How can I reuse or recycle yarn cones?

yarn coneThis is a bit of an anticipatory post since said cone is still currently covered in a few of hundred grammes of yarn but anyway…

Yarn/wool cones. I bought a giant cone of yarn on eBay the other day from someone clearing out their yarn stash. I thought I’d use it for for my next big crafting project, a crocheted blanket but as the yarn is, well, sunshine (read: oh-my-God-so-bright) yellow, I’ll have to get another one in a less retina-straining tone to calm it down a bit – and that means I’ll then have two of these hollow cones.

The one I’ve got at the moment is about 20cm (8″) tall and tapered to around 7cm (3″) in diameter at the base from around 2.5cm (1″) at the top. It’s made of heavy duty cardboard – so recyclable – but you know me*, I prefer to reuse instead of recycle. I’ve also seen a lot of similarly sized plastic cones about which aren’t so easily recyclable.

Since it’s a craft-related item, I’m sure there are loads of crafty reuses – but what about practical things too?

* if you don’t know me, hi, I’m Louisa. I like to reuse and repurpose random things. It’s nice to meet you.

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12 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle yarn cones?”

  1. blackic says:

    My chinchillas adore destroying the cardboard ones.

  2. PainChaud says:

    This is pretty out there…but you could use it to store old yarn or string lol.

  3. Nicole says:

    Maybe you could give it to a spinner to use as a bobbin.

  4. jenn says:

    These would be perfect bases for Christmas trees. Start saving them and you could have a whole Christmas tree grove!! Cover them with old book pages, natural materials, ribbons, or just about anything! You could display them as a group on a variety of heights, such as books, boxes, etc. Put lights around them and cover the lights with faux snow (nothing cheesy looking, please). :) What a beautiful tablescape or centerpiece for little to no money!!

    You could also turn them upside down, drill a hole in either side, and insert a ribbon handle. Decorate the outside with copies of old love letters, fill with candy (after plugging the hole of course), and you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift for your honey! You could adjust this for a gift to give to children, co-workers, or even a great teacher gift.

  5. Karmae says:

    Some yarn stores take them back for reuse.

    They also make a great base for pop-up puppets.You make a head out of whatever and attach it to a dowel that will fit through the small end of the cone. Build the body top to be wxtra long and attach it to the large opening on the cone. Move the dowelling up and down to animate the body.

  6. nancy says:

    They are strong and sturdy, so if you gather 4 cones you can make a striking shelf. A piece of glass or plexiglass on top will allow the cones to show through, and create a place to display intersting objects in a store window, a livingroom or entry, somewhere noticable. The aethestics of using re-cycled cones makes it more attractive, artistic and interesting than buying a shelf in a store. You could display a sculpture, interesting pottery, etc, and your shelf becomes a part of the artistic expression. I suggest a size of about 12″ x 36″ long (or 30 x 100 cm). Cheers, Nancy
    P.S. Good luck with your weaving!

  7. I’ve used this tutorial before for making these trees for Christmas – just reuse the cones instead of buying new ones.

  8. Rebecca says:

    Just a few of the ways I’ve reused my old ones:
    -Not the most creative use, but when recycling (unwinding) thrifted sweaters for yarn, or frogging a knitted project that I’ve given up on, these are really helpful. I have a drumstick that I stick through the narrow hole from the bottom up, then I grab on to it from inside the wide end and wind away.
    -These are great for when you are knitting/crocheting with smaller balls/skeins of yarn, to keep them from rolling all over the place… just guide the working end of your yarn through the top, put the ball inside the cone and set it on a table or the floor next to you. This keeps it clean and in one spot. Alternatively, you could hang this upside down in a kitchen or craft room with yarn, ribbon or string inside for a handy dispenser.
    -The cardboard ones make a great funnel for dry/powdered things you may have to pour – useful for filling rice/flax therapy bags, for example. The plastic ones you could just snip the tip off of and use as a regular funnel.
    Hope this helps!

  9. Malcolm says:

    I’m always searching for cardboard yarn cones for my Moss (Leicester) cone winding machine. So if you have any for sale ! Love to hear from you

  10. Nina says:

    I have plastic yarn cones… any suggestion to who maybe want these?

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