Scrap Yarn Crochet Basket – Scrapbusting Idea!

This crochet basket made from scrap yarn is the perfect craft project to use up all those leftover yarn ends that just seem to multiply.

Scrap yarn crochet basket pattern

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After making several Scrappy Crochet Blankets a little while ago I’d almost depleted all my yarn scraps. All I had left was a random pile of yarn that was totally unsuitable for blanket making.

Left with some fairly ugly yarn that was too scratchy, too thin or too thick for making blankets, the options were either, throw the yarn away or make something useful.

Scrap yarn crochet bag

What do I mean by ‘Ugly Yarn’?

I’m not a yarn snob, but sometimes I seem to find myself with yarn that is just truly awful.

Maybe it was passed on from a friend’s cousin, or found in a thrifted bag of craft supplies. In the end, someone didn’t want it, and now it’s taking up room in my craft stash.

I’m talking yarn that is so acrylic that it feels like plastic, wool that is too scratchy to wear against the skin, variegated yarn that looks like vomit when its knitted, or yarns that just aren’t enjoyable to knit or crochet with due to their texture.

Go look in your stash, I bet you have a few balls of yarn that you really hate.

If you’ve acquired a pile of not very nice yarn and don’t know what to do with it, making a Scrap Yarn Crochet Basket could be just the yarn project you’re looking for!

scrap yarn balls

Why making a Scrap Yarn Crochet Basket is the perfect Scrapbusting project

1. Any yarn weight is suitable

Because its crocheted using several yarns held together, you can really use nearly any thickness of yarn to achieve the desired yarn weight. Hold 2-3 strands together for thick yarn or 5-6 strands for thin yarn (or any combination of the two). I’ve used yarn as thin as 4ply (fingering), right through to Super Bulky.

2. Colours don’t matter

It doesn’t matter what colours you use because mixing up the yarns makes a pleasant speckled effect which disguises even the ugliest of colours. Variegated yarns seem to work especially well.

crochet basket filled with balls of yarn

3. It’s ok to mix fibers

Don’t worry about mixing fibers, it’s unlikely you’ll need to launder this project, so combining cotton, acrylic and wool is fine.

4. You won’t spend a cent

Using up yarns from your stash is free, so it’s the perfect money saving craft project to keep you busy right now.

5. Uses up a lot of yarn

This crochet basket is a real yarn eater! In short, making a scrap yarn crochet basket is the perfect way to use up leftover yarn from random projects and get rid of all that ugly yarn taking up precious space.

Scrap yarn crochet bag

So many uses!

I’ve already found so many practical uses for this crochet basket.

It makes a perfect craft project bag. Nice and big to hold lots of supplies and whatever I’m working on. The handles make it easy to move everything from room to room.

One can never have too may storage baskets and the large size of this crochet basket makes it perfect for storing toys, blankets, yarn, and clothing. When not in use it packs away nice and flat.

I really like how it looks with a plant in it. This handmade basket is a great way to hide ugly plastic pots, and the colour and texture certainly cheer up a room. Don’t forget to add a plastic tray to protect your crochet planter basket from getting wet.

Crochet planter basket

You may enjoy these crochet basket patterns:

How to make a Large Crochet Basket from Scrap Yarn

scrap yarn crochet basket pattern

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Rather than a crochet basket pattern, I’ve written more of a ‘How to make a Crochet Basket’ recipe. No matter what kind of yarn you use, my crochet basket instructions will help you make a super practical scrap yarn basket every time.

I’ve included a finished size and hook recommendation, but once you know how, you can make your own basket in any size you like.

You’ll need to know some crochet basics to make this basket, but it’s fairly beginner friendly and stress free to make.

I used a 9mm hook and held about 4-5 stands of DK (8ply) yarn together to make a really firm fabric with Single crochet (US) stitch, (Dc UK).

single crochet stitch

The finished gauge is around 9.5st and 10 rows per 4″ sq (10x10cm). You can make a little sample swatch before you start, but gauge is not super crucial. The important thing is to get a really tight robust crochet fabric, so adjust your hook size up or down as needed so the stitches are quite tight.

A firm fabric will help the basket stand on its own.

