Crochet for Penny-Pinching Days

Stash-busting projects, crochet coin purses, and money-saving craft tips.

By Kathryn Vercillo of Crochet Concupiscence

Crochet is an affordable craft that is accessible to almost anyone. If you’re not careful, though, the costs can also add up. My massive yarn stash is a testament to that. Luckily, there are many easy ways to rein in the craft spending during those times when money gets a little bit tight. You can work from your stash, upcycle free materials, create projects that encourage you to save money, and do lots of other things to reduce your crochet spending while still engaging in your creativity.

Stash-busting Crochet Projects

Go take a look at all of the yarn in your closets, drawers, studio space and boxes. Working from that stash is a great way to de-clutter your space while creating projects that don’t cost you anything more than what you’ve already spent. Some great stashbusting projects include:


  • Any one-skein project. Marty Miller’s Single Skein Blanket (Jan./Feb. 2010) is just one example of a crochet pattern that will help you use up those lone skeins in your stash.

  • Projects with crochet edging. These use up such little yarn that they’re great projects for stashbusting. For example, KJ Hay’s Granny Bag Frames (Nov./Dec. 2012) can be made in any color and a single ball of yarn will make about half a dozen of them – great for gifts! Susan Lowmann’s Everyday Edgings (Mar./Apr. 2009) for hand towels are another great example of a way to use up small bits of yarn.

  • Motif-based projects. Blankets and other projects that use a mixture of different motifs allow you to work with what you have to create something new and fresh. Get inspiration from the free Whimsy Blanket crochet pattern by Ellen K. Gormley (Nov./Dec. 2011), and check out our Motif Monday step-by-step instructions.


Upcycling and Yarn Alternatives

If you run out of your yarn stash (ha!) then you can also crochet with other found materials in the home, materials that may cost you nothing at all. Some great examples include:

  • Re-use the yarn from older items. UFOs, WIPs, crochet garments you once loved but no longer do … these are all great items to frog and repurpose that yarn into a new free crochet project.
  • Crochet with plastic bags. Plarn helps save the earth and gives you free materials for crafting a variety of different items.
  • Turn your t-shirts and rags into yarn strips. These are great for making chunky crochet jewelry, rag rugs and tote bags.
  • Paper/ newspaper. It’s not easy to crochet with paper but it can be done. Just take a look at the amazing crochet and knit fashions that Ivano Vitali creates using newspaper (below).


Get creative! If you see something around the house that looks like it could be turned into yarn-like strips then it probably can!

Crochet Coin Purses and Piggy Banks

Do you need a reminder around the house to save those pennies? Crochet yourself a coin purse or a piggy bank as a fun visual reminder that every penny counts. Need a crochet coin purse pattern? Try the Miss MoneyPenny Purse crochet pattern by Brenda K.B. Anderson (Nov./Dec. 2012 issue). Another great idea is to take a set of vases, jars or glasses that you already have and crochet matching cozies for them then use them to separate and store your coins. When the jars fill up, cash them in and use that as your yarn-buying money!

Additional Money Saving Tips

Here are some other smart tips for saving money on your crochet:

  • Use free crochet patterns. We offer more than 80 free crochet patterns on this blog alone.
  • Use up those yarn ends. Here are eight yarn craft ideas for not letting those ends go to waste.
  • Enter crochet-related giveaways. What a great way to get more supplies without spending money! Check out our current giveaways.

What do you do to save money on your crafting? Sign in and share your comments with us!