T-shirt yarn

So after making Plarn, for my ‘talking point’ Rubbish bag, I have now had a go at t-shirt yarn (I guess that should be called “Tarn”) too in my quest for ‘alternative’ materials to crochet with.

This is made in a very similar way to the Plarn:

  • Collect your pile of unloved t-shirts from the bottom of the wardrobe where they have been sat for months waiting for upcycling inspiration…


  • Get your cutting mat, rotary cutter/craft knife/scissors, and ruler 
  • Cut the top of the t-shirt off below the arm seams


and cut off the bottom hem


  • Then fold over your t-shirt in the same way as for the Plarn (fold side seam to side seam, but leave about 5cm at the top where there is no overlap), and start cutting into 3-5cm wide strips


  • Then open up the whole thing, and cut diagonally from the bottom of one ‘hoop’ to the top of the next, so that you get a long line of t-shirt (this will make sense as you do it. I hope)
  • If all that makes no sense at all, then watch this very much better video..!

Then, all you have to do is stretch your line of material, so that it folds in on itself like this


Tarn07From the body of the t-shirt, I got a ball this big (note that this is not a real life size scarecrow… This is, as you all know, Spud, from the Bob the Builder…)

Tarn08And then, being super thrifty, I decided to see if I could make more ‘Tarn’ from the sleeves, by doing exactly the same thing…

Tarn09And you can!

So, from one long-sleeved t-shirt, I got this much ‘Tarn’


Again, please note that these are not life-sized figures…

Now, I just need some ideas for the remaining piece…


36 thoughts on “T-shirt yarn

  1. Give up ‘tarn’ing it and use it as a duster!

    Second thoughts…bad idea…means doing housework instead of crafting! 😉


  2. You could cut it up into loo-paper sized pieces and make reusable ass-wipes…
    Haven’t tried it myself yet, but I know others have – and they swear by it.

      • Honestly, there’s no leap!
        A few squares of t-shirt fabric, some thing to put them in- plastic tub or I use an old waterproof nappy sack because I’m never going to keep fiddling around with lids- and that’s all you need.
        Use, put in the bag/tub, wash, dry, reuse…
        I/most people only use them for wee, so husband didn’t have to get involved at all(!) and they’re dead easy to wash. They’re so small they make no difference to a load of washing. If you use reusable sanpro, you can do this!!

        Go on! (Sorry, channeling my inner Mrs Doyle now.) 😉

  3. I cut some Tarn last week and started to crochet a bath mat. I have crocheted a piece 20cm x 50cm after two t-shirts. I figure I’m going to need a few more tshirts or a much smaller bathroom!

  4. How about an outfit for a bear? My kids love clothes for their beloved teddies. Or handkercheifs for small snotty noses? I admire all the families reusing bottom wipes, that is dedication!!

  5. You could get a few different coloured Tarns and crochet a new bottom for your left over top. Or just a new T-shirt altogether. My Ma cut old cotton clothes into squares as hankies for colds and just put them in the wash.

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  9. I LOVE this idea! This week I went to Hobbycraft and bought some of their Boodles textile yarn – if I’d seen this first I could have saved myself £12! Got bagfuls of old tshirts so definitely going to give this a go :o)

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