If you have lots of little yarn ends, make several balls of yarn just by knotting the ends together similar to a magic yarn ball, but the joins don’t have to be invisible.

The knots will be out of sight, inside the basket, so don’t waste your time joining ends too perfectly.

inside crochet basket, yarn knots

Finished size: 30cm (12″) tall, 35cm (13.5″) wide

You will need:

Stitches used & Abbreviations – US terminology used

Magic loop
ch chain stitch
sc Single crochet (US) = double crochet (UK)
ss Slip Stitch
st(s) Stitch(s)

crochet basket instructions

Pattern Notes:
This pattern is worked in the round (spiral). See instructions for how to make a Single Crochet stitch.

Several yarns are held together to create a super bulky weight yarn. Any knots should be positioned towards the inside of the basket.

How to:

Crochet the basket base

1. Crochet the base of the basket using a basic circle pattern. The exact pattern will vary depending on the thickness of your yarn but use the following as a guide:

R1 – Make a Magic loop and sc 6 stitches into it
R2 – 2 sc into every st
R3 – (sc in next st, 2 sc in next st) around
R4 – (sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st) around

As a general rule, with every round, you work one more regular stitch between your increase stitches.

crochet basket base

Keep checking that your circle is laying flat.

If your circle shows signs of ruffling, pull back a couple of rounds and skip the increases for one round. Because you’re skipping a set of increases, you’ll have fewer stitches and hopefully a flatter edge.

Continue crocheting your base until the diameter reaches 35cm (13.5″) or your desired size. Around 17 rounds.

Final stitch count is irrelevant.

To make the basket sides

2. Once you are happy with the size of the base, continue to crochet sc in a spiral but with no increases. The sides will start to curl up and build the walls of the basket.

crochet basket instructions

3. Continue to crochet until the walls reach about 25cm tall (10″), or about 25 rows.

To make the handles

4. Lay the project flat aligning the top edges. Mark the center stitch on both the front and back, measuring in from the sides, with a stitch marker.

crochet basket instructions

5. To make a handle count 5 stitches out from each center stitch and place a stitch marker.

how to crochet a basket handle

6. Single crochet up to and into the stitch with the 1st marker, chain 9, and then sc into the stitch with the 2nd marker. Continue sc around the basket and repeat on the opposite side.

how to crochet a basket handle

7. On the next round, when you reach the chain, sc 9 stitches over the chain into the gap.

how to crochet a basket handle

how to crochet a basket handle

8. Crochet 2 more rounds to complete basket handles.

how to crochet a basket handle

9. To finish, slip stitch the last few stitches, break off yarn and weave ends in.

All done! Time to enjoy your new basket.

Scrap yarn crochet basket pattern

scrap yarn crochet basket pattern

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50 Comments

  • Wanda Burnett says:

    Size N is the 9mm crochet size. I am not crochet person, but knitting better. I am going to get most of my yarn scraps and make one basket.

    • Annette Fecht says:

      I absolutely love this pattern. I made a large basket to hold/display a couple of cuddly blankets in my living room. This idea got me thinking even further. We had been furniture shopping and came across poufs which can be used for extra sesting and accents. I adapted this pattern simply by reversing the increase rows to decrease rows once the sides are as tall as you wish. I stopped when I felt the opening was just large enough to allow filling.I am working on my 4th. I used a queen sized sheet to sew liners and then filled with the polystyrene beads that you would use to fill a bean bag chair.

  • MG says:

    DO you have a printable version of this? I’m not seeing it.

    • I don’t have a printable version at the moment, but feel free to copy and paste any relevant information into a word doc for your personal use.

    • Noriko says:

      I would love to make this!!!! Do you happen to have this on YouTube? I am very new to knit/crochet, i find that it’s easy to see as you make, and try to understand!! I am excited to make this!!!! Thank you!

      • Sorry I don’t have a video for this, but you can use a ‘how to crochet a SC circle’ video for the base, then the sides are just all single crochet without any increases.

        • Jennifer says:

          I finally threw all of my ugly scrap yarn into a space saver bag, sucked out the air and put it in the closet. I just can’t bear to throw away yarn of any kind! Now I can’t wait to get that bag out and get to work. Thanks!

