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Barbara shared her 10 Ten Tips on How To Get FREE YARN (or really cheap yarn) in a Facebook group and I’m so excited that she said I could share all of them with you! JOY with Purpose is all about bargain shopping and crafting to be able to frugally donate to charities around the world. Think of all the special items you can make that will be so cherished by those in need.
Here are some of my free tutorials that you can make with all your new-found yarn!
- Colorful Folk Dolls
- Tossing Rings
- “Aunt Ida” easy hat pattern
- Baby Blanket or Baby Doll Blanket
- 10 Washcloth Patterns
Here are Barbara’s Top Ten Tips to get FREE YARN:
“I donate well over 100 items a year to various charities (including Operation Christmas Child) and I pride myself on never paying more than $1 a skein for yarn, often less than 50c, and usually nothing at all. I thought I’d share some of my methods. Hopefully this will help others get great deals!”
For a great price on crochet hooks, check out these at Amazon:
1. CRAFT/CHURCH GROUPS:
Many churches, libraries, and non-profits have knitting/crocheting/craft groups. They often have bins full of donated yarn. (I know our little church has at least four bins full.) Usually, if you ask, they will tell you to take whatever you need.
2. GARAGE SALES:
Visit Church and school garage/rummage sales on the very last day. If you go in as they are closing up, you can usually find yarn for 50c a skein or less. Tell them about your charity and they may even lower the price or give it to you! Church sales particularly are eager to get rid of everything at the end.
3. TELL YOUR FRIENDS:
Tell all your friends and co-workers that you are looking for yarn. Put up a notice in your church bulletin or on Facebook. Often people purchase way too much (not me of course! lol) and are only happy to clear out their closets and attics!
Occasionally someone passes on and leaves a large amount of yarn that no one in the family wants. They are blessed to think that Grandma’s yarn is being put to good use. I am always astonished at the sheer volume of yarn I get this way.
5. ONLINE FREEBIE GROUPS:
Check Freecycle, Craig’s List or local Facebook Free Groups and request yarn. (Note from Mary – I’ve gotten carloads of yarn this way! Disclaimer: For safety reasons, I never go alone and I never go inside a house. They can easily leave items on the porch for you to pick up.)
Join Ravelry Not only do you get access to thousands of free patterns, but they have a bulletin board called Random Acts of Kindness where you can request (and offer) yarn. (Out of courtesy, they do ask that you be a member for a month before asking for anything).
People love to donate if they know their items will be put to good use. Tell them about your charities. Show or post pictures of the ministry and how socks, gloves, scarves, etc. are so desperately needed. Send them pictures of your finished items!
7. THRIFT STORES:
Pop into your local thrift store on half price discount day and poke around. Sometimes they have yarn, sometimes they don’t. I have picked up great bargains at thrift stores.
8. UPCYCLE YARN:
Do you (or your friends) have WIP (works in progress) that you never intend to finish? Unravel them! Why continue to store them where they remain useless and unloved. Unravel those projects and start something new and wonderful. Some friends have even unraveled sweaters they’ve had or gotten from thrift stores. (I just saw an older episode of CALL THE MIDWIFE where they were taking yarn from sweaters to make baby layettes!)
9. LOCAL YARN SHOP:
Check the ones in your area (especially if you patronize it). You can ask if they have any partial skeins that have been returned that can’t be resold. Some yarn shops need samples knit up for display purposes. Often they will let you have the yarn. They might even give you the pattern if you agree to let the finished item be on display for six months or something.
10. BIG CRAFT STORES:
You won’t be able to get Free Yarn, but definitely get it for a discount at Hobby Lobby, JoAnn Fabrics, Michaels, etc. Shop the sales and use coupons. Michaels sometimes have “mill ends” or assorted bags of yarn for around $9 regular price. Usually, you can use coupons and/or sales to knock the price down more than half that, and there’s usually the equivalent of 4-5 large skeins in a bag. Another tip – Generally yarn on sale is more expensive than purchasing it at Regular Price and then you use a 40 or 50% off coupon. The upside is that you can purchase more than 1 – but with patience (or going with a group each having a coupon), it is cheaper to use those coupons!
Another Option: Michaels has 10-15% off everyday discounts for teachers, military and seniors on top of sales (click on each category for the link to more information). JoAnns also has a senior discount day several times a year.
