How to Make Fabric Yo Yos

Last week I showed you how my mom gave Clare’s favorite dress a second life with some yo yo applique. Here is a little tutorial for How to Make Yo Yos…  just like my mama taught me and her mama taught her. Once you know how to make them, you can use them on anything from t-shirts to hair clips. You can even make an entire bedspread by sewing them together like my grandmother did here. Talk about scrap busting!

For this project, I dipped into a gorgeous custom bundle from fabricworm.

1. Find a circular template about twice (plus 1/4″) your final yo yo size and trace with disappearing ink in the wrong side of your fabric.

2. Cut out your circle. Cut multiple layers of fabric together to save time.

3. Thread a needle and knot a double strand of strong thread.

4. Fold over 1/8″ of the edge of your circle and begin to sew around the edge. The tighter your stitches, the larger the opening of the whole will be on the finished yo yo. If your centers will show, you probably want to make the centers small. Space your stitches between 1/8″-1/4″ apart.

5. Continue all the way around the circle, folding over as you go.

You can see how it will gather here.

6. When you get back around, Overlap your first couple stitches before tying off.

If I know I am adding a button or another smaller yo yo to the center, I don’t fold over the edge at all.

For this cloud-covered beauty, I sewed on a pretty button that my mom sent from a childhood sweater of mine.

Then I glued it onto a headband for Clare with a felt circle under the headband for support.

As you can see… she is thrilled.

So are you ready to make a million?




I love yo-yos! One tip I read somewhere is that if you take larger stitches, you can decrease the center bulk. Seems counter-intuitive, but it’s true. You still end up with a nicely gathered yo-yo

Becky @ The Barefoot Seamstress

I learned to make yo yos from a lady who’s been making them for 40 years. She’s like a second grandmother to me. One of those things that I will teach my daughter to make and hope the yo yo making continues on through the generations.


Hi, I’m crazy about yoyos! My church is sending yoyo supplies to Syrian women so they can make items and sell them. Would like to recieve new posts. Thanks!


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