September 22, 2011

Tutorial Time~ Recycle Sheets into yarn!

I searched. I scoured. I read until my eyes bled! Ok, that might be an over-exaggeration. I just couldn't find a straight forward, easy to follow process for turning my stash of old sheets into fabric yarn. So being a DIY-er, I decided to create my own and share it with all of you nice people!!
Follow these easy step by step instructions to make your own fabric "yarn" by carefully cutting up those old sheets that are just taking up valuable real estate in your linen closet! These drawings were created (by me!!) to assist you with making the correct cuts to give you the longest non-joined piece of fabric yarn possible!

Step One:

Launder your sheets. Very important! Make sure you are using material that is free of stains, this is especially important if the finished product is intended for sale.

Step Two:

Trim the "finished ends" from your sheets. This includes trimming out any elastic if you are using fitted sheets. Make the ends of the material as square as possible (perfectionism with this project is NOT required!!)

Step Three:

Fold your material in half, length-wise. This means take sheet as it would have gone on the bed, take the top of the sheet and fold it toward the bottom.

Step Four:

Here's where the fun begins. Start by setting the fabric on a flat surface with the folded edge facing you. Using sharp scissors or a rotary cutter (make sure you protect your working surface accordingly) cut the fabric into strips starting at your folded edge, stopping 3/4" from the end of the fabric (see fig 1). Continue cutting strips in widths of your preference! Make it as wide or as narrow as you like. Just make sure you stop cutting about 3/4" from the end.
Fig. 1
Step Five:
Now unfold your fabric (fig 2). Notice how there is 3/4" left between your cuts and the ends of the fabric.
Fig 2. Step Six:
Take your scissors, and following Fig. 3 below, finish taking the cuts all the way to the end of the fabric in an alternating pattern. This will give you one strip of fabric that will not require any joins. You may find where the fabric "turns the corners" it's a little to square for you. Feel free to round them out a bit. If you don't want to bother, that's okay. Just work the square parts into your project, they'll go un-noticed.

Fig .3 Step Seven:
Starting at one end of your new fabric yarn, begin rolling into a ball. This will make storing and working with your yarn much more manageable.

Tips:
  • For a shabby chic look, try tearing your fabric. It's a little more time consuming and challenging but the end product can be stunning!!
  • Store your yarn carefully to prevent tangles or soiling. I've heard of people using old ice cream tubs with a nice tidy hole cut into the lid (where you feed the yarn through) to keep it from rolling around the room while you work!
  • Use your new yarn to create a multitude of items. Can be used for crocheting, knitting, braiding. Try making rugs, trivets, bowls, totes - just about anything you can dream up.
    Mix and match colors, textures and fabrics for even more creative pieces.
  • Have friends and family save their old sheets for you. Hit the yard sales! You can also score sheets at second hand stores like Goodwill, Slavation Army or Value Village. Making your own fabric yarn can be an inexpensive and very eco-conscience way to recycle!
  • Always make sure that your sheets are FRESHLY laundered. No one wants to work with, buy or receive something that looks, smells or IS dirty!! Yuck!
  • Stay tuned for a tutorial on joining your fabric yarn. This is helpful when changing colors or to simply add yardage to your existing ball!!
  • Follow this blog for future postings fabric yarn patterns! Feel free to leave me a note below with any comments!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, this has been the best tutorial I have found for making the yarn without extra sewing or cutting. Did it work up chunkier at the corners, or was it pretty even?

Kristi said...

Thanks for this. I have been looking for how to do this, and was glad to find your instructions.

Anonymous said...

Much clearer than other instructions I have found. Thanks! Will be yard sale shopping tomorrow.