Make a Giant Magic Yarn Ball from Yarn Scraps

If you are drowning in yarn scraps leftover from various knitting and crochet projects, I’ve got a fun and resourceful way to use them. Make a Magic Yarn Ball!

Use your yarn scraps to make a magic yarn ball with invisible joins

Using an easy invisible yarn joining technique, hundreds of little scraps can be joined to make a giant continuous ball of yarn, in a fun rainbow of colours.

pile of small balls of yarn

Over the years, I’ve accumulated so many yarn scraps. Some of it ends of balls left over from bigger projects, some of it thrifted, others frogged and reclaimed from unwanted knitted projects. After a while it piles up.

As a big proponent of using up craft supplies from my stash, I thought it was time to tackle the leftover scrap yarn pile, and make something useful. Time for some Scrap-busting Stash-busting!!

The annoying thing about using short lengths of yarn in any project is having to weave in hundreds of ends. I don’t know about you, but I loath weaving in ends, so the idea of a giant ball of yarn that was ‘end free’ made me very happy.

Big ball of yarn - How to make a magic yarn ball

With some scrappy crochet baby blankets in mind, I set about joining all my leftover yarn scraps using a handy invisible joining technique called a ‘Russian Join’.

In the past I’ve also joined yarn by needle felting ends together, but this technique only really works for 100% wool.

Scrap yarn crochet blanket from magic yarn ball

How to Russian join yarn scraps to make a Magic Yarn Ball

A Russian join works well for joining most styles of yarns together without knots or very obvious bulkiness.

It works best for joining yarns of the same weight, but I’ve found it works fine even with yarns that are a little lighter or heavier than your main yarn weight.

For example, most of my yarn scraps are DK (8ply) weight yarn, but I’ve also included some random bits of worsted (10ply) and sports weight (5ply) yarn.

If you plan on joining several different weights of yarn scraps, just make sure they are just one step up (or down) in thickness, from the yarn you are joining to.

Magic Yarn Ball made from scrap yarn with invisible joins -

Depending on how ‘magic’ you want your yarn ball to be, you can either join scrap yarns randomly (like I did), for a surprise result on your finished project.

Or if you like a more orderly approach, maybe group your yarns by colour theme, or in rainbow order.

How to russian join yarn supplies

You will need:

  • leftover bits of yarn (lots of them)
  • Tapestry (wool) needle with a large eye (a blunt one works fine, but I prefer a sharp pointed tapestry needle for this).
  • Scissors

How to invisibly join yarn with a Russian Join:

1. Thread your needle with first yarn. As you continue and wind up the joined yarns, the first yarn will be the end (tail) yarn in your ball.

How to russian join yarn steps

2. Untwist yarn slightly and insert needle though the center of the yarn for about an inch.

How to russian join yarn steps

3. Pull the tail of the yarn thorough to create a loop.

How to russian join yarn steps

4. Now thread the second yarn onto the needle, then pass the needle through the loop of the first yarn.

How to russian join yarn steps

5. Just like in step 2, untwist the yarn and insert the needle through the center for about an inch.

How to russian join yarn steps

6. Now you should have 2 interlocking yarn loops.

How to russian join yarn steps

7. Gently pull the loose end to tighten and close up loops.

How to russian join yarn steps

8. Trim off excess yarn tails, and your yarn is ready to be wound into a magic yarn ball.

How to russian join yarn steps - How to make a magic yarn ball

Make the ball as big as you like. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it grows.

I quite like joining scrap yarn while watching TV, then when I have some motivation to start a crochet project, it’s ready to go.

Magic Yarn Ball - how to make a Big ball of yarn

Here’s a sneak peek of the Scrappy Crochet Baby Blankets I made using my Magic Yarn Balls and all my yarn scraps. They were entertaining to make and I really liked how the random coloured yarns made cool stripey patterns.

Not having to weave in ends meant that these crochet blankets were done as soon as I finished the last stitch!

Scrap yarn crochet baby blankets from magic yarn ball

They turned out really fun, and I’ll be sharing the crochet pattern for them soon. They will be donated to St Kilda Mums.

Now off you go and gather up all your yarn scraps. There’s a magic yarn ball to be made!


Use your yarn scraps to make a magic yarn ball with invisible joins

Use your yarn scraps to make a magic yarn ball with invisible joins


  • patricia says:

    Your blankets are so beautiful! It is lovely that you are donating them, but they sure look gorgeous piled up together! It will be hard to give them away……..

