How to Make a Fabric Yo-Yo Look Titivating

Posted by Linda Matthews on August 2, 2012

Fabric yo-yos are really quite simple, both to look at and to make. It’s this simplicity that can often be overlooked or discounted when creating and embellishing with fabric. I remember when I was young that my grandmother used to have a beautiful bedspread made from yo-yos. I remember her spending endless hours sitting in the evening making hundreds of them from various types and colors of fabric, and then painstakingly sewing them together. The finished bedspread was stunningly beautiful in color and texture.

I’ve never had the ambition to make anything so lovely with fabric yo-yos, but I do love embellishing with them; you can use them for all sorts of different types of embellishment …

They’re are a fun way to display shisha mirrors.

Fabric Yo-Yo

You can even add some beads around the fabric yo-yo for additional embellishment.

Fabric Yo-Yo

You can put some bead dangles in the middle for a creative flower center.

Fabric Yo-Yo

Or just a single bead for a simple embellishment.

Fabric Yo-Yo

I’ve even made yo-yo jewelry!

Fabric Jewelry: Necklace

Fabric Jewelry: Necklace

How to Make a Fabric Yo-Yo

It’s easy to make fabric yo-yos and you only need a few supplies:
- Fabric
- Circle template
- Fabric marking pen or pencil
- Sharp Scissors
- Strong thread
- Hand sewing needle

To make a fabric yo-yo, you need to cut out a perfect circle of fabric so first make sure that your fabric is pressed flat and wrinkle free. To size your yo-yo, the fabric circle should be cut approximately twice the size of the finished yo-yo; so for instance, if you wanted a 2″ fabric yo-yo, you would cut a 4″ diameter fabric circle.

For a perfect circle use a template to mark your fabric. A template could be the rim of a glass or mug, something that is perfectly round. Or you could simply print out a circle using a drawing program on your computer. MS Word and most word processing programs have simple shapes that you can design and print. Once you have your template, using a fabric marking pen or an ordinary pencil, trace the outline of the circle onto your fabric.

Fabric Yo-Yo

Once you’ve transferred your circle design to the fabric, carefully cut out the circle.

Fabric Yo-Yo

With the wrong side of the fabric facing up, fold over the edge of the circle about 1/8″ and using a small hand sewn running stitch, begin sewing folding the edge over as you go. Make sure you use strong thread, or you could double your thread to give it extra strength.

Fabric Yo-Yo

Continue sewing all the way round the circle.

Fabric Yo-Yo

Gently pull the thread so that the fabric starts to bunch up.

Fabric Yo-Yo

Continue pulling the thread gently until the edges are fully gathered, then make a small knot to secure the thread. Arrange the center hole so that the gathers are evenly distributed and laying flat.

Fabric Yo-Yo

Easy, right? And if you want to add a bead dangle to the center of the yo-yo, you can find instructions for making bead dangles here.

Categories: Fabric and Thread, Tutorials, Tutorials: Fabric and Thread
Tags: , , , , ,

You might also enjoy:


  1. Linda – I love the embroidery around the yo-yo – it’s a perfect compliment. What kind of machine did you use for the embroidery and how did you get the circles so perfect? Lovely! Thanks -

    • Hi Cathy, I think you are talking about the decorative stitches? These are standard decorative stitches on my sewing machine and I use a Janome 6600 but most sewing machines have a few decorative stitches. To get them perfectly round I use a tool called a circular sewing attachment. You can see how I used it here

      • Hi Linda – thanks so much for sharing the technique for circular stitching with decorative stitches. I just discovered your blog – it’s wonderful – you have so many great ideas. Thanks again – I look forward to learning more! Cathy

  2. Linda,
    Thank you for inspiration. Your ideas are simple yet elegant.

  3. I have never thought of making a yoyo. These ones are so beautiful that I may just have to try it out with some beading.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *