Make Your Own T-Shirt Yarn

Variegated T-Shirt Yarn

One part of Spring cleaning that I actually enjoy is organizing my closets.  Getting rid of old clothes means that I can make room for some new ones.  I will take most of the clothes to the local clothing bank in our town, but this time I decided to keep some of the old T-shirts and give my own yarn a try.  I also raided my husband’s closet to get enough for a new project.

I’ve seen a few tutorials using one shirt for a solid color yarn, but I wanted mine to be random for a variegated look.


  • T-shirts
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Cutting Mat
  • Ruler
  • Scissors

Lay the shirt out flat on the cutting mat.  Cut off the thicker bottom edge and discard.  Working from the bottom to the armpit, use the ruler to cut 1 inch circles of fabric.

T-shirt yarn

I had 11 shirts total in random colors.  Don’t worry about designs on the shirts as they will just add more color.

T-shirt yarn

Now it’s time to wind them into a ball.  You’ll want to fasten them together as you go.

Step 1 – Snip the circle of fabric so that it becomes a strip.  Next fold up the end about 1″ and snip on the fold about a 1/4″ cut.  Repeat at the other end.

T-shirt yarn

Step 2 – Take 2 pieces and set them together end to end.

T-shirt yarn

Step 3 – Insert the end of the second one into the first one through to small slit.

T-shirt yarn

Step 4 – Bring up the other end of the second strip and pull it through the slit of it’s other end.

T-shirt yarn

Step 5 – Pull it all the way through the first strip to interlock the pieces.

T-shirt yarn

Step 6 – Give it a tug to pull it tight.

T-shirt yarn

That’s it!  Super simple.  When you are rolling it into a ball, pull it tight and it will naturally curl up.  Because of the properties of the material, there are no worries about unraveling.

I used 11 shirts and it produced a 7″ ball that weighs just under 2 pounds or 890 grams.

T-shirt yarn
Variegated T-shirt Yarn by Jeanne Steinhilber

Go clean out those closets and be creative at the same time!

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Jeanne Steinhilber - Community Chaperone for The Crochet Crowd

Be creative! 🙂 – Jeanne – The Crochet Crowd


  1. I’d be keen to see some patterns for recycled tee yarn if you have any? I’m planning to use mine to make a top, based on sewing squares together, but I’d really like to branch out. Any suggestions?

  2. Nidia Herrera

    Me encanta¡¡¡¡

  3. Susan Kline

    Love this! I’m going to try making my own yarn.

  4. Christie

    Recycling old fabric doesn’t stop just with T-shirts. I shred and hand-spin almost every piece of clothing and household linen I grow tired of into “yarn” for freestyle crochet – or just strips for twined rag rugs. I even did one of the online crochet challenges with rag yarn, which actually is more like cordage in weight, so it became a rug and not an afghan.

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