    • Yes I also love how they look together. Quite the Missoni vibe. Hopefully their new owners will enjoy using them as much as I enjoyed making them.

      • Martha Downing says:


        Thank you so much for your email showing how to connect yarns together without having to do so much tieing-in. I just love how this works and not having to go back and snip all those tails. The afghans you made and donated are so beautiful and will be much appreciated by all who receive them. I’m going to get started right away on my yarn scrap stash and brighten up some cancer children’s days.
        Martha D.

  • Sarah says:

    Yes, this is beyond lovely! I have a hard time finding yarn cakes that I like so this is the perfect solution to that struggle! But that does bring me to a different struggle.. Do you perhaps also have any tips on how to roll the yarn into neat balls using only your hands?

  • Linda says:

    This technique is nothing short of genius! By coincidence I am trying to use up a collection of yarn odds and ends and yes, I do get tired of weaving in ends! My group makes items for charity (I like making lap robes for nursing homes) and are donated tons of yarn. As a result we get many partial skeins and odd colors and amounts (to say nothing about my own personal stash of left-overs!), so this method will help me make more in a shorter amount of time (good use of time during this “safe at home” period. To whoever came up with this, thank you!!

  • Eileen Troia says:

    I love the idea of making a magic ball. Like u I have tons of left over yarn and was just thinking of what to do with it this is perfect. Also learning how to join the yarns together is ingenious
    Now I’ve been inspired to get it together and use up all that yarn. Thanks for sharing these tips it made my day!

  • Linda in NJ says:

    I think I’m in LOVE!!
    Thank you so much for this idea!!!!
    You are a genius!!!

  • Liz says:

    Thank you for writing this post. I have tons of scraps and like you hate to weave ends. This will solve that problem. It will also help to solve the problem of all those balls of scrap yarn.

  • Rhonda Lamoureux says:

    LOVE this idea as well as donating these lovelies. Did you happen to share this pattern? Would love to have it.

  • Dot says:

    I do a lot of blankets for charity so this method will save lots of time Its great thank you Dot

  • robyn says:

    My mother used to do this technique. I could never remember it. Thank you so much for sharing. I will start using it now!

  • Linda says:

    So excited to get this project started. Have tubs full of yarn that I can join. Thank you. Daughter is asking for lap blankets for hospice patients. Perfect.

  • Judy S. says:

    Your instructions on the Russian join are so clear! The pictures help, too. My daughter and I made 87 knit and crochet hats in 5.5 weeks for a local elementary school. We used up some uglies by combining with a strand of nice, and the results were stunning! Now I want to make a magic ball with smaller leftovers. Thanks!

  • Simona says:

    Hi Cintia, thanks for sharing your projects ☺️
    Does Russian Join work with cotton as well as wool?

  • Carolyn says:

    I can’t wait to gather enough scraps to try this scap blanket technique.

  • Elaine says:

    Several years ago, I broke my leg and was going crazy to do some crochet/knitting. I didn’t seem to have enough of any yarn to do anything. I found a sack of little leftover balls of yarn and combined them all in a ball as you have suggested below. I had just learned the Russian join and just sat and winded all those little balls together. Ended up making two baby blankets and used the other skeins for borders. This is a great post for those that have all those little leftovers. I think I’ll make another!!!

  • Barbara says:

    For the baby blankets you made, about how long was each color of yarn in the magic ball?

  • Elaine H. says:

    I broke my leg almost a decade ago just after I had learned the Russian Join. I was so bored – asked my mother to bring me all my baby blanket scraps and I amused myself making a giant ball from the scraps. I wish I had a pic of the finished produce but it was cute and fun to put together!

  • Jacqueline says:

    I’m so glad I stumbled across you. The Russian join us ingenious. Thank you. I’m going to start winding a magic ball now.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Cillian says:

    This is so brilliant. I have so many small balls of sock yarn in my stash, I wasn’t using them because who wants to weave in a multitude of ends? Now I have IDEAS!

  • Rosemarie says:

    I love this join method! I don’t know why we don’t use it for all projects! Like you, I hate to bury the tails and worry about the join knot.
    Thanks again!

  • Ruby Moore says:

    I LOVE this Russian joining. wow game changer. I have tons of leftover yarn scraps and skeins. So glad to see you use this pattern, squares on the diagonal not sure the name. It is so easy and always my go to pattern. Love the textured pattern and I can make it in any size I want easily. Thank you for the “joining” tip.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.