Whether we knit, crochet, sew, quilt, cross stitch or do any other type of needlework, we all have the same messy problem. We all have the ends to deal with. After finishing them off, we clip the leftover yarn or thread or floss. Then what?
If you're anything like me, some of it winds up on the floor or the furniture, no matter how careful I am.
Now I don't throw it away. I stick a small ziplock bag in my knitting bag and in go all the yarn and floss ends. I have another bag tucked into the sewing cabinet.
About once a month I take the colorful mess outside and spread it out along the top of the hedge. We also stick some on a tree branch. The birds will be attracted by the colors and carry it away to use as nesting material.
I used to offer it to my birds when they were nesting and they loved carrying it around and tucking it into their nest boxes. Now that I have only female birds, they still enjoy playing with string and thread. Holly likes to chew on her duck toy with the strings hanging down.
Cloud loves this thread toy that was originally meant as a dog toy. She grooms it daily and when she needs to hide, she sticks her head deep into the thread.
Another nesting material highly prized by wild birds is dog hair. When you groom the pups, gather up a handful of the soft, fluffy hair and leave it in a bush or fork of a tree. The birds will appreciate the soft fur for lining the nests and you'll have recycled at the same time.