Learn how to make fabric yo yos or Suffolk puffs in 5 easy steps. If you are looking for decorating ideas for your girl's dress sewing patterns then DIY fabric yo yos are fast and easy to make. Best of all you can use up some of your favorite fabrics from your scrap pile!
How to Make Fabric Yo Yos Tutorial
What Are Fabric Yo Yos?
Yo yos from fabric are cut from circles of fabric that have been hand-gathered around the edges and pulled tight to form a puffy textured shape that looks like a flower.
They are often decorated with different button types and can be used to decorate clothing, make hair clips and brooches. They can also be sewn together to create interesting blankets, coverlets, mats and even a yo-yo quilt.
Supplies for Making Fabric Yo-Yos
- Cotton fabric
- Hand sewing needle
- Strong thread like a hand quilting thread
- Buttons to decorate
What are the Best Fabrics for Fabric Yo Yos?
Make your fabric yo-yo flowers from your favorite scrap fabrics. Quilting cotton works especially well. You will find you get the best results with light to medium-weight fabrics as they are easier to gather.
Thin vs Thick Fabrics: Thin fabric will result in a flatter flower with smaller gathers. Thick fabric will result in a puffier flower with larger gathers.
How to Make Fabric Yo Yos - Video
Here is a video I made for you on how to make fabric yo yos. Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for weekly sewing and craft videos.
How to Make Fabric Yo Yos Step By Step
Step 1 - Make Fabric Circle Template
Make Your Own Fabric Yo Yo Template
In order to make fabric yo yos, you need a circle template to draw around. You can use any circular objects from around the house, like a jar lid, cups, small saucers, or lids. Generally, your fabric yoyo will end up half the size of the circle you draw.
You can buy yo you makers with set sizes but really I don't think they are much quicker than making or printing a perfect circle.
Free Printable Template
The size of your finished yo-yo will vary slightly from these sizes depending on how small the hole at the center of the yo-yo ends up.
Step 2 - Cut the Template
Cut out the template in your desired size and trace around it on the WRONG side of your fabric with a tailor's chalk or removable fabric pen or markers. Cut out your circle. Further Reading: Marking Tools for Sewing
Step 3 - Stitch Around the Edge
Thread your needle with the thread doubled over and knot the end. Remember, it is important you use a thick thread.
Try and make your knot as large as possible so it doesn’t pull through. With the fabric WRONG side up, start folding over the raw edge by ¼ inch (6mm).
Use a running stitch (simple up and down) to sew around the circle on top of the folded edge. Try and stitch as close as possible to the outside folded edge.
TIPS for How to Make Fabric Yo Yos: Before you start stitching think about the effect you want. Long stitches will mean you can pull the center of the yo-yo tighter and there will only be a small gap. Smaller stitches will result in a larger gap in the center. This can be great if you have a domed button you would like to sit in the center. It will also mean your flower size ends up slightly larger due to the gap in the center.
Step 4 - Pull the Thread
Keep stitching all the way around your circle until you reach the end. Don’t worry if the folded edge is not perfect, as you won’t see it once the yo-yo is gathered. Don’t cut the thread.
With the thread still attached, gently pull so the circle starts to gather. Keep pulling until the fabric all meets in the middle. Knot off and cut your thread.
Step 5 - Flatten and Decorate
Flatten your fabric yo yo flowers and pull them into a symmetrical shape.
Fabric Yo Yos - Decorating Ideas
Add a button or bead to the center of the fabric flower. This can be stitched on or glued with a hot glue gun. Glue is an easy option if you don't plan on washing your fabric yo yos.
This is the headband sewing pattern with the flowers sewn on the side.
Other ideas to use your fabric yo yos flowers template include dresses, hair clips, and cushions. See my tutorial on how to make hair clips for some ideas.
What are you planning on using your fabric yo-yo's for?
How to Make Fabric Yo Yos
- Hand Sewing Needle
- Draw a circle or cut out the template in your desired size and draw around it on the WRONG side of your fabric. Cut out your circle.
- Thread your needle with the thread doubled over and knot the end. With the fabric WRONG side up, start folding over the raw edge by ¼ inch (6mm). Use a running stitch (simple up and down) to sew around the circle on top of the folded edge. Keep stitching all the way around your circle until you reach the end. Don’t cut the thread.
- With the thread still attached, gently pull so the circle starts to gather. Keep pulling until the fabric all meets in the middle. Knot off and cut your thread.
- Flatten your fabric yo yo flowers and pull them into a symmetrical shape. Decorate.
More Flower Tutorials
Now you know how to make fabric yo yos, here are more flowers you can make from fabric.