Have you seen pretty fabric yo-yos and wondered how they are made? It's very simple to make fabric yo-yos and the Clover Yo-Yo maker makes the process quick and easy!
Fabric yo-yos can be used to adorn clothes, towels, pillows and home decor items. Quilts can also be embellished with fabric yo-yos or even completely made with yo-yos.
This tutorial will demonstrate how to make fabric yo-yos using the Clover Yo-Yo maker.
What is a fabric Yo-Yo?
A fabric yo-yo is a small circle puff of fabric. They are also called Suffolk puffs.
To make a fabric yo-yo, a basting stitch is sewn around the outside edge of a piece of circle fabric. This basting stitch is pulled tight to gather the fabric into a little circle and this creates the puff yo-yo look.
Once you learn to make these fabric yo-yos, you can make them while watching TV and soon you will have a whole bunch of them!
Learn how to make fabric yo-yos by watching our video by clicking the link below or keep reading this article for a photo tutorial.
PRINTABLE PDF TUTORIAL -
If you would like an ad free printable version of this tutorial optimized for printing, please visit our
Etsy Shop listing for How to make Fabric Yo-Yos with the Clover Yo-Yo Maker #ad.
For a small fee, you can purchase a PDF downloadable version of this tutorial.
Keep reading for the free version of this tutorial.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate
Statement for more information.
Clover Yo-Yo Makers
The Clover Yo-Yo makers come in five sizes, extra small (3/4" yo-yos) through jumbo (3.5" yo-yos). The finished size of the yo-yo is imprinted on the back of the maker.
I have three sizes of yo-yo makers. The sizes below are the finished sizes of the yo-yos.
- Small (green) – 30mm or 1-1/4” wide
- Large (orange) – 45mm or 1-3/4” wide
- Extra Large (yellow) – 60mm or 2-1/2” wide
About the Clover Yo-Yo makers
The photos in this section are showing the extra-large Clover Yo-Yo maker as a sample. Each maker has a plate & disk. The plate is shown on the left in the photo and the disk on the right.
The plate has a hole in the center for popping out the yo-yo after stitching. It has the finished yo-yo size in millimeters printed on the back and a line that shows the size of the finished yo-yo.
Notice the small slots all the way around. This is where the stitches go.
The six protrusions or small bumps with holes underneath around the edge of the plate are used to align with the lines on the disk.
The disk has notches around the outside edge and six lines across the top. The side with the lines is the front side.
To put the plate and disk together, first align one of the lines on the disk with one of the protrusions on the plate (see photo below). When it’s aligned correctly, the holes on the plate align with the concave notches around the edge of the disk.
What you need to make fabric Yo-Yos
Instructions for making fabric Yo-Yos with the clover Yo-yo maker
I found a charm pack with some fun springtime fabrics in my stash and decided to use it to make yo-yos. The charm pack is just large enough for the extra-large yo-yos.
If you are making jumbo-sized yo-yos, fabric larger than a charm pack will be needed.
If you are using fat quarters or other larger pieces of fabric, you can cut squares about 1/2" - 3/4" larger than the yo-yo maker.
Making yo-yos is a good way to use up some scrap fabric!
Step 1: Place the fabric into the Clover Yo-Yo maker
This tutorial will demonstrate making a large yo-yo with the Clover yo-yo maker. Making the other sizes of yo-yos is identical except for the size of the fabric needed.
Hold the fabric with the wrong side facing up and place the disk of the yo-yo maker on the fabric. Place the disk so you have at least ¼” – ½” fabric hanging over the edges of the disk.
Turn the disk so one of the lines points upwards or is in the 12 o’clock position as in the photo above.
Hold the plate with one of the protrusions (bump) in the 12 o'clock position. The protrusion must be lined up with the line on the disk before snapping them together.
Align the protrusion (bump) and the line on the disk and snap them together with the fabric in between.
The fabric should extend out past the edges of the plate by at least 1/8” to 3/16”.
When I use the charm pack squares with the extra large maker, only about 1/8” of fabric extends past the edge of the Clover Yo-Yo maker.
Step 2: Trim fabric
Since you are using the Clover Yo-Yo maker, there is no need to precut circles of fabric before putting the fabric into the maker. It's simple to cut around the maker after inserting the fabric!
