T-Shirt Yarn | Made From Upcycled T-Shirts

T-Shirt Yarn youmakeitsimple.com

In this post, I’m going to show you how to make t-shirt yarn from upcycled t-shirts. As some of you know, upcycling is one of my passions and I get a little excited about recycling items of clothing, and t-shirts are one of them.

In a previous post, I have shared some different ideas of how to use upcycled t-shirts. and you can find them here. But for now, let me show you how to make t-shirt yarn.

What can you do with T-Shirt Yarn?

Oh, baby, this stretchy yarn is the best! I have been making it for years, and it comes in handy for so many things. You can use it just like you would yarn and twine.

  • Gift Wrapping
  • Face Mask Ties
  • Crochet it (rugs, bags, etc.)
  • Bracelets
  • Rugs (wrap method-STAY TUNED FOR A FUN TUTORIAL
  • Shoelaces
  • Colorful Decoration (place them in a cute basket for display)

How to Choose the Right T-Shirt for T-shirt Yarn

The best scenario is to find a t-shirt that doesn’t have side seams and is just one continuous piece of fabric. That is ideal, but they’re not as easy to find, but don’t worry because I’m going to show you a really slick way to join the seams and how to cut off that bulky side and make it flow a lot nicer if you have to use a shirt with seams.

I like to find t-shirts that have a little bit of synthetic content and stretch to them. T-shirts that are 100% cotton tend to fray and don’t stretch as well. (It all depends on what you’re using the yarn for).

Don’t limit yourself to just t-shirts. You can use knit dresses and skirts too. Check out this post where I give some helpful tips on upcycling t-shirts.

Materials & Items Needed

  • Scissors
  • Rotary Cutter/Ruler (optional but recommended)
  • Sewing Machine/Needle & Thread (optional)

Using Printed T-Shirt Fabric

TAKE NOTE: If you have a t-shirt that has a cute print that you want to be shown, you’ll need to cut the fabric differently. If you cut the strips horizontally, what happens when you pull the strips to stretch the yarn it is going to curl with the wrong side of the fabric showing on the outside. This is fine if you are using a plain color fabric. But if you want the print exposed, you’ll need to cut the fabric strips vertically.

Most people don’t know this and I don’t want you to be all bummed when you go to pull your strips and the cute print is not visible, just something to consider.

Follow the cutting instructions for printed fabric below. If the t-shirt you are using has a logo or screen print, you’ll want to cut around that as well.  

How big should you cut the strips?

You can cut the strips in different sizes, just depends on what you’re going to use them for. I recommend cutting different size strips on a sleeve and then pulling the strips to see what they look like. Try 1, 1 ½, and 2-inch strips. All fabrics will react a little differently.

Cutting Strips with NO SIDE SEAM T-Shirts

Remove the bottom hem. I really like using a rotary cutter because you get a very straight edge!

Flatten your t-shirt out and fold it in half lengthwise, but leave it unfolded two inches. *Something to consider, if the shirt has a logo on it, you don’t want this in your strips, so cut around it.

Cut from armpit to armpit as shown here. Cut the desired width of strips horizontally, BUT DO NOT CUT ALL THE WAY ACROSS! Stop cutting just past the fold of the top layer. Continue cutting strips all the way up the shirt.

 

On the last strip cut it all the way off and remove the top of the shirt. As you can see there’s a section that’s not cut and this is where the magic happens! Slide your arm between the layers and adjust it so the uncut area is accessible over your arm. This makes it easier to cut than cutting on a table.

As indicated on the drawing, start cutting through the single layer of fabric on the bottom strip at an angle to the end of the cut edge. On the next layer cut from one end to the other ON A DIAGANOL!  Follow that same pattern until you’ve cut all strips.

 

Cutting Strips on T-Shirts with SIDE SEAMS

You can follow the same procedure if you don’t mind bulky seams in your yarn. This may be fine for some craft projects, but if you’re crocheting something, this seam will be very bulky. I will show you below how to join the pieces without all the bulk.

If you want to cut strips and sew them together, cut off the side seams and then cut strips to the size you want. Follow the instructions below on how to piece strips together.

Cutting Strips of PRINTED FABRIC

Remove the bottom hem and remove the sleeves. Instead of folding the t-shirt over vertically, fold the bottom edge up to the neckband. Cut off side seams and then cut vertical strips to your desired width. You will need to piece strips together.

 

How to Piece Strips Together

Before sewing strips together, pull the strip ends that you are going to sew together to see which side curls in. Put the curling sides facing down flatten it out and take the other strip that you’re joining together and place it on top of the strip with the curling side facing up.

