…making t shirt yarn that is. We were chopping up old t shirts like there was no tomorrow, without a thought in the world to what we would actually do with the stuff. Then, in to a bag it all went and there it’s stayed…until now!

One of Ruby’s brilliant Aunties, from the Rustic Kitsch blog, lent us some fab craft books and in Knit It, Stitch It! (by Jane Bull) we found a tutorial for rag mats. You can use strips of any fabric, even though we made ours entirely out of t shirt yarn. Here’s how…

Rag Weaving

You will need:

Strips of fabric

A sturdy piece of cardboard


  • Cut a rectangle (for a place mat, or a square for a coaster) out of your cardboard. Make it slightly larger than you would like your finished piece to be. You could go HUGE and make a rag rug!
  • Cut an even number of slits (to about a centimetre and a half down) on each end.

  • Tie lots of strips of fabric together, this will be for your basic frame that you weave the rest of your fabric on to. It will mostly show up as the tassles at the end of your mat/coaster/rug.
  • Wedge a piece of your fabric in the first slot (leaving just over an inch poking loose out of the back of the slit) and wrap around the length of the board through all the slits. When you’re at the last slit, again leave about an inch just poking out – no need to tie it up.
  • Now, tie more strips together to start weaving. You simply go under and over, under and over, through the lines of fabric on your board, pulling your line of fabric right through each time. You will have a loose end that you can just weave in to stop it from coming undone. Take a look at the pictures to see what we mean…

  • Lots of our yarn was the same colour, but you can tie any strips you like together. Anytime you start to run out simply tie more pieces on.
  • Every now and then you may need to push your woven lines a bit closer together to close up any gaps and make your finished piece a bit stronger.
  • Once you are done you can tie your loose end in a knot to anchor it to one of the bits of fabric on the cardboard and trim off the excess.

  • Then flip the cardboard over and cut right down the middle of the strips…go on, we double dare you!
  • There will be an even number of loose strips at each end. Tie two together in a knot (we knotted ours twice to be safe) and you have a tassle. When you’ve tied them all you can trim your tassles to the length you think looks best.
  • On our first attempt the cardboard we used was too bendy, so our placemat didn’t stay the same shape all the way down. We made another one using some really, REALLY tough cardboard and the result was much better!

This was great fun, we also found these awesome ideas for using up your t shirt yarn stash (it’s not just us…right?)

Halloween Spider

At Taming The Goblin, this is also a tutorial for t shirt yarn pom poms which you could make in to all sorts of crafty treasures!

Macramé Bracelet

The folks at  Minieco are so creative! T Shirt yarn is a bit too chunky to add washers, but we made a bracelet from it using this method and sewed the ends together.

5 Strand Braided Headband

If you are good at braiding you might like to try this awesome headband from Make It and Love It.

If you have any t shirt yarn projects, we’d love to see them!