Category Archives: DIY Projects

T-shirt yarn!

I recently came across a tutorial on Pinterest for making yarn out of old t-shirts. My mind immediately jumped to the three boxes of cut apart t-shirts in my attic- the beginnings of a t-shirt quilt I started back in high school.  In fact, I had already resolved to finish said quilt this year before I get married- but what to do with all the left over fabric?  So when I found the t-shirt yarn tutorial, I was pumped!  I got the boxes out immediately and made a few balls.Image

And then I made a few more…

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And then I made a few more, and when I had made about 15 balls, I realized that I had no idea what I was going to do with all this yarn.  I tried crocheting with it, but it’s pretty thick and was a little tough to work with, so I started looking online at t-shirt yarn projects and found a plethora of ideas, including t-shirt yarn rugs, necklaces, bracelets, and rings, all of which look really cool, but aren’t really of any use to me right now.  So my first idea really came out of necessity: t-shirt yarn headbands!  I have to have my hair out of my face for my clinical nursing courses and I’m not a huge fan of bobby pinning it back, and all my plastic headbands give me a headache after a few hours, so I decided to use my new extensive collection of t-shirt yarn to make some.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Image– 3 20 inch strips of t-shirt yarn

– 1 10×1.5 inch strip of t-shirt fabric (I used some left over from the sleeve of the t-shirt)

– 1 4 inch piece of elastic (I used 1/2 inch width, but smaller would work too)

– Coordinating thread

– Needle and/or sewing machine

– Safety pin

– Scissors

My sewing machine has decided to rebel against jersey knit (which I learned the hard way when I made my first headband) so I hand stitched most of this one.  Luckily there’s not much sewing involved.

Step 1: Stitch the 3 strips of yarn together about 1/4 inch from the top.

Step 2: Safety pin the ends to something immobile (I used a pillow) and braid the strips together.  Once the whole thing is braided, stitch the bottom ends together.

Step 3: Stitch one end of the elastic to one end of the braided strip.

Step 4: Take the 10×1.5 inch strip and fold in half lengthways.  Stitch a 1/4 inch seam along the long edge.

Step 5: Using a safety pin, turn the strip inside out to form a tube (you can trim the seam allowance down to 1/8 inch to make turning easier.)

Step 6: Attach the safety pin to the end of the elastic (the part not attached to the braided strip.)  Work the 10 inch tube around the elastic until it covers the end that’s attached to the strip.  Stitch in place.  When I did this, the raw ends of the tube pretty much rolled themselves under so they weren’t exposed when I stitched it down.  You can stitch the ends under before you make the tube if you want, though.

Step 6: Remove the safety pin from the elastic and stitch the elastic to the remaining end of the braided strip.  Then work the other end of the tube over the elastic and stitch in place.

And voila!  You have a headband!

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Birds Nest Necklaces

I fell in love with these adorable necklaces when I saw them on Etsy. Imagine my delight to find DIY instructions on Pinterest!

I bought the supplies on Black Friday with a Michael’s coupon. I didn’t have any needle-nose pliers or wire cutters, so I bought a set. I used waxed linen cord instead of the chain (because it was cheaper) I spent about $10 for the wire, beads, cord and findings.

The little nests only take 5 to 10 minutes to make. I made a few each night while watching TV with the hubby. It took me a couple of practice runs before I got the hang of wrapping the wire securely. Keep playing with it until you find a method that works well for your hands.

Follow the tutorial I used on SarahOrtega.com.

Dyeing Yarn with Kool-Aid and Food Coloring

I love dyeing my own yarn for knitting and crochet projects. Kool-Aid, food coloring and icing dyes are perfect mediums for dyeing yarn. Not only is this a fun project, but you get to customize your color scheme to your personal preferences. My daughter loves to help select colors and dye yarn (and get a little messy too!).

The yarn pictured above and below was dyed with Kool-Aid and food coloring. I intended the colors to be very soft and muted. I knit the yarn into an easy child-size Keyhole Scarf for my daughter. The scalloped pattern showed off the variegated yarn well.

 

Here are more pictures of yarn I’ve dyed. The darker colors were created with Wilton Icing Dyes or several packets of Kool-Aid. The higher the concentration of dye in the water, the more vibrant (or dark) the color will be.

   

Want to dye your own yarn? Here are a few tutorials:

Knitty: Dyed in the Wool — specifics on Kool-Aid dyeing

Kool-Aid Dyeing — step-by-step tutorial

Dyeing Protein Fibers with Kool-Aid — these are the instructions I followed