Introduction: Yo-Yo Mama Mania

About: I'm an artist, environmentalist, animal lover, gardener, recycling nut, a high school teacher, crafter, Mom, Christian and widow who reads a lot in between figuring out how to do things.

I've caught the yo-yo mania bug (again). The last time I caught this bug I made a quilt from the little critters. This time, I'm going to just make a few small things (I promise!) like earrings, bracelets, choker, mobile....oops my list is growing!

Step 1: Scrap Buster!

I admit it, I've got a bunch of fabric scraps. I hate to throw away cloth. And when I get  an urge to use my scraps, (scrap hoarding elimination) yo-yo's make a perfect solution.

Fabric scraps
Circle to trace
pencil or other fabric marking tool ( tailor's chalk works well for dark fabrics, or a white colored pencil)

sizing or starch
pinking shears
glue stick
buttons, trim, jewelry findings

Procedure: Assuming you know some basic sewing skills like running stitch and how to knot thread, it is an easy project.
  • Collect a bunch of scraps and iron them- it doesn't work to draw or cut out wrinkled fabric, trust me I've tried it. Or you could use new fabric.
  • Select a circle to trace (can, plate, plastic lid or you could make a circle template of thin cardboard), trace the circle on the fabric.
  • Cut out circles
  • Sew

Step 2: Sewing

You sew around the edge using a simple running stitch, folding over the edge about 1/4 or smaller. Your sewing doesn't have to be perfect! After you get all the way around, pull the thread so that the circle gathers and starts to close up. When you get the circle to the right gathered size, knot your thread and flatten the circle down that you have a little yo-yo.
Simple easy- peasy!

And slightly addicting.

I like to gather somewhat as I sew so that the beginning is gathered as evenly as the end. You can adjust the gathering as tight or loose as desired.

I like to put a little circle of a contrasting color/pattern on the inside. Just glue it with a glue stick approximately in the center of your circle.

And then I discovered I could make really little ones...and then I was trying to see how small I could make them...The smallest was using a bottle cap to trace around.

Step 3: Circle Size

If you take a circle that is:
  • 4 inches or 10 mm in diameter, this makes a yo-yo that is 2-2.5 inches/6.5 mm
  • 2.5 inches/ 6.5 mm = 1-1.5 inches 3-4 mm
  • 1 inch/ 3 mm =  .5 inch/1 mm   And yes I did try to make one this size....

Step 4: Earrings, Bracelets

I made some earrings from the smaller ones. I put a little circle of a contrasting color inside the yo- yo. I glued it with a glue stick in the center and then just sewed it up.
I used sizing (or you could use starch) to slightly stiffen the small circles. This helped them have a rounder shape and made the sewing easier. For the sheer fabrics, starch or sizing is necessary.

I used some earring findings that had a loop with a straight wire. I poked the end through the yo-yo and pulled the loop up to the edge. A pin wire would also work. I chose the loop as I have a tendency to get my earrings caught up in things and I didn't want to pull the pin out accidentally. I sewed the loop down on the inside just for extra safety.

For bracelets I used elastic cord to sew through the yo-yo and some buttons. I also had some decorative trim and used that as a band around my wrist with a button and buttonhole closure.

Step 5: Hand Sewing Can Be Fun!

Yo-yo's are something you really need to do by hand, not by machine. They are a perfect social sewing project and a take along project as you can sew up these while watching TV, or at a ballgame or when you're sitting with your friends.

The best part about yo-yo's for me is that I get to use up some of those little scraps of pretty cloth that I can't bear to throw away, but I don't really have a use for. And I even made yo-yo's from fabric scraps of organza, taffeta and some kind of really sheer fabric. This wouldn't be something I could use for quilts usually, but for this project they're really adaptable. I can see a wall hanging with shear fabric in my future.

I enjoy doing crafts like this and am glad to have a chance to share with the instructables community another simple craft.

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