you for this opportunity.

  87. Joyce says

    Large clear plastic ornaments, the type for crafts, bought in bulk. Roll the yarn up stuff inside and instantly see whats there at a glance. The lil balls are then placed in a clear under bed storage container for easy viewing.

  88. Louine Adams says

    I use my husband’s old white socks, make a little hole in the toe for the yarn to come through and put the skein of yarn in for whatever project I’m working on in and no matter how it gets tossed around, the skein stays tangle free till the end. For small scraps, I put balls in Ziploc’s with matching colors and then use a silver bowl in my yarn bag to keep them spinning smoothly while I crochet.

  89. Denise Jorgensen says

    I wrap leftover yarn around two fingers, but use the last 12″ to wrap the middle (like a bow). Then it gets tossed into a see-through tub. I’ve done this with all projects, but I’ve never needed to locate the yarn…yet. It’s sort of “yarn insurance”.

  90. Ellen Gaynor says

    I roll mine in balls. If I have more of the same yarn, I store them together. The leftovers go in a ziploc bag. Great for duplicate stitch, embroidered eyes and noses, etc.

  91. Darlene Krystal says

    I store my yarn scraps into small ziploc bags…when I have enough scraps of similar weight they go into a pair of multi – colored socks….learning the basics of fine, medium, and chunky socks is a little easier this way for this beginner…

  92. Linda S. says

    I put all scraps of a similar weight and fiber content into an empty kitty litter bucket. When the bucket is about half full, I wind the scraps into a Magic Ball and make something out of them – baby afghan, magic square potholder, pillow covers, etc. It feels like I’m getting something for nothing!

    Scraps of fancy yarn go to one of my coworkers who does scrapbooking, or into a weaving project as accents.

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