How to Make T-shirt Yarn (And a Giveaway!)

It’s my 100th blog post!!! This means almost nothing except that I can’t believe I have stuck with this blog long enough to create 100 posts. It’s been a lot of fun and a great outlet for my thoughts and projects. In order to celebrate I’m going to do a giveaway that I’ll explain at the end of the post.

Before that, though, I have a little tutorial to share.  My mom and her friends have been very busy making lots of t-shirt yarn because they are going on a mission’s trip to Haiti really soon.  Our church has been part of setting up a child sponsorship program in Haiti as well as creating opportunities for groups to travel there and do mission’s work.  So that is why my mom is going with a group of ladies.  They are going to be teaching a group of women how to knit and since yarn won’t be an easy thing for them to find in Haiti they are going to teach them how to make yarn out of t-shirts. They are hoping to teach them so that eventually the women can start selling what they create and earn some money to support their families.

My mom and I took some pictures so that she can make a booklet to leave with the women. That way they have something to reference when they make their own yarn.  I thought I’d put it on here too…I know there are other tutorials out there, this is just how we figured out it works best for us.  Hopefully you like it too!  Here is something that you can make with that yarn (you’ll need about 4-6 shirts).

Important: When choosing t-shirts to make yarn out of make sure they don’t have any graphics below the armpits and no seams on the side.


Start with this.IMG_0938

Chop off the bottom hem and everything from the armpit up.


Position the tube you now have so that the cut edges are on the sides. Fold the tube almost in half…leaving a 1″ space at the top.


Now you are going to cut notches through 4 layers of the t-shirt. You don’t want to cut them too thin or you’re going to break your yarn as you pull it. We cut ours 2 cm thick, don’t cut smaller than 1.5 cm.


Continue cutting those notches all the way through that first fold at the top.  Don’t cut through the way top!


This is what it should look like.


Now unfold it.


This is the important part! To make the yarn you need to cut from the bottom of the first slit to the top of the second slit.  This will be a diagonal cut, if you cut straight up for your first cut you will end up with a bunch of individual pieces of yarn.  After you make this first cut you’ll cut from one slit to the next until you reach the end.


Pile of yarn…almost!  As you roll your yarn into a ball gently pull it so it becomes a rolled tube.


Snip the beginning of the yarn where it is still joined (from that first cut you made a few steps ago)

IMG_0953And there you have it!

Now, I also said that I was doing a giveaway since this is my 100th post.  Maybe you remember me doing a little scarf made from a skein of scrap-yarn.  Well I’m giving away a finished scarf similar to that one as well as a skein of scrap-yarn with which you can knit your own something! Included in the skein of yarn will be instructions for the scarf, it won’t look exactly like the finished one though because every skein of scrap-yarn is unique, which is what makes it so awesome!  Here’s a picture of both…I know the scarf isn’t really appropriate for May (unless you live in MN and then it’s not only appropriate but necessary!!) but I was planning on doing this giveaway in February, so my bad.


 So two people will win something.  All you have to do is comment below with (a)what was your favorite post from the last 2+ years on “My Life: Inspired” and (b) whether you would prefer the finished scarf or the skein of yarn.  I’ll be doing two separate drawings but you can only enter your name for one of the prizes.  The giveaway will end on Wednesday, May 8th, 2013.


5 responses to “How to Make T-shirt Yarn (And a Giveaway!)

  • Birgit G.

    I’d have to say your recent Almond Banana Pancake recipe. Can’t wait to try it!
    I prefer the scarf.

  • Leslie Clark

    I really enjoyed your Advent/25 Days of Christmas post and all the things you did with Dieter during that time! I would prefer the scarf as I have yet to learn to knit!

  • Natalie Klauser

    Your “Out and About Winter Edition” you did last year. I have it saved under our favorites and pull it out whenever we need an idea or have company in town. Your crafts are awesome, but that list is great for us! Love your blog and love you!

    If I win, wish I hope I do, I prefer the scarf.

  • aleverence

    I have loved many but my favorite is from December 2011. “To My Child.” It was written from a place so beautifully vulnerable and I saw your heart. It’s a privilege for me to share the same mantle as you: finding courage to share pieces of ourselves with others who have or are still walking the dark road of grief. We share the same desire that our pain is not in vain but an amazing reminder of God’s redemptive work in our lives.

    If I won, I would like the yarn. Knitting is therapeutic!!

  • Maria Douglas

    Not sure what the date of the post is but during the Christmas season you mentioned putting up Christmas card photos of various families on your fridge each week as a prayer reminder. That inspired my prayer book from my last trip to Haiti! Thanks for all of the work you did to create the instruction booklet for the women in Haiti. This trip is the work of so many more than those of us actually making the physical journey there. You are a part of this!!!
    Would love the yarn!
    Maria Douglas

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