Fabric Yarn DIY
How to recycle old clothes in a creative way
Fabric yarn is another amazing DIY project that you can enjoy! You can make all kinds of your own yarn from different materials and in a variety of colours. The options are endless because you’ll never run out of old clothes to use up. One of my very favourite things to do is using old men’s shirts. They are usually quite large and offer a lovely piece of quality fabric. I’ve used men’s shirts to make lovely artisan shirt dress. I’ve also used old jeans to make a DIY denim apron! Both pieces perfect for creative souls running bare foot around an art studio or in the garden.
Today we’ll use both – old jeans and a men’s shirt – again! This time to make a DIY fabric yarn. Are you a fan of weaving or crochet projects? Do you like to knit with hands? Whether you want to make an unique woven piece for your walls or crochet a rug or a basket – DIY fabric yarn will be perfect for it! It’s a great tool to use for original gift wrapping or to make a home decor tassel garland. And I’ve also found out that it makes a lovely cat toy! The other day I shared a felt mouse cat toy project and as far as our cat princess is concerned – the DIY fabric yarn ball is even more entertaining!
Upcycling old shirts, trousers or bed linen is a meaningful way to waste less of what’s already made. It’s a beautiful combination of slow sustainable living and exciting creative adventure. So let’s get to work and make our own creative material for more DIY projects!
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Fabric Yarn DIY
- old clothes – any piece that has a lovely pattern or made from a quality fabric
- a pair of scissors
There are different ways to cut old clothes in order to keep a long thin strand intact, forming a ball of DIY yarn. One way (especially for the jeans) that I’ve seen used is to begin cutting at the bottom of the jeans and continue around the leg upwards. The strand thickness may vary but try to keep it about 1/2 inch. The way I use to make the yarn from jeans is cutting the legs into small fringes first. It is faster and it also helps you remove one of the thick denim seams you usually have on each side of the leg. I repeat the same with an old shirt sleeves and also the shirt back folded in half.
Making DIY yarn from a shirt
Detach the sleeve from the shirt and iron it flat. Then cut the fabric from one side into small fringes as shown on the images. Choose to cut the seam that is softer and don’t cut all the way to the other side seam. Cut as many pieces as you can fit onto the sleeve and then cut the fringe out along the uncut seam. Open the folded piece so you can see the cuts nicely laid out. Now choose one side as the yarn beginning end and start cutting the edges as shown. Make sure that you always cut only one side and then the opposite side one cut bellow, never the same level. This way you’ll keep the continuation of the DIY fabric yarn intact.
Cutting old jeans into a DIY fabric yarn
Use the same technique for the denim yarn. The legs are ideal to cut a lovely even fringes that you can then turn into yarn the same way as the shirt above.
Attach the DIY fabric yarn ends without sewing
There is a simple way to attach the yarn ends together without having to sew. As you continue to turn different parts of old clothes into a yarn you’ll soon have many separate pieces. You can attach them together by making a knot or by stitching them with a needle and thread. However, there is another simple technique you can use to achieve the same thing. As shown bellow, make small cuts on each of the ends you want to attach. Then pull the other uncut end through each of the cuts and pull through as shown on the images.
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