Make Your Own T-Shirt Yarn

Make Your Own T-Shirt Yarn

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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!

Ravelry button

Jeanne Steinhilber - Community Chaperone for The Crochet Crowd

Be creative! 🙂 – Jeanne – The Crochet Crowd

I am excited to be part of The Crochet Crowd team. I have been crocheting for 40+ years. I am also a big geek and an internet addict. I met Mikey and Diva Dan while onboard a crochet cruise in March 2015, and the rest is history. I hope to help inspire fellow crocheters.

8 thoughts on “Make Your Own T-Shirt Yarn”

  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 says:

    Me encanta¡¡¡¡

  3. maureen says:

    thank you Mikey this is the best

  4. Very nice neat idea

  5. Susan Kline says:

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

  6. Christie says:

    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.

    1. I know! I am going to also try old sheets and blue jeans.

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