Brainstorming with T-shirt yarn!


In my last post I talked about how to make t-shirt yarn. Make as much as you want and tie the ends together to make a big long strand.Also keep in mind that you can use any kind of scrap fabric including sheets and left over fabric from other projects. Get your moneys worth out of that old stuff you bought and wore out! There are lots of patterns that are great for t-shirt yarn. It tends to be more sturdy and most shirts are made mostly of cotton so what you make is going to be good with water. Lets take a look at just a few ideas as to what can be made with this awesome up-cycled and earth friendly yarn!

Dishrags: since the t-shirt yarn is durable and cotton is not ruined with water it would be great for this.

Rugs: this is a very common use for t-shirt yarn. There are many different styles and techniques that can be used to make rugs. I think these types of rugs are called “rag rugs” and they have a rich history and have been in homes for a couple hundred years. Oldie but a goodie.

Bowl: again, since t-shirt yarn is sturdy it helps the bowl hold its shape better.

Jewelry: yes, bracelets and necklaces can be very cute made form t-shirt yarn

Bags: this yarn makes great bags, especially for toting home groceries or to the pool or beach.

Scarf: there are many different ways to make scarves from t-shirt yarn.


This is a very short list of the many things that can be made from this versatile yarn. So clean out your closets, your linen cabinets, and your drawers to make some yarn!! This especially great for someone that doesn’t have the money to buy lots of yarn.



T-shirt Yarn

I have been wanting to work with t-shirt yarn for a while but I just haven’t seem to be able to get to it for whatever excuse of the day happens to be. Well, I will put it off no longer. Here are the instructions for making t-shirt yarn. Luckily I have a husband with a love of t-shirts and he wears the same color most of the time. He also likes to buy Hane’s black pocket t’s in packs of eight which unfortunately shrink over time. This means that they are eventually cast aside and they end up in my scrap pile for later projects.

Things you will need to make t-shirt yarn:

Scissors, fabric cutting wheel, X-Acto knife capable of cutting fabric, or something similar that will cut the t-shirt fabric.

T-shirts, enough to make whatever your project and preferably cotton or mostly cotton because it stretches easier.


Here is the t-shirt laid out. Try to get it as flat as you can and not all folded and uneven. If it is not flat enough it will not cut as evenly.


Fold the t-shirt in half. It doesn’t matter if it is folded with the front facing out or the back. Just fold it in half with the sleeves together.


Next you will start by cutting off the hem of the shirt. Then start cutting it into strips that are about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide leaving about two inches or so uncut in the middle. When you reach the arm pit of the shirt go ahead and cut all the way across to cut off the top completely.

tshirt yarn cut 1

After cutting all the way up the shirt pull it apart and lay it over your arm or a piece of card board, just something that will allow you to cut the strips. Start by cutting at one end diagonally from the edge to the first cut. Then cut from the next bottom slit to the next top slit diagonally. Continue in this manner using the picture above as a guide; cut where the dotted lines are.


tshirt yarn cut 2

Next you will flip the shirt over to the other side and cut straight lines from one slit to the next.



This is what your t-shirt yarn will look like. Depending on what you are making you might want to leave it in this state but I am not going to leave it like this. Holding one end of the yarn, pull a section taught and allow it to curl in on itself. Move down to another section and pull it taught again. Keep going until you reach the end. You can actually go over it again to make sure it is even, I did.




This is what the finished product will look like. See how it is thinner and there actually looks like there is more there because with it stretched out it is lengthened a little.

I’m not sure quite yet what I am going to make so I will cut up quite a few more t-shirts to make sure I have enough. I unfortunately don’t have a lot of color variety. A good way to get some variety is to hit up some thrift stores or garage sales and get some of those bright t-shirts with ugly designs printed on them that nobody wants. You don’t need the design, just the colors…oh the possibilities!