      • Alex says:

        I am an avid knitter, not so much for crochet but have a bag full of scraps and things that I have no idea what I wanted to do with it until now.
        I’m going to get my mum to help with the crochet basics but do you think it would be easy enough to modify into a square size? I’ve just got one of those cube storage units and would love to make something like this from my scraps for the storage of my yarns.

        • Yes, I’ve made a similar style of basket in a rectangular shape, but the sides don’t self support so it ends up a bit floppy.
          To adjust the pattern, make a square base and then just single crochet all stitches to build the sides. Here are some instructions for making a square or rectangle in single crochet. http://shrsl.com/2kbrp

      • Leigh says:

        Very similar to this video. https://youtu.be/oNkPGm3CsTw

        Thanks for the idea and tips for using spare yarn.

  • Anne Lumsden says:

    I know it’s only Sept. but I have just looked out lots of scraps and complete balls of crazy yarn and am going to make an advent kit for myself to crochet the basket during Dec. There will be a corny joke in each small bag of yarn (just can’t call it wool).
    Looking forward to clearing some cupboard space and putting the yarn to some use.
    Many thanks for the pattern.

    • That’s a fantastic idea – so fun! Enjoy your crocheting!

    • Anne Lumsden says:

      Now end of Oct. and making 8th basket. I am a tight knitter and crocheter so I opted to use a 10mm hook, I am making a nesting set of baskets I find I just need to go down 1 inc row before making the next smallest size of basket. I have also made 2 rolled edge cat baskets for my DD’s cats using the pattern with a 15st base. Still using up scraps and now have some much needed empty cupboard space. Great pattern and a pity the scraps took up valuable cupboard space for years not being used. My DD has asked for the pattern to use her scraps. Many thanks.

  • Laura says:

    What yarn would you recommend as I don’t have enough of a stash of leftover yarns to make one and want to make for Christmas presents.
    Thank you

  • Deborah Christine von Stieglitz says:

    Love the baskets. Thank you.

    • Tina L Eckloff says:

      What am I doing wrong? I havec10 cm to go on the base for the third time and it’s not laying flat! It’s becoming a shallow bowl. I flowed your suggestions about it not being flat and it’s still a shallow bowl.

      • You will need to add more increases. I suggest ripping the crochet back to the row where it starts to curl up, then adding some evenly spaced increase stitches in the next row. Keep an eye on every row for curling up. If it doesn’t lay flat, add an increase row.
        because the exact pattern will be unique to your tension and thickness of yarn (and hook size) you will need to adapt the pattern to your project.

  • Roslyn Evans says:

    I am trying to make the basket but having trouble with the base not sitting flat. Please could you tell me what you mean by ” general rule with every round you work one more regular stitch between your increase stitches”.
    Thanking you Regards Roslyn

  • Becky Smolski says:

    Thank you for the ‘recipe’ for this basket! It was fun to read and I am looking forward to trying it!
    I seem to collect LOTS of what I call ‘orphaned yarn’…it has no label…and I have been making rugs and market bags with these yarns.
    I think this basket is a perfect addition to my projects.
    Happy Stitching!

  • Robin says:

    Im making this basket now😊
    Just wondering if you turned the project inside out after completed. I prefer the pattern facing me as I work which would actually be the inside of the basket.
    Loving the outcome so far. Thank you so much

  • Mandi says:

    I have a bin full of fun fur that I never liked. Thinking 2-3 strands of that with 2-3 strands of worsted weight scraps will work us nicely. So happy to use that yarn that I didn’t like but couldn’t part with for some reason!

  • Audrey says:

    I am new to crocheting. So, I don’t have scrap yarn laying around. How many skeins do you think that I would need? I would like to use 3 different variegated yarns. How many do I buy of each one? Thank you.

  • Stephanie Metzger says:

    I made this and will be making more. They are wonderful. I love how it doesn’t need to be perfect to store my yarn.

