Save Money! Make your own T-Shirt Yarn!
Browsing Pinterest, I saw an awesome pattern for a rug made of T-Shirt Yarn. Now, I had to make the rug (of course!), but didn’t want to buy the yarn. So, off to the thrift store for some T-Shirts, right!? That’s what I thought anyhow, but once at the thrift store, my friend checked out the used bed sheets section and found twin size jersey sheets. Brilliant! Instead of cutting up a ton of shirts and trying to get them all to match, a sheet or two is much simpler.
I bought five sheets which went very nicely together and spent less than $10! These five sheets made more than enough yarn for the rug that I made – check it out here.
Now, I had 5 sheets to turn into yarn. A green sheet and two each of purple and pink. Making the yarn turned out to be a fairly time consuming project, but also a pretty simple one.
I was tickled pink that I had gotten my supplies for under $10 and was equally pleased with the colors. It was time to start crocheting and get this done before baby arrived.
How To Make T-Shirt Yarn From Jersey Sheets
Making T-shirt Yarn from Jersey Sheets Isn’t hard.
- Buy Jersey Sheets
First, you need to buy some jersey sheets. I would recommend checking in thrift stores. I was fortunate to find three bright colors that went together well. I used five sheets in total to make a crocheted rug. My rug was about 3 feet in diameter and I had some yarn left over.
- Trim Edges of Sheets
Cut off any seams or elastic. For a fitted sheet, cut the elastic from the bottom edge, it is not critical that this be done perfectly. I happen to think that this elastic would make very cute headbands, but that is for another post!
Update: I made a headband! Check it out.
Once you have removed the elastic, cut the corner seams off, and you will have what looks like a rectangle with squares cut into the corners. The key here is that it should now lay flat.
- Cut Your Sheet into Strips
Now, you are ready to cut the sheet into one long continuous strip. First look at the grain of the sheet. You want to be sure to cut ACROSS THE GRAIN so that the yarn will curl on itself correctly.
Starting at the top, cut across the sheet – you want strips that are at least 1.5 inches wide. You can cut thicker strips if you want a thicker yarn, just be consistent.
Continue to cut across the sheet, but DON’T cut all the the way to the end. Stop cutting about 2 inches from the end and turn the sheet around. Start a new cut about an inch and a half down from the last cut and again cut almost all the way to the other side.
I tried to make a diagram of what it looks like. It ends up zig-zagging through the sheet, and can be a bit tricky where the sheet goes from smaller to bigger width (where you removed the corner seams from if it was a fitted sheet). I marked in purple a bit you may want to cut off, but if you don’t make the widths of your strips quite even, you should be able to use the whole sheet. You will get corners on the ends, you can round these out if you like, just be careful not to let the cut get too close to the edge ( I goofed a couple of times and had to rejoin the yarn).
Continue cutting in this way. Around the top, it won’t be quite perfect due to the seams you cut out, but it won’t matter too much in the finished yarn.
- Ball Your Yarn
After you have a number of strips cut, you can start to ball your yarn. Take the start of your continuous strip and gently pull it. It should curl in on itself and stretch out a bit. I found this part REALLY FUN (don’t know why…)! After pulling it, you can start to wind the ball.
Keep cutting, pulling and winding until your sheet is gone! Then, you have a fabulous ball of T-shirt yarn. Each sheet I had made a ball approximately 9-10 inches in diameter. That is a lot of yarn!
Have fun making awesome crafts from your T-shirt yarn!
EDIT: Several people have asked me what size hook I used. I used a hook very similar to this Aluminum 10 mm Crochet Hook
and it worked well for me.