JoAnns, Michaels and Hobby Lobby also accept competitor’s coupons – make sure to bring the highest value. (Michaels usually only allows 1 coupon per purchase. JoAnns sometimes allow a few coupons if they are from different stores, however, this will depend on their local policies.)
There are also a couple of surprising bargain stores where you can get yarn. DOLLAR TREE is currently stocking small skeins of quality Cotton Yarn! (Perfect for washcloths, check my tutorial). I often can’t find stock within my local store, but you can order online and have them ship it to your store for easy pickup and avoid that shipping fee!
Tuesday Morning stocks yarn (mostly higher-end). It’s too expensive for me at regular price, but there may be some in the clearance section for less than a dollar. Some Big Lots stores also carry yarn in their small craft section. It is never on sale, but several times a year the entire store is 20% off. That is the perfect time to pick up a few skeins.
Also some online yarn groups run giveaways and contests – here is one from last year but always keep on the lookout for new ones! —
Opportunity to apply for a Free Yarn Giveaway from Yarn Canada (and it’s open to Canadians and Americans!) 12 individuals and groups can win a total of $2000 worth of yarn! Apply HERE. The deadline to apply is Dec 31st, 2019.
Here are 2 extra TIPS to get FREE YARN:
*Tell your loved ones that you would love some really pretty yarn for Birthdays or Mother’s Day. It doesn’t have to be your main gift, lol! But a skein in a fun color is a lovely little extra surprise gift. And just perfect to include in a Christmas stocking!
*If someone you know is traveling and wants to bring you a souvenir, tell them to pop into a local yarn shop and pick up some yarn from that area.
Thanks, Barbara! Hopefully, if you follow her tips to get FREE YARN – your stash will be overflowing as well!
Here are some free tutorials I’ve posted that can definitely use all your new-found yarn!
- Colorful Folk Dolls
- Tossing Rings
- “Aunt Ida” easy hat pattern
- Baby Doll Blanket or Baby Blanket
- 10 Washcloth Patterns
Add these “I made this with LOVE just for YOU” tag to your special handmade items. You can FIND THEM HERE.
Here is a 9 piece set of ergonomic crochet hooks from Amazon with soft handles plus 9 Large-eye Blunt Needles, Steel Yarn Sewing Needles, Knitting Stitch Markers and Crochet Hook Case.
This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small amount from the company mentioned in this post. For more info check my full disclosure statement.
I’d gladly accept some of your yarn stash, since you have “more than you will use in a lifetime” I’m looking for free. I’m looking for a variety of colors to crochet around baby print flannel. They are then given away, local facilities which aide young mothers with nothing.
Hi Betty – This post is a quote from Barbara (not me) who crafts and donates to several charities herself. These are her tips on how you can go about getting yarn. She herself got yarn from all of those suggestions. They are great ideas. Hopefully one of them can help you as well.
My name is Heather Hessler, when I became disabled I started a project /charity crochetING winter wear for the less fortunate/homeless men, women, and children in my area. There is no crochet for charity here, so it’s just me. One woman crocheting day and night to make winter wear for these people. When I come across blogs like this, I tell my story, the short version. I do buy yarn all through the year, but on a fixed income, it’s very hard. So, I always ask for help from everyone! I never have enough yarn!
These are great tips for crafters. I crochet a little, so I will be checking out various sites. Thanks for sharing on Sunday’s Best. Hope to see more of you.
My sister and I began making winter scarves for the homeless in Indianapolis. We have a huge number of homeless and our winters are fridged. In less than 1 yr we have crocheted 100+ and bought all the yarn ourselves. Any donation of yarn would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Connie! I don’t donate yarn, perhaps you misunderstood the post. These are great tips on how you can acquire yarn for your various projects. God bless your efforts!
I think that when one crafts with limited resources and read about others’ efforts, it automatically prompts one to ask for donations of craft materials. I qualified for Disability in 1998, but started charity knitting long before that. My county doesn’t have any provisions for homeless people. Neither shelter nor soup kitchen exists here, yet there is need. All throughout the year, I knit warm hats for those such people. I can’t give them money, but I can help to retain much of their body heat. I can count on one hand the number of people who have answered my requests for free yarn, the most recent one a friend from my church. (I’m currently also trying to get a wheelchair-accessible ramp for my trailer, and have appealed to my church family.) I have always wanted to be a part of the “shoebox ministry” and I also sponsor a child in Indonesia. I regret that I can’t knit for her, but every year I give away hundreds of my hats. Thanks for posting this reprint of information.
