How to Make Fabric Yo-Yos

Making fabric yo-yos is a fun and simple project that is the perfect carry-along sewing activity.  Never made a fabric yo-yo before?  This is the page to learn about these adorable little puffs!

Fabric yo-yos, or Suffolk Puffs as they are also called, became popular in the 1930’s and have been used to make quilts and to embellish all sorts of sewing projects since.

What are fabric yo-yos?

Fabric yo-yos are pretty, circular shaped puffs made with fabric circles.  The edges of the fabric circle are turned under with a running stitch, and then the thread is pulled to form a circle poof that looks somewhat like a gathered flower.Pile of Fabric Yo-Yos

Using fabric scraps and thread, along with a template or yo-yo maker, these can be sewn up in just minutes.

Keep in mind that, although this page is devoted to fabric yo-yos, there are also crocheted yo-yos. Crochet yo-yos and fabric yo-yos are made very differently, yet they can be used in the same manner.

They can be used for yo-yo quilting, making blankets, scarves, and used as embellishments for quilts and clothing items. The fabric yo-yos can be strung together to make arms and legs for dolls as well as making many home decor items. 

How do you make a fabric yo-yo?

For traditionalists who don’t feel the need to buy another gadget for sewing, the yo-yos can be made the old fashioned way with fabric, a template, an embroidery needle and thread.

Fabric yo-yos are made from fabric, usually cotton quilting scraps, on which a circular template is used to draw around. These circular templates can be made from cups, small saucers, lids, etc.

The fabric circles are hand sewn around the edges then the thread is pulled tightly to form the puffy yo-yo shape. There are wonderful tutorials below that show how to make a yo-yo from fabric.

Check out the link below with printable templates to use. For reference, the fabric yo-yo will end up about half the size of the circular template.

For those who would prefer to use a sewing gadget to make a slew of yo-yos, Clover brand offers Quick Yo-Yo Makers in five sizes from extra small (¾” finished yo-yos) to jumbo (3.5” finished yo-yos). 

Take a peek at our yo-yo products page to find all kinds of things “yo-yo”!

Close Up of Fabric Yo-Yos

How do you join fabric yo-yos?

Most sewists simply whip stitch the yo-yos together.  In this way, both making and joining the yo-yos together is a completely portable project.

However, joining the fabric yo-yos with the whip stitch does leave stitches showing, no matter how neatly and carefully they are sewn.

Scroll down to learn how to join the yo-yos using a sewing machine.  This is no longer a portable project, but some will prefer this method over using a whip stitch. It is also a good way to sew many together when yo-yo quilting or making a blanket.

Once you know how to make fabric yo-yos, take a look at our free yo-yo projects page for many ideas!  I suspect that it will come as a surprise that there are so many things to make using the fabric yo-yos!

Needlepointers’ Pinterest Yo-Yo page is another place to browse for yo-yo ideas!

Happy Sewing!

How to Make Fabric Yo-Yos

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  Yo-Yo Maker

Yo-Yo Maker #ad

A selection of Yo-Yo makers for sale at Affiliate Link to

Basic Yo-Yo Instructions

With these written instructions and illustrations, you learn how to make yo-yos in no time. Quilter's Cache

DIY Fabric Yo-Yo Tutorial

Here you will find free printable templates for making fabric yo-yos in addition to complete directions for making them. Treasurie

Fabric Yo Yo or Suffolk Puff

Here is a tutorial on how to make fabric yo-yos which are also known a Suffolk puffs. Molly and Mama

Fabric Yo-Yo Instructions

How to make yo-yos without a yo-yo maker. CD designs

Fabric Yo-Yos With the Clover Yo-Yo Maker

Fabric Yo-Yos With the Clover Yo-Yo Maker

This tutorial demonstrates how to make fabric yo-yos with the Clover Yo-Yo Maker. Associate

Fabric Yo-YoTutorial w/ Templates

Here find an easy-to-follow fabric yo-yo photo tutorial, plus free downloadable cutting templates for making yo-yo’s in a number of handy sizes. Positively Splendid

Hexagon Yo-Yo

How to make a folded hexagon yo-yo. Polka Dot Pineapple

Joining Fabric Yo-Yos

Polka Dot Pineapple has an interesting method for joining lots of yo-yos together. Polka Dot Pineapple

Joining Yo-Yos with Sewing Machine

If you are not a fan of hand sewing, this tutorial will explain and show how to sew yo-yos together with a sewing machine. Sewtakeahike

Square Yo-Yos

Here is a tutorial on sewing square yo-yos. Vintage Indie

Yo Yo Garland

An idea on what to do with fabric yo-yos. Soule Mama

Yo Yo Instructions

How to sew a basic fabric yo-yo. The Spruce Crafts

Yo Yo Instructions

Fabric yo-yos are fun and super easy to make with these comprehensive step-by-step instructions. Heather Bailey

Yo Yo Projects

Free yo-yo projects.

Yo Yo Quilt

Learn how to make a yo-yo quilt with this tutorial. The Spruce Crafts

Yo-Yo Quilt

How to make a Yo-yo quilt. Quilt How To

Yo-Yos - Two Methods

Yo-Yos - Two Methods #ad

Learn how to use a Clover Yo-Yo Maker or learn to make yo-yos the traditional way. Affiliate Link to Connecting Threads

Yo-Yos with BERNINA Circular Embroidery Attachment

Learn how to create yo-yos with the Bernina Circular Embroidery attachment. We All Sew

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