DIY Tutorial: Upcycled T-shirt Yarn – Operation Overhaul

DIY Tutorial: Upcycled T-shirt Yarn

October 17, 2011

Here’s something you can do if you have any old T-shirts that you do not wear anymore. Make them into T-shirt yarn to recycle them! There are endless possibilities to what you can make out of them, but don’t worry, we have tutorials on some interesting ways coming up ;)

Here are the materials required:

  • Old T-shirt (Cotton, jersey)
  • Scissors
  • Tailor chalk (Not shown above)
  • Ruler (Not shown above)
*Do note that only the unprinted area of the T-shirt can be used to make your yarn. The parts that have prints on them will be too stiff.

1. Place the T-shirt on a flat surface. Cut off the bottom seam and top portion of the T-shirt from the underarms.

*Don’t throw the other parts away. They may come in useful in future!

2. With the stitched side facing you, draft your lines to prepare for cutting, leaving a 1″ margin at the top. Your strips can range from 0.5″ to 1″, depending on how thick you will want your yarn to be. Now, follow your lines and cut! Remember not to cut into the 1″ margin.

3. After cutting your strips, open up the folded edge where you had left the 1″ margin. Cut from the first cut at the bottom to the second cut at the top diagonally. Keep cutting diagonally from bottom to top.

4. This is how it will look when you reach your last cut. Follow the width of your strip and cut out your ends. You will get a long, continuous strip.

5. Now all you have to do is stretch your cloth. Grab one end and give it a tug. Repeat this for the rest of your yarn. It will roll up into a tube, forming your yarn. Simple, right? To keep it neatly, simply roll it into a ball and you’re done!!!


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  • Reply 10 Upcycled T-Shirt Projects | Free Plans Online February 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    […] Make t-shirt yarn. You can weave this stuff into all sorts of fun […]

  • Reply jane July 23, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    does this work with t shirts that have seams in the side?

    • mm
      Reply Ros C. July 23, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      Hi Jane! Nope, this will only work with tees without side seams as you will need to cut through them to create a nice continuous strand.

      • Reply jane July 24, 2012 at 7:26 pm

        ok thanks :) too bad most of my old tees have seams :(

  • Reply Liz May 5, 2013 at 3:24 am

    I do with with t-shirts that have seams ALL THE TIME. It works fine. If the seam splits, you just tie ends together or sew them.

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