No more than circles of fabric gathered in the middle, often with a button in the center, fabric yo-yos evoke a sense of whimsy and playfulness.
Yo-yos are simple and enjoyable to make and are a fantastic way to use up scraps.
Once you learn how to make fabric yo-yos, you’ll be able to crank them out.
They’re an easy project to take on the go or to keep your hands busy when you’re watching TV, visiting with friends, or just hanging out with the family.
After following the directions in this tutorial, you’ll know how to make fabric yo-yos.
Tip: Read all of the steps before you begin.
Gather the Supplies
- scraps of fabric
- circle templates (These can be store-bought templates, handmade templates, or circular objects you have around the house.)
- marking utensil (pencil, pen, water erasable marking pen)
- hand sewing needle (longer needles work better)
- buttons or other embellishments when sewing yo-yos together (optional)
Prepare the Fabric
- Press wrinkles out of the fabric scraps
- Use the templates to trace circles onto the fabric. These can be store-bought templates like the ones pictured below, handmade templates, or circular objects you have around the house.
- Cut out the circles from the fabric scraps.
Note: A finished yo-yo is about half the size of the original circle fabric.
|Diameter of Template
|Diameter of Yo-Yo
|3/4 of an inch
Thread the needle and knot the end of the thread.
With the wrong side of the fabric circle facing you, fold the edge of the circle in about 1/4-inch.
Insert the needle:
- either under the folded edge between the two wrong sides (shown in the photo below)
- or through both fabric layers (shown in the video linked above).
Push the needle to the right side of the fabric then pull the thread through. Make the first stitch a small one.
Continue folding the edge of the fabric over 1/4-inch while passing the needle in and out through both layers of fabric. The stitches should be fairly equal in length. This is a running stitch.
Note: Shorter stitches will produce a larger hole. Longer stitches will result in a smaller center hole.
You’ll use the running stitch around the entire edge of the circle. Tip: Take a few stitches on the needle before pulling the needle through.
Gently pull on the thread to gather the edges of the circle to the inside.
Adjust the gathers so they are smooth and evenly spaced.
Secure the yo-yo by stitching over a couple of the gathers and pull the thread gently. Stitch through the gathers again, create a loop, and tie off the thread.
That’s it…you’re done!
Size of the Center Hole
You can control the size of the hole by the length of the running stitches.
The yo-yo project will guide your decision on whether or not you want the hole to be small or large.
Fabric Yo-Yo Projects
There are a lot of creative things you can do with yo-yos either in single or multiple layers.
They can be embellishments on pillows, picture frames, tea towels, or headbands.
You can even sew them together and create large projects such as bed coverings, table runners, or clothing.
There are a few yo-yo project tutorials (each with FREE templates) on The Ruffled Purse:
- Fabric Yo-Yo Christmas Tree Ornament
- Fabric Yo-Yo Garland
- Festive Circle Coasters
- Fabric Yo-Yo Candles (video only)
My main goals are to support, empower, and inspire you to discover the joy of sewing.
Need help or have questions on this project, pattern, or tutorial? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work together to get it figured out!
Make sure you sign up for Snappy Scissors (my FREE newsletter sent directly to your inbox) for ongoing sewing inspiration and education. You can find the sign-up box at the bottom of the post.
As seen in:
More Sewing Education
Looking for more sewing education? Here are a few other posts you may enjoy: