20 Upcycled Yarn Art Projects

Sometimes you just need a little inspiration to help you upcycle your stash craft supplies.

Friends, has your yarn stash gotten out of hand? It’s okay if it has–you’re in a safe space here! Instead of feeling guilty about wasted art supplies, or pulling the trigger and tossing everything into the waste stream, check out this list of my favorite yarn art projects, all of which can be made using that surplus yarn, or even yarn upcycled from other sources.

Your next yarn art project is right here!

1. Yarn + Nails

how to make string art

This is usually presented as string art, and made using embroidery floss. However, if you upsize your piece, then yarn would be perfectly suited to this project!

2. Backdrop

Here’s a low-budget decoration that looks big-budget! The project is meant for large amounts of same-color yarn, but I think it would look just as interesting with a variety of colors. To make longer pieces of yarn, just tie two different pieces together and snip the excess off.

3. Beaded Placemat + Yarn

I doubt that you have the exact beaded placemat that is used in this project, so instead, let yourself be inspired to find something that you DO have around the house and use that instead!

4. Cardboard Circle Weaving

If you’ve got a group of kids to entertain, this is a terrific way to let them practice making art while using up all of your bits of yarn and bobs of beads.

5. Cardboard Loom Weaving

Here’s another kid-friendly weaving project on a cardboard loom. In this project, the completed weavings are then mounted onto a twig and can be hung.

6. Coiled Yarn Tree Art

Make yarn fruits bloom on a hand-drawn tree! The tutorial includes an alternative version to make using pipe cleaners, so that even young children can participate in the project.

7. Embroidery Art

A plastic canvas is the secret to being able to embroider with yarn. Plastic canvas isn’t an eco-friendly supply, but if you’ve already got one on hand, then this project is a lovely way to use it.

8. Hanging Wall Art

The supplies for this project couldn’t be simpler. As well as the yarn, all you need is a stick or similar found object to tie the yarn to.

9. Hoop Wall Hanging

I love that even the hoop used in this project is stash, but you can also DIY a hoop by cutting its shape out of thick cardboard. Cover it completely with yarn and nobody will be able to tell what it’s made of!

10. Ojo de Dios

I know that these seem to mainly be the provenance of the craft counselor at summer camp, but they’re truly artworks in their own right. Shake off that summer camp memory and try again now that you’re grown!

11. Rainbow Wrapped Rope Hanging

The idea of wrapping rope with yarn is so clever! My only proviso is that if you decide to make a rainbow, then omg you have to use rainbow colors. The inclusion of pink into the rainbow posted in this tutorial gives me anxious thoughts–I’m going to have to go sort my socks to calm down!

12. Scrap Yarn Pom Pom

Most pom pom tutorials require that yarn be wrapped a billion times around the pom pom form. This tutorial is unusual, in that it shows you how to make a pom pom that’s just as nice, using only short pieces of scrap yarn.

13. Watercolors And Yarn

Kids LOVE process-focused art activities, and here’s a great one to allow them to experiment with color and texture.

14. Yarn Bomb

This is probably the most public way to use up stash yarn! If you’re inspired to try yarn bombing, this post tells you exactly how to go about it.

15. Yarn Bowl

You’ll probably end up with a bowl that isn’t suited to hold anything small or heavy, but the look can be striking enough that even a mostly decorative bowl will be well-loved.

16. Yarn Feathers

I can think of so many awesome things to do with these DIY yarn feathers!

17. Yarn Monsters

This tutorial makes its monster on the front of a canvas bag, so that it’s decorative as well as useful, but you could make your hoard of monsters on anything that you can glue yarn to.

18. Yarn Painting

To make this activity more eco-friendly, use a thin layer of white glue instead of adhesive sheets. That does make the process more fiddly, so if I was doing this project with young children, I’d go ahead and splurge on the adhesive sheets.

19. Yarn-Wrapped Garland

You can make this garland using any simple cardboard template, although here the tutorial uses hearts, for a Valentine’s Day-themed garland.

20. Yarn-Wrapped Sticks

The tutorial shows these mounted and hung on a wall, but I think they’d also look lovely planted in a vase like a bouquet of flowers, or perhaps standing on the floor and leaning against the wall in an unused corner.

Do YOU have a favorite project that uses up stash yarn? Tell me about it in the comments below!

Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

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