Blog - Recycled T-shirt Yarn Yoga Mat Bag

Most of my favorite DIY projects include finding ways to salvage, recycle, or build from the things we already have around home. My grandmother was raised in tough times on the Canadian Prairies during the Great Depression so it was engrained in her to save or repurpose everything because they couldn’t afford to throw anything away.

She would collect wool suits and skirts at the local church rummage sales then cut them into strips to braid into rugs. I now have more braided rugs than I know what to do with, but I love every one of them.

Unfortunately nobody wears wool skirts anymore, so when I heard about t-shirt yarn I became instantly fascinated. I saw some of the rugs other people are crocheting with them and wanted to start experimenting. I decided to start with a yoga mat bag, but I have so many more ideas for how else I can use t-shirt yarn.


- 8 XL T-shirts
- Rotary cutter
- Straight edge
- Cutting mat
- 8.0mm Crochet hook
- Scissors

Cutting Your T-Shirt Yarn
Alex and Caitlynn do a great job explaining how to cut your t-shirts into yarn and how to join the ends of different strands together.

Yoga Mat Bag:

1. Measure the diameter of your rolled up yoga mat.
2. I found Minni’s video tutorial the most helpful to get started.
3. Crochet a circle until its diameter is slightly bigger than your yoga mat's diameter.
4. Hook only into the front loops of the first row of the bag after the circle is complete to give it a more defined corner.
5. Continue single crocheting in a spiral until your reach your desired length. (Note: My bag was 75 rows and I purposely didn’t go all the way to the top of my mat to account for any stretching in the future.)

The Strap:
1. I wanted a wide strap to slip diagonally across my chest, so I chained 9 and used up the scraps there were left to single crochet a long strip about 6 inches longer than the bag.
2. Single crochet around the strap to finish the edge
3. To attach the strap to the open end of the bag, hook through both loops of strap and bag then single crochet together.
4. Zig-zag back across the strap and bag with another row of single crochet to ensure the strap is well attached to carry the weight of the mat and the bag.
5. Continue single crocheting around the top of the bag to finish.
6. Attach the bottom of the strap with a row of single crochets into the back loops that were left behind in the first row.
7. Zig-zag back across the strap and bag with another row of single crochet, as at the top. Continue to finish.

Two weeks later, lugging a 7 lb yoga mat, the bag has stretched as tall as the mat. It's stretching out sideways a little, but wish I had a couple more rows around the bottom. It's so comfy to carry and I get comments on it all the time at yoga class.