Place them at right angles overlapping just about a 1/4 inch at the top and on the side. It doesn’t really matter if it’s more, but it needs to be at least a quarter inch. Sew from notch to notch at an angle using a ¼ inch seam allowance.

Clip fabric and leave a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Clip away the two little ear tags. When you open up the seam it’s at a diagonal and when you pull it, the seam will be tucked inside. You may be wondering why you can’t just sew it at a straight angle. Doing it this way distributes the seam at an angle so it’s tucked inside and less bulky. Pretty cool huh?

So if you can’t find t-shirts without seams, you can join them this way and it works really well. If you really needed to, you could do this by using a needle and thread as well

Pulling Strips to Make T-Shirt Yarn

To finish the strips into yarn, simply pull the strips. When you pull the strips, they’ll curl onto themselves making a nice yarn. Wrap strips into a ball and place them in a cute basket.

Who would have thought that you can make yarn from an upcycled t-shirts! This is such a fun thing and it’s easy to do.

So go through your closets and find some cute colors of t-shirts and make yarn!

Print the FREE PDF infographic below.

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Jan Howell

Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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Yummy Crispy Kale Chips | 4 Seasoning Options

Kale Chips youmakeitsimple.com

When it comes to healthy snacks, kale chips are one of my favorites! These chips are yummy, crispy, and easy to make. I am going to show you four different seasoning options.

Why is kale so healthy?

Kale is among the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Eating more kale is a great way to dramatically increase the total nutrient content of your diet.

It’s loaded with:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Manganese
  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium

It also contains vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), iron, and phosphorus

Get the full scoop HERE.

kale chips types of kale

There are several different types of kale. The most common are Curly, Red, and Lacinato. Any of these types of kale will make great kale chips and it is just your preference as they all have different characteristics.

oven pre heat

Kale Chips Preparation

Preheat oven to 250°

cutting out spine of kale

Cut out the spine: The center spine of kale is dense and fibrous and you’ll want to cut or rip it off. I find that cutting along the spine with a knife is the quickest and most efficient.

Rip or cut the kale into uniform pieces, about 3 inches. (It will shrink significantly while baking).

Clean the kale: Place the kale in a big bowl of water. Swish around to clean it well. Drain.

Dry: The key to a crispy kale chip is to make sure it is completely dry! I like to use a “salad spinner” and then pat the kale dry with a dishcloth.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Now the kale is ready to add your choice of seasoning.

sea salt kale chips

Simple Sea Salt & Olive Oil Kale Chips

Ingredients:

  • One bunch of Kale
  • 2 tsp. Olive Oil (approximate)
  • Sea Salt

 

ranch kale chips

Ranch Seasoned Kale Chips

Ingredients:

nutritional yeast kale chips

Cheesy Kale Chips

Ingredients:

  • One bunch of Kale
  • 2 tsp. Olive Oil (approximate)
  • Approximately 2 TB Nutritional Yeast

Sesame Seeds & Olive Oil

Ingredients:

  • One bunch of Kale
  • 2 tsp. Olive Oil (approximate)
  • 1 -2 TB raw Sesame Seeds
kale chips baking

Kale Chips Baking Instructions

Place kale on a lined baking sheet so that the leaves are NOT OVERLAPPING, and then put the pans in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and flip leaves over. Put the pans back in the oven and bake another 10 minutes. (If you are using two baking sheets, rotate the one on top to the bottom).

 ***Some types of kale will cook faster than others, so it’s a good idea to just peek in and check them. You don’t want to overcook. When the kale is crisp, remove it from the oven.

storing kale chips

How to Store Kale Chips

If you’re not going to eat them straight away, store them in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid.

They will be good for up to a week, if they last that long.

There you have it, a yummy, crispy AND healthy snack. Enjoy!

Yummy Crispy Kale Chips | 4 Seasoning Options

Kale Chips youmakeitsimple.com

A yummy, crispy and healthy snack. The recipe includes four savory seasoning options. 

  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time30 min
  • Total Time40 min
  • Ready in40
  • Yield4 cups
  • Serving Size1/2 cup

Ingredients

Sea Salt Kale Chips

    • One bunch of Kale
    • 2 tsp. Olive Oil (approximate)
    • Sea Salt
     

Ranch Seasoned Kale Chips

Cheesy Kale Chips

    • One bunch of Kale
    • 2 tsp. Olive Oil (approximate)
    • Approximately 2 TB Nutritional Yeast

Sesame Seeds & Olive Oil Kale Chips

    • Sesame Seeds & Olive Oil
    • One bunch of Kale
    • 2 tsp. Olive Oil (approximate)
    • 1 -2 TB raw Sesame Seeds

INSTUCTIONS

1

Place kale on lined baking sheet so that the leaves are NOT OVERLAPPING, and then put the pans in the oven

 
2

Bake for 20 minutes.