God bless you Peggy for your open loving heart in all you do for others.
Thank you for all of your great tips. I have been donating baby blankets, blankets & scarves for close to 28 years now. I have donated to a large array of charities. I became disabled @the age off 39 & I’m 51 now. This has been my passion. My 2 children are grown now. They have always been involved as much as possible. When my daughter was in 1st.grade I donated to the outreach center in our area for yrs. A girl in her class brought in a blanket nI had made. The families house burned down. It was Feb. in VA. We were always anonymous. My daughter came home & told me the story. Saying”mom;I’ve never been more proud of you”;She is 26 now. After 4 yrs. of donating the found out who was dropping off boxes. They said please keep it up. They couldn’t keep them. When I worked people frequently donated yarn. I’ve had a harder time now. Thanks again for your tips. God Bless.
Angela you have been such a blessing to so many, but especially as a glowing example to your children!
Are there any good thrift shops that sell yarn that you know of?
It all depends on your local store. Goodwill sometimes has some, as well as Unique or Savers. It’s always a hunt!
Hopefully, some of my tips will help you! Another suggestion is to check Facebook local free/buy/sell groups. People have been very successful through that.
I LOVED THE TAGS ….I am in rhe process of making some to attach to my home items why not be proud Great idea
Hello, Its in my heart to crochet for the veterans who are in hospitals or just in need. Also I’d love to do so for the homeless, but I can’t afford yarn. If i could get yarn donated to me, then everything I do would be done with love & for those in need. I do believe in miricals, God Bless you.
See if you can get in touch with Soldiers’ Angels. They provide support for vets and active military, and their families, year round. You can donate whatever you can, whenever you can. Sometimes they receive donations at their different chapters which include yarn. You can find them online, on Facebook, or use Google to find their headquarter’s number and give them a call! They always appreciate all the help given.
Hi! Well I have called several churches and that is 0. no one has any OR they are not doing anything. Crocheting and knitting is my release due to thee fact I have a Asperger’s teen and yes it is stressful. Plus the fact that I am unemployed is another and at this moment I was and have been searching for something like this. But nothing has come up. My finances are only for bills and shelter and food. I sincerely have any friends or people who do what I do. So that’s a no! Any other suggestions. This is my hobby like everyone else’s’ and I wanted to make something for my son . Let it be scarf or a hat. Whatever. If you know of any other ways or means please let me know. Thanks!
Perhaps libraries? I found a local group that was meeting at a park this past month and they had yarn as well. I found the group through my local Facebook group. You could check on FB – your town mom’s group, to see if they have similar groups. You could also check your local freecycle, or Craig’s list. We were able to get a lot of yarn that way.
Great, tips! I Googled “free yarn” in quotes, just like that, and ended up here on your awesome site. I have a feeling I’ll visit often. Just wanted to say hello, and thank you for sharing!
Why THANK YOU so much Audra!!! Check out the Facebook Page and I have a group as well where you can join in with the discussion!
Love this article.I have also requested a local hank of yarn as a souvenir when our son has travelled overseas. My most precious yarn is a hank of beautiful hand dyed qiviut yarn bought when we did a cruise in Alaska in 2015.
I am disabled and no longer can hold needles or crochet not that I was ever a pro mind you. I have found something I am able to do which is loom knitting! It saved my sanity!! I have to be creating and love to work with yarn! 90% of my knitted wears are for donations! I rotate several and if I have the yarn I will have WIPS on several looms at any given time! I even have a few homeless shelters that need mats made from PLARN which is plastic yarn made from plastic grocery bags that are bad for the environment and I do have a tough time getting even the bags!! I have to make them my own ways as most crochet the PLARN which I cannot do. If anyone reading this has desire please collect plastic bags and crochet mats for homeless shelters whike you help them you save the earth too! Some states no longer allow such grocery bags but most still do. I have asked stores to donate a bunch of their bags and showed them the mats but they always claim not enough!! Ugh!!
Even free plastic bags are hard to get!!
Ok Dollar tree.com has yarn Red Heart Unforgettable in 9 colors for $1 ea. Have it sent to a local store to pick up and no shipping! They also have Premier cotton blend skeins for $1 all while the supply lasts!!! I have a list of $1 and under per skein and I check it daily!! I will be doing a you tube channel soon and it will have info on all these places and deals and I do hope folks who want to create will give to people in need but you will have yarn mostly out of season colors but perfect yarn to make items for your family and friends as well!!