Use a sharp pair of sewing scissors and trim the fabric around the yo-yo maker plate leaving 1/8” – 3/16” seam allowance around. It's really not very fussy, so just cut around leaving a small seam allowance. It doesn't have to be perfect!
Step 3: Thread Needle
Thread a needle with doubled thread in a matching color and make a knot in the end.
For this tutorial, I will be using contrasting thread so you can see my stitches around the yo-yo.
Step 4: Stitch the Yo-Yo
When stitching around the yo-yo, the stitches will go into the slots around the plate. The needle must come up through one side of the slot and then down on the other side of the slot. This way the thread will lay inside the slot.
The needle comes up through one side of the slot.
And goes down through the other side of the slot.
Be sure that the thread is not going across between the slots or you won’t be able to pop out the yo-yo.
The yo-yo can be stitched by working around the yo-yo either clockwise or counterclockwise. For right-handed stitchers, it's easiest to work clockwise. Left-handed stitchers will find it easier to work counterclockwise.
I am left-handed, so I will work counterclockwise around the disk. It's the same process when you work clockwise except you are stitching in the opposite direction.
Hold the yo-yo maker with the disk facing towards you with one of the lines in the 12 o’clock position.
If you are right-handed and will work clockwise, start stitching to the right of the line and protrusion (bump). If you are left-handed and working counterclockwise, start just to the left of the line and protrusion.
Use your thumb to hold the edge of the fabric down onto the plate.
Place your needle through the concave section of the notches and through to the back of the plate. Your needle will come out on one side of the slot.
Pull the thread through until the knot is against the fabric.
Turn the maker over so you can see the back. Place your needle through the other side of the slot from back to front. Pull the thread through until it slides into the slot.
Next, hold the fabric down with your thumb and place the needle through from the disk side to the plate side at the next slot and pull the thread through.
Finish the stitch by putting the needle through from the plate side at the far end of the slot. Pull the thread until it slides into the slot.
The photo below shows the needle coming through to the front.
Continue stitching around in the same way until you get back to the knot. Make sure your thread is going into the slots on the back. If it goes between the slots, you will not be able to remove the plate.
Once the stitching has been completed around the circle, the last stitch will end near the knot.
Overlap your stitches at the knot by stitching again through the slot with the knot and first stitch. Do not pierce the knot when you put the needle through that stitch.
The photo below shows the thread coming back through to the left of the knot. Since I was stitching counterclockwise, this is my last stitch and I've overlapped the stitching across the first stitch/slot.
The stitching is finished around the yo-yo.
Notice on the back you can see all of the stitches in the slots.
Step 5: Pop out the Yo-Yo
The Clover Yo-Yo maker plate has a hole in the center. Press through that hole to pop the yo-yo maker disk out of the plate.
The fabric will still be on the disk.
Carefully remove the fabric from the disk. Set the yo-yo maker aside.
The fabric is ready to be gathered into the yo-yo shape.
Step 6: Gather the Yo-Yo
To make the yo-yo shape, gently pull the long thread end (attached to the needle) to gather the yo-yo.
As you are pulling, stop and flip the raw edges toward the inside of the yo-yo. The right side of the fabric should be on the outside of the yo-yo. Continue to pull the thread until the yo-yo is formed. Don't pull so hard that you break the thread.
The hole with the gathers should be in the center of the yo-yo. Adjust the fabric as needed. The hole in the center of the yo-yo should be small.
The back side of the yo-yo is flat.
Step 7: Knot the thread
Make a knot in the thread near where the thread comes out of the yo-yo gathers.
To bury the knot, take your needle between the yo-yo gathers and out through the front of the yo-yo.
Cut the thread off close to the yo-yo.
The yo-yo is complete.
If you would like to purchase a Clover Yo-Yo Maker, please scroll down and click one of our affiliate links below. Using our affiliate links does not cost you anything extra, but we get a small commission and it helps us to keep making more tutorials like this one.
Do you want to make Yo-Yos but need ideas for projects to make with them? Check out our 30+ Free Fabric Yo-Yo Projects page for some ideas!
Also, watch our upcoming video on making these Yo-Yo towels. You can use yo-yos as embellishments on towels, pillows, clothes, and other home decor.
We hope you enjoyed learning how to make yo-yos with the Clover Yo-Yo maker.
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
Below are a few other crafts you may be interested in: