Soft T-Shirt Balls/Toys




Introduction: Soft T-Shirt Balls/Toys

An easy to make soft toy, no sewing required!

Upcycle old t-shirts into fun indoor toys, great for learning to juggle as they won't roll away, great for games

The only things you need:

Old T-shirt


Zip Tie

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Step 1: Select Your Shirt

I love the way tie dyed shirts work but any thing will do.


The larger the shirt, the more ball it will make

Stay away from shirts with too much screen printing as you won't be able to use that part of the shirt

Shirts that the color is printed on, white on the inside, won't work as the knit will curl white side out.

Step 2: Start De-constructing

I first start cutting the bottom edge off.

Snip a cut somewhere along the bottom. Then follow below the stitches all the way around.

Step 3: Cut the Stiching

Now you have your first cut made, now cut the stitching away.


Step 4: Taking Off Sleeves

Turn your shirt inside out.

Follow along the seam, leaving the stitching on the sleeve side.

Cut off the top stitching and the stitching holding the sleeve together. Discard.

Cut off the bottom of the sleeve like you did with the bottom.

Cut off the stitching and discard.

Repeat with second sleeve

Step 5: Remove Collar and Shoulder Seam

Start at one side of shoulder seam and cut toward collar

Cut around collar, making sure stitching is attached to collar.

Cut the other shoulder seam.

Repeat on the other side.

Step 6: Cut Strips

Line up the shoulders and bottom of t-shirt

Smooth out fabric.

Start at bottom, cut strips approximately 3/4" wide. Cut through both sides of the shirt. I just eyeball it. It is not critical to be exact.

Cut up the entire shirt.

Step 7: Turn Strips Into "Spaghetti"

Discard the screen printing sections as they won't stretch.

Pull the strips at the ends and they will curl up.

See the pictures for the before and after.

Step 8: Cut "Spaghetti" Into Sections

Cut into approximately 4" sections.

Again, I just eyeball and not measure.

Keep the short leftover pieces.

Step 9: Start Your Balls

Use 8" zip tie,color not important.

Stack up and pile strips on your zip tie, centering over the zip tie.

I don't count the number of pieces. Just a good fistfull. This Adult Medium shirt made four balls so you could just divide up you pieces into four piles.

Start zipping up the zip tie, but not all the way until you make sure it is centered

Step 10: Finishing Up

Pull the zip tie as tightly as you can.

Trim off the zip tie tail as closely to the lock as you can.

You don't want this to be sharp so trim carefully.


You can trim a little if you want a floppier ball. An example of this is the ball on the left, with pile of trimmings above it.

If you want more of a round shape, trim more like the ball on the right.

Put strands between your fingers and trim.

Rotate and keep cutting until you are happy with the shape.

Step 11: FINISHED!

Fluff as necessary


Use a 4" zip tie and the little leftover scraps to make a cat toy.

Homemade Gifts Contest 2016

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2016

First Time Authors Contest 2016

Participated in the
First Time Authors Contest 2016

Soft Toys Challenge

Participated in the
Soft Toys Challenge

1 Person Made This Project!


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4 Discussions


2 years ago

mine came out flat what did I do wrong?


3 years ago

I have 2 miniature Dachshunds that will love this, and no need to purchase anything !!!!I may have to make several. Thanks for the wonderful idea!!


3 years ago

This is cute! My cat would love these :)