Upcycled T-shirt Coasters

20140706_191934My box of rags remains perpetually full, no matter how many I use or repurpose – like a clown car or fishes and loaves, I never run out. So, I’m always open to new ways I can use them and decided to take a crack at crocheting coasters out of old t-shirts.

Last month, my mother gifted me with a skein of actual t-shirt yarn. We probably wouldn’t have purchased it if we didn’t have a 50% off coupon (the skeins average $8+), but I’ll admit it was helpful to have worked with the real thing (soft and flexible, with a consistent width) before trying the DIY version (which varies in it’s texture and pliability, and is subject to my well-intentioned, but rarely consistent, approach to cutting).

Still, the results were pleasing enough to share and to make more. (The center coaster is made with the fancy schmancy t-shirt yarn, in “cherry stripes”.)

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Want to try making your own? The more jersey-like your material is (soft and stretchy), the better. I tried to cut mine into one long 1/2- to 3/4- inch strip (because when you pull on it, the sides of the jersey fabric will roll, making your final strip more narrow). When cutting, think of peeling an apple into one long peel – cut in a spiral, going as far as you can, and most shirts will make one strip long enough for at least one coaster (maybe two, depending on the size of the shirt). I have heard of folks who cut several lengthwise strips and then sew them together, but for a scrap project like this, that’s too much detail for me. I even found that tying strips together will work in a pinch and sort of adds to the scrappy appearance of these coasters.

The pattern I used is based on a free project sheet I picked up at a craft store. It will be familiar to most anyone who crochets, since it’s the basis of any number of other projects (crocheted bags, placemats, coasters, etc.), so I’ll share:

To begin: Chain 2.

1st round: 7 single crochet in 2nd chain from hook. Join with slip stitch to first single crochet; 7 single crochet total.

2nd round: Chain 1. 2 single crochet in each single crochet around. Join with slip stitch to first single crochet; 14 single crochet total.

3rd round: Chain 1. *2 single crochet in next single crochet. 1 single crochet in next single crochet. Repeat from * around. Join with slip stitch to first single crochet; 21 single crochet total.

4th round: Chain 1. *2 single crochet in next single crochet. 1 single crochet in each of next 2 single crochet. Repeat from * around. Join with slip stitch to first single crochet; 28 single crochet total.

5th round: Chain 1. *2 single crochet in next single crochet. 1 single crochet in each of next 3 single crochet. Repeat from * around. Join with slip stitch to first single crochet; 35 single crochet total. Fasten off.

 

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