How To Make T Shirt Yarn! (Photo + Video Tutorial)

Making t-shirt yarn is a fun summer activity you can do together with kids or friends.  The yarn is bright and soft and you can use it for your crochet, knitting, or anything else you like!  It is a great way to clean out your closet too.  Be sure and scroll down for a helpful video too.

Here's what you'll need:

  • T-shirts (no side seams!)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler (optional)

Begin by laying out the t shirt flat.  The shirt should have no side seams and no pockets below the sleeves, as this will prevent the yarn from being a smooth continuous strand.  

Cut across as shown below...once right below the underarm area and again right above the hem line.

You will be left with a large tube.  Fold the left side over the right side as shown below.  The part you cut in the previous step should be at the top and bottom.  Fold so that there is about an inch in between.

Begin by cutting strips.  Cut across the first fold, but leave the bottom fold intact as shown below.  Strips should be roughly one inch wide.

Repeat by making one inch cuts all the way across,

Now open everything up with bottom middle facing.

Now we'll cut the beginning of the strand.  Beginning at the bottom, cut on the diagonal to the first gap/opening as shown below:

Repeat all the way up by making diagonal'll be left with a heap of ribbon-like strands.

To make the yarn more tubular, give the yarn a firm tug.  Because t-shirts are jersey knit, the fabric will naturally curl up on the sides, resulting in a more yarn-like appearance.

Repeat for the entire length, 

To complete, wind into a neat little ball...finished!

Click below to watch a helpful video on how to make your own t-shirt yarn step by step:

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  1. This is such a great idea to make t shirt yarn and super eco friendly! Hey, I have just been working today on another one of your awesome projects and just had a quick question. I'm just starting the "Violet Tones" Infinity scarf (so pretty by the way) and had a question about the turning chains. After I chain 4 and then turn, the pattern says to work a tr in the first stitch. Would that be the same stitch as the chain 4 or would it be the very next stitch after the chain? Also, do the Chain 4's count as a stitch and will I work a stitch into them at the end of the rows? Thank you for letting me inquire about this and for sharing such pretty crochet patterns! :)

  2. I was wondering how to do this... Thanks for the great tutorial!

  3. This is brilliant ! Thank you for such a lovely tutorial ! Wish I had some old t-shirts. I'll have to go to the charity shop :-)

  4. Do you have any tutorials to make something with t shirt yarn?

  5. thanks for sharing this brilliant idea....just wondering what size crochet hook would be best to use?

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