3

Remove from the oven and flip leaves over. Put the pans back in the oven and bake another 10 minutes. (If you are using two baking sheets, rotate the one on top to the bottom).

***Some types of kale will cook faster than others, so it’s a good idea to just peek in and check them. You don’t want to overcook. 

4

When the kale is crisp, remove from the oven.

5

If you’re not going to eat them straight away, store them in a glass container with a tight fitting lid.

They will be good for up to a week, if they last that long.

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Jan Howell

Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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Sewing With Plush Fabric | Tips & Tricks

Sewing With Plush Fabric

Items made with plush fabric are the coziest things ever; however, sewing with plush fabric can be a little tricky. In this post I am going to give you some great tips & tricks that will make the sewing process a lot easier and save you a lot of grief!

What Is Plush Fabric?

The fabrics that are considered “plush” are:

  • Faux Fur                 
  • Fleece
  • Minky (also known as “Cuddle” fabric
  • Velvet
  • Chenille
  • Velveteen

These fabrics usually have a “nap” to them. If you run your hand up and down the fabric, they’ll be smoother in one direction and may even look a shade different in color.

plush fabric blanket

What do you do with plush fabric?

These cozy fabrics make really nice toys, blankets, pillows and jackets. It’s not just for babies! We, adults, deserve to have something COZY! 

The fabric is available in solids, prints, embossed and double-sided. Embossed Cuddle is a favorite. You get softness plus a subtle design that pops up from the nap, such as the classic dimple as well as hearts, stars, paisley, and more. Next time you’re at the fabric store, check and see what they have available.

You can buy the fabric by the yard, or you can upcycle a throw blanket or item of clothing (like I like to do). The bunny in the photo below was made from an upcycled fleece jacket.

PLUSCH FABRIC BUNNY

Sewing With Plush Fabric Tips & Tricks

  • Things are going to get messy! Plush fabric sheds when cut; use a rotary cutter to minimize fuzz. After cutting, place pieces in a dryer with a damp washcloth on low heat for about 10 minutes. Keep a lint roller, masking tape, and vacuum handy.

plush fabric stretch

  • This fabric has some stretch to it. It stretches on the crosswise grain but very little along the lengthwise grain (parallel to the selvages). If you are sewing two pieces of fabric together, it’s important to line up stretch with stretch and the grain with the grain, or you’ll get twisting and uneven seams.

plush fabric pinning

  • Use a lot of pins! This fabric will do a lot of shifting from the time you pin until the time you actually sew, so place a lot of pins to hold things in place. I love these long, floral tip pins. It makes them easy to see, so you don’t accidentally leave pins in your projects. 
  • Attach a walking foot, if you have one. If you are going to be sewing on these types of fabrics, it’s well worth the investment. Most sewing machines have one available if it doesn’t come with one. It makes a huge difference when sewing on the fleece, Minky, upcycled sweaters, etc. *If you don’t have one, be sure to hold the bottom layer of fabric a little more firmly when sewing. What happens is, the bottom fabric gets fed through the machine more quickly and you’ll get uneven sewing.
  • If you’re sewing a different type of fabric together with the plush, place the plush fabric on the bottom when sewing.
  • Use a ballpoint needle, 90/14 (Ge my NEEDLE GUIDE HERE).
  • Set your stitch length to a longer-than-normal stitch (3-4) to keep seams from puckering.
  • Do not use an iron. The fabric can melt!
  • Use a slightly bigger seam allowance. I like to use a ½ inch seam allowance when sewing on plush.
  • Using a rotary cutter will give you a cleaner cut edge.
  • If sewing together with a different type of fabric, especially cotton, be sure to wash the cotton piece first! Plush fabric will not shrink, but the cotton will.

Sewing with plush fabric is really not that bad once you get the hang of it. I wished I would have known this stuff before I attempted my first plush fabric project.

I have a video tutorial showing you how to make a plush self-binding blanket, and I go over these tips in it. WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE.

You may also find the fleece binding tutorial helpful.

Check out my sewing patterns HERE.

I hope this was helpful and that you’re now ready and excited to make a fun baby blanket or teddy bear.

Jan Howell

Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

Read More