  • Madeline Bartelli says:

    Thank you – wonderful project. Have you considered using fabric strips for this? I make rugs using old sheets, now I’m going to make baskets. Same process, different material. Youtube has several videos on joining the strips – no knots. I recommend 1″ – 2″ strips depending on the weight of the sheet. Hint, if you tear instead of cut your sheet strips, do it outside, the process creates an incredible amount of “dust”. 🙂

  • Karen Brueck says:

    I love your pattern and I have oodles of scrap Yarn. I started my basket tonight and the bottom got to curl a little bit so I just kept going with it which made my basket a little bit smaller and I have crocheted up about 9 inches already and actually put some of my scrap yarn in it so I wouldn’t lose the yarn before I finish my project. Thank you. I am having a ball (no pun intended!)

  • KATHY JUNG says:

    This is absolutely brilliant!! I have a few boxes of yarns that I’ll go through and pull one out and say to myself ‘what was I thinking???” 😛 Thank you for the idea and pattern! Just frogging something ‘I have no idea’ what it was supposed to be! Happy New Year!

  • Tamara says:

    Do you use multiple strands of yarn to make the magic circle or just one strand? If you use multiple, how do you do it? If it’s just one, when do you add more?

  • Irene says:

    Thank you for the pattern. It was fun making a basket.
    I tried to post a pic, but no option to do that.

  • Pamela Phillips says:

    I have been making these for over 20 years and get yarn from everywhere and anywhere LOL If you want a sturdier basket…the first two rows of the sides use jute cord and then every 5 inches do two rows of jute cord it gives a nice rustic look and makes the basket more stable. Another thing I sometimes do is after it is finished paint it with a mixture of half “mod podge” and half water. Simply use a paint brush and squish it into the wool. When coated squeeze it into the crochet project and then shape it the way you want it and stuff with crupled newspaper until it is dry. This is particularily useful when using them for plant pot covers. Hope this is helpful to someone.

  • EmJay says:

    I just made this basket, but instead of using yarn, I made yarn using 1-2 inch strips of quilting cotton from my mom’s quilt scraps. It turned out amazing! My mother-in-law has a ton of leftover fabric from a few people, and I’m going to make more baskets with that. This is a great project!!

  • Sarah B. says:

    This is fantastic! I have toys all over the place and it drives me nuts, but I can’t bring myself to buy decent looking baskets. So expensive! This is EXACTLY what I was looking for and I can make it in any color I wish!! Woohoo!! 🙂

  • Shaelyn Ward says:

    Hi
    What a great idea. I have a load of yarn of different thicknesses.
    You suggest the number of strands for DK but do you have any suggestions for
    chunky or 4ply yarns
    Happy crocheting

    • In Australia we use the ply weight rather than the terms DK, sport etc. So as a reference DK= 8ply, sport= 5ply, fingering =4ply, worsted=10ply. So if I suggest hold 5 x DK yarns together total ply weight would be 40. So any combo of yarns that equal a total ply weight of 40ish should be fine.

      But mainly you want a robust fabric so whatever yarn combo make a nice stiff fabric will work.

  • Meg says:

    Thank you! I’ve been trying to find a FREE basket pattern and this is totally adaptable to any size. I’ve seen other patterns where you SC in back loop only, when you transition from bottom to wall. I might try adding this step; I think it might give the finish product a little more structure, which is what I am trying to achieve. Very excited to get started!

  • Shaelyn Ward says:

    PLease do you have a rule of thumb for mixing different yarn thicknesses

    for example 5 strands of double knit equals 2x4ply+ 3xDK = 5xDK or 1xboucle yarn + 2xDK=5xDK or 1xchunky+1xDK=5DK

    Do you think I am on the right lines
    Hope this makes sense
    Take care

    • Yes sort of on the right track. In Australia we use the ply weight rather than the terms DK, sport etc. So as a reference DK= 8ply, sport= 5ply, fingering =4ply, worsted=10ply. So if I suggest hold 5 x DK yarns together total ply weight would be 40. So any combo of yarns that equal a total ply weight of 40ish should be fine.
      so yes I’d suggest more like 4x4ply + 3xDk = 5xDK

      But mainly you want a robust fabric so whatever yarn combo make a nice stiff fabric will work.

  • Linda says:

    Thank you! I made a scrap basket today the only thing I did different was when I did the base, on the last round I sc into the back loop. This gave me a ridge and I think it helps to stabilize the side.. It came out great! and I finally used up a lot of my scrap yarn!

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