How To Make and Use T-Shirt Yarn

Okay, so I found this tutorial on t-shirt yarn, and decided to give it a try.  We needed an area rug for our living room, so it seemed like a good time to experiment.  

All you need is a t-shirt and some sharp scissors!  

Cut from armpit to armpit.  Cut off any writing or screen-printed stuff, since it will prevent it from curling.  I left just a little bit in, because it's in thin writing so it won't affect it too much. 

Trim off the bottom hem too.  You should be left with a tube of t-shirt.  Don't use shirts with seams--it should be one tube.

Fold the t-shirt up, leaving a 1" margin at the top. 

You can fold it up again if your scissors will cut through that much fabric.

Cut through the folded up portion, but do NOT cut through the 1" margin at the top.


The trickiest part of a super-easy tutorial: cutting it so it is all in one piece.  Put it over your arm, like so, and cut diagonally.  I start at the end closest to my hand and move closer to my elbow as I cut.  See how the first strip is cut diagonally out? Follow that diagonal cut all the way across for the other strips.

When you get to the other end, you'll do the same thing on the last strip as you did on the first: cut it diagonally so that it creates the end of the strip. 

Now the fun part--just take a section and pull it tight.  It will curl up into a tight tube.

And voila! T-shirt yarn.  I found that one largish t-shirt would probably be enough to make a potholder, so be careful about how expensive this could get. (It takes a lot of t-shirts to make a 5' x 7' area rug...just so you know.) Luckily, they have 99 cent t-shirts at my local Salvation Army.   

I was going to put a tutorial on here of the pattern I did for my rug, but I hate how complicated it is to get pictures on Blogger.  I put it on Facebook here if you're interested!  


  1. It looks like a long process. You are skilled. If you want to make me one, you can...just sayin'. And congrats on the job!!!! How is that going?


Say something.