How to Make T-Shirt Yarn [DIY Tutorial]

DIY T-Shirt Yarn Tutorial

 

Creating t-shirt yarn (or tarn) is a project that is not nearly as complicated as it seems. It takes a little bit of work, a little bit of thought, and a pile of old t-shirts. Before you know it, you’ll have yards of your own super-bulky yarn, ready for your favorite projects. Here’s how you do it.

 

MATERIALS USED

 

STEP 1: CUT THE TOP AND BOTTOM OFF OF YOUR SHIRT

 

How To Create T-Shirt Yarn

 

Remove the bottom seam and discard. Cut from armpit to armpit and set the top part of the shirt aside. (You can use that chunk of t-shirt fabric for other projects.) You will be left with a nice rectangle of cotton material.

 

STEP 2: FOLD THE SHIRT [ALMOST] IN HALF

 

T-Shirt Yarn Tutorial

 

Fold the shirt over itself, leaving a small margin at the top. Make sure to keep the fabric as flat and even as possible, so that when you start cutting the tee, your lines will be straight.

 

STEP 3: CUT SHIRT INTO STRIPS

 

This is where things get interesting. Decide how wide you want your strips to be (we went with one inch) and begin. Cut until you reach the first fold – cut through THAT, but don’t go any further. Make sure that very top fold is uncut; we want all the yarn to stay in one piece. Continue until you have gone across the whole width of your fabric. After you’re done, you can fold the top layer down and it’ll kind of look like a hula skirt.

 

How To Cut T-Shirt Yarn See? The bottom left is the hula skirt part!

 

STEP 4: COMPLETE CUTTING

 

This is the most difficult part, but it’s still not that bad. Unfold your t-shirt rectangle (which should still be a tube!) and flatten it out with that 1-2” margin flat in front of you. It should kind of look like a ribcage. Like this:

 

T-Shirt Yarn Instructions

 

After that, you have to make the first cut to start this chain reaction of snips. Start at the very bottom and cut diagonally from the edge to the first split to your left. See the picture below:

 

Creating T-Shirt Yarn

 

Then, just keep cutting the middle margin apart like that, moving from the split on the right diagonal up to the split on the left. Trust us, it makes way more sense as you go along.

 

How to Make T-Shirt Yarn

 

Eventually you’ll get to the end and you will have one big piece of t-shirt yarn! The rest is cake.

 

STEP 5: STRETCH AND ROLL

 

To get the wide stripe of t-shirt material to become yarn, all you do is stretch. The material will curl up over itself to form a little tube. (TIP: protect your hand with your shirt sleeve or a towel so you don’t get rug-burn while stretching your yarn.)

 

Stretching T-Shirt Yarn

 

Get all the fabric stretched out, roll it up into a ball, and you’re ready to crochet or knit your project!

 

Cute T-Shirt Yarn Balls

 

STEP 6: GET TO WORK!

 

Crafting with t-shirt yarn can be a little tricky at first – the material is way bulky and kind of stiff – but once you get used to it, you’ll love the finished results. We usually work with large hooks and needles and pick projects that need sturdy yarn, such as rugs, baskets, and belts. Have fun! Let us know in the comments what crafts you'd like to create with t-shirt yarn.

 

Crocheting With T-Shirt Yarn
MaDonna Sheehy

MaDonna is the Lead Brand Specialist at Shirts.com and simply cannot pick her favorite style of t-shirt. Perhaps a concert tee with Morrissey’s lovely face on it. Or maybe a top that features her favorite Pokemon, Slowpoke! Who knows! Today she’s wearing a tank top that features all of the Zodiac symbols. Tomorrow? It’s a mystery.


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