Eco-Friendly Crafting: Resources for Creative Re-Use & Upcycling

Today, we share a few of our favorite tutorials to help you re-use and repurpose what you have on hand. Also known as "upcycling," these creative ideas are a great way to give new life to everyday items. We hope this inspires you to try something new.

Take a look through your WIPs—you might have a few unworn sweaters destined for the thrift store. But what if you could unravel them to re-use the yarn for another project? Hint: A ball winder or nostepinne is very handy for winding the yarns you unravel into balls!

If you have a lot of old t-shirts that also found their way onto the donate pile, why not turn some of them into yarn? T-shirt yarn is great for making rugs, pillows, baskets, bags and more. Click here or watch the free tutorial below to get started!

Fabric scraps can also be used for knit and crochet projects, and Vickie Howell shows 3 ways to join fabric scraps into "yarn" in this episode of Ask Me Monday.

After you've joined your fabric scraps together, check out Vickie's free pattern for a crocheted fabric basket, found here.

Plastic bags have been banned in many cities and states, but if you have a lot of them on hand, keep them out of the landfill by turning them into plarn (a combination of plastic + yarn)! This tutorial shows 3 different ways to upcycle plastic bags into a hardy, waterproof option for knitting and crocheting.

Although newspapers aren't as prevalent as they used to be, this is a fun idea for anyone who has a stack of newsprint lying around that would otherwise just get recycled. This free tutorial shows the step-by-step process for hand spinning yarn from newsprint, or you can watch the video tutorial below (you will need to have a spindle or spinning wheel for this one!).


Thank you for everyone who shared their tips for using up leftover bits of yarn with us—we got a lot of great suggestions! Our lucky winners are:

1. "I tie my scraps into a mystery ball and crochet catnip mice for local shelters." - shared by Orangerussian

2. "I keep a stash of smaller bits for provisional cast-ons and to make stitch markers as needed. Longer pieces go to felting bags for walking the dog." - shared by caffeine72

3.  "I use scraps to tie off sections of a hank when I'm dying yarn with long color repeats." -shared by KittenWhiplash

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1 comment:

  1. Thank You for selecting my suggestion! This is so exciting, and I look forward to hearing from you.