Thank you!!! Sorry this is so long!! 🙂
Make lots of stuff and I donate them to the homeless here in my town to a guy that goes to Dallas and he gives it to the homeless people I make hats scarves and sometimes blankets for the homeless
Marlene….I’m 75 years old and just starting knitting. I’ve had one class and knit 1/2 of a line by myself before making a mistake. My teacher said not to fix it, but to bring it into the next class. She started it off for me. Looking forward to making my fist scarf and donating it to a homeless shelter, but really cannot afford to buy the yarn. Thanks so much for all these tips!!
You mentioned thrift stores, and you mentioned ripping out unfinished projects to use the yarn in another project. I’d like to suggest a combination of the two: watch for really cheap knitted or crocheted items like sweaters or blankets in thrift stores, and rip them out to reuse the yarn. It will be easier to wash the item before taking it apart. Most thrift stores have 50% off days, so you could get a large sweater for maybe 50 cents and get several skeins of yarn from it.
Hello. My name is Patricia and I am on dialysis and notice that patients need warm hats..scarves..cowls and such and I enjoy making them for the patients. I am on SSI so on a limited income. I buy when I can but it is hard. Where can I get free donated yarn? Any help is appreciated
Hi Patricia! Yes patients really can use those items and bless you for making them. I offer a number of ways to get donated yarn in this post above.
Hello, I am an avid crocheter who mainly uses crochet thread but I do understand how expensive yarn and thread is.I found Listia an online app that allows you to trade something you do have for things like yarn. It does not take much to get started and you can list anything to get your credits up. I trade small things like soda tabs although in addition you can do surveys to also gain credits which is what you use to buy stuff. The great part about it is you can apply shipping so the person who buys it pays for shipping. I am a part of this community and have gotten a lot of crochet books, thread and hooks for free by using my credits. Check it out and I hope this helps at least one person to carry on their great work.
Thank you Myrtle. I have heard a few people that enjoy that app. Sounds like a great resource.
Ok I wanted to share my fortunate situation. I prayed and ask Jesus for help. Then I wrote to more then 50 yarn companies. A few actually got back to me and sent boxes of scraps. I was amazed and was able to knit through another year of hats and warmers for children in the UP of MI. The companies sent me small amounts if many colors so I did color work which made them warmer. I’m out of yarn again soon and trying to get the courage to find enough yarn for my 6th year of knitting for others. I’m disabled too and prayer can move mountains. I’m going to ask for help again, but not until this yarn is completely gone. I don’t want to be greedy.
What a wonderful idea! Thank you for sharing Cecilia!
Heather Hessler, I also crochet for the homeless, but i make blankets with different pictures on them.
Hi Karen, I am not in need of yarn, as the host blogger, I just posted tips to help others. Did you mean to respond to someone’s comment? They will never see your comment, unfortunately, they won’t get a notice you posted. That was kind and generous of you. A local church, library or even local Facebook groups would love your donation though.
I am in need of some crochet hooks. Every time that i go to my local dollar store the store do not have them at all.
JoAnn Fabrics, Walmart, Target, and Amazon have very inexpensive crochet hooks. Not more than a dollar or two individually.
I usually shop from ice yarns. I was surfing and found their blog page. They have a great variety of products and I can find quality yarns at very reasonable prices.
my local thrift shop was a ‘donation store’ and I scooped a pile of small tiny balls of waste from someone’s project.. great for the Comfort Dolls I knit (pre-pandemic) and the agencies I supply take to Africa. The donation store has since closed so now I’m looking elsewhere. Value village (next town over) – not much except white and a horrid beigey yellow. the other four thrift stores – nada. The dollar store raised the price to $4! Walmart is cheaper but the selection was dregs of unwanted junk. EVERYONE is on a knitting kick haha.. I”m off to Ravelry but I haven’t been able to find their bulletin board! I did join one group but the other groups unfortunately haven’t posted in 4 yrs.. Facebook market place turned up nothing for free or cheap either. I’m going to hit up my mom’s church group and she can maybe stockpile until I can travel to see her in the spring. I love that people are making more, buying less but its seriously depleting the thrift store stock 😉
Hi! I just want to thank you for letting people know how they can get free/ cheap yarn. I have been struggling to make ends meet, and, I can not afford to buy yarn. I have been crocheting for 30 (+,-) and love it! I have been wanting to help children (whose in school with helpful items or, even a toy, but I’m in a bind. Maybe I can get some help, thanks to you.