How to Make T-Shirt Yarn

How to Make DIY T-Shirt Yarn

I love working on a variety of crafts and that includes crochet. Lately, I have been on a crochet kick, making scarves for all of the gals I know; but now that the weather is getting warmer, I wanted to think of something else to make. That is when I decided I wanted to try to crochet a throw rug (you can find the tutorial for making the crochet rug here).

I knew I didn’t want to make it using yarn… Can you imagine how expensive that would be, especially if I wanted to use bulky yarn!?! I thought of using some of my fabric scraps, but then changed my mind once I realized many of the scraps were small enough that I would have a lot of ends to weave in. That is when I thought of using t-shirts.

The first thing I did was clean out my t-shirt drawer (and maybe my husband’s). Once I had a nice collection of t-shirts, I set out to find the best way to make t-shirt yarn. After a few tries, I had figured out how to cut the t-shirt in one continuous strip with only wasting a tiny bit of it.

Here is how I cut the t-shirt into a ball of yarn (or should we call it tarn?)…

Start out by laying the t-shirt flat on your work surface. Cut off the bottom hem. If you prefer, you could try to rip out the seam and use this part. As far as I was concerned, this was more work than I wanted to do. I do not recommend using the t-shirt hem because it would be really thick and hard to work with.

Learn how to cut off t-shirt hem

Now you can start cutting your t-shirt yarn. Start anywhere along the bottom edge. Make sure your first cut tapers up. I made sure my strip was about 3/4s of an inch wide. Don’t worry about it all being the exact same width, it won’t matter. Also, don’t worry about the edges being perfectly straight; again, it won’t matter.

How to start cutting the t-shirt

Continue cutting, making your way around the t-shirt.

continue cutting around the body of the shirt

Keep cutting around the body of the t-shirt until you get to the seams in the armpits.

cut t-shirt until you get to the armpits

Stop cutting the strip just short of the first armpit seam you get to (note the strip on the lower, right hand side of the picture below). Cut out the armpit seam. Continue cutting the t-shirt strip, doing the same to the other armpit when you get to it.

How to cut out armpit of shirt

With the bulky armpit seam out of the way, you can continue cutting the shirt as you were before. Now you will be cutting the sleeves also. You will be cutting over the arm seams. These won’t really add much extra bulk to the yarn, but you will have to be careful not to pull these too much when you crochet with it because the seams can split apart.

Continue cutting around until you get to the hem on the t-shirt sleeve.

How to cut t-shirt sleeves

Cut the sleeve hem and lay the t-shirt on the table. Cut the points off the sleeve of the t-shirts. Instead of points, you want the edges to be rounded.

How to cut top of t-shirt

Continue cutting around the shirt until you run out of fabric and run into the shirt color.

finish cutting the t-shirt

You are now done and have a big pile of t-shirt yarn! I highly recommend rolling it into a ball and putting it away until you are ready to use it.

pile of t-shirt yarn