I recently made a discovery that felt like a revelation but isn’t really: the best way to use craft leftovers is for charity projects.
I’m first and foremost a yarn crafter, and I have a lot of yarn from my days of writing knitting books, writing about knitting (which I still do!) and stuff that I have bought through the years.
I also have a lot of yarn left over from projects. And it wasn’t always stuff I knew what to do with.
Evaluate Your Craft Leftovers
The first step in this process is to consider what kinds of leftovers you have and how they might best be used.
Of course if you don’t like those supplies and don’t intend to use them, you can donate them somewhere else and go on with your day.
But if they are things you kind of want to use but you aren’t sure how, see if you can come up with a charity project that allows you to put those items to good use.
My Leftover Project: Loop Scarves
The example that got me thinking of this was how I was able to use craft leftovers to make loop scarves on my Sentro circular knitting machine.
I originally made one for the pattern post, and then I started making some others with random leftover yarn from other projects or that had been sent to me but I didn’t really have a plan for.
I ended up donating 12 scarves (and a blanket I’d been working on for a while) to a local warming shelter, which is so much better than having that yarn in a giant bag sitting in my office, which is where it had been.
Project Ideas to Use Craft Leftovers
If you don’t have a circular knitting machine but you are a knitter or crocheter, you can do this same thing with basic knit or crocheted scarves or hats (I actually donated a knit scarf as well because I had some yarn that was too thick for the machine).
Maybe your craft involves fabric, so you could use craft leftovers to make scrap quilts to donate somewhere. You could make candles to donate, or cards for veterans or kids in children’s hospitals. There are so many different options for just about any craft to be put to charitable use.
These sorts of projects are great to have in the margins of your crafty life, because they give you an easy way to use your skills to do good, and to clear out excess supplies from your space.
If you need ideas for what to give and wear, think locally first. You probably know what the need is in your local area, and if you don’t you know someone who does. It’s winter where I live as I write this, so scarves were something quick, easy, that uses a fair bit of yarn and could be used right away.
There’s pretty much always someone that can use blankets, or preemie hats, or gifts to cheer refugees settling in your area.
If you need more ideas, drop your craft and where you live in the comments and we can brainstorm together.
If you already use craft leftovers for charity projects, I’d love to hear what you’re making and for whom.