Crochet Nesting Baskets with T-shirt Yarn

Make these colourful crochet nesting baskets with recycled t-shirt yarn. I’ve got simple to follow crochet pattern to make storage baskets in 3 sizes.

crochet baskets zpagetti yarn

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I was lucky enough to receive several cones of Zpagetti yarn from a friend. I’d been curious about it for a while and was delighted to give it a try.

T-shirt yarn is made from fabric off cuts from the garment industry, so it’s a sustainable product that defers textiles from entering landfill.

I am in desperate need of places to store all my crafty bits and pieces, so making some baskets was the logical option.

These baskets work up quite quickly and if you make them in graduating sizes, they can nest into each other. I’ve included basic instructions and a video, but I do assume you have some experience with crochet.

If you can’t get hold of t-shirt yarn, you can make your own by recycling old t-shirts. Here are instructions for how to make t-shirt yarn from old t-shirts.

turquoise zpagetti yarn

You may also enjoy:

You will need:

  • T-shirt (fabric) yarn in assorted colours
  • 12mm Bamboo hook
  • stitch marker (optional)

Stitches used:

  • US terminology (UK in brackets)
  • Magic ring
  • chain ch
  • slip stitch sl
  • single crochet sc (double crochet dc)
    I’ve included photos and a video on how to do a single crochet sc stitch

How to crochet Nesting Baskets:

Making the base of the basket required you to crochet a flat circle. There are great instructions here which explains how to make a nice flat circle.

Here is how to do a single crochet stitch in both step by step and video form.

how to do single crochet double crochet

1. Here is the place you will insert the hook.
2. Insert the hook in the next stitch.
3. Pull through your yarn (also called yarn over)
4. You should have 2 loops on your hook now.
5. Yarn over again
6. Pull through both loops and your are done.

Watch the video to see how it all works (I was holding the camera with my chin so please forgive any blurry bits)

I started with a magic ring and used 6 sc in my first round, 12 in the second, 18 in the third etc.

The larger you make your circle, the larger the basket base will be.

Once you are happy with the size of the base, continue to crochet sc in a spiral but with no increases. The sides will start to curl up and build the walls of the basket. Use all one colour, or do as I have and changed colours half way up.

Continue to make as tall as desired.

To create the different sizes:
Small = 4 rounds base, 6 rounds side
Medium = 5 rounds base, 10 rounds side
Large = 6 rounds base, 9 rounds side (the dark pink yarn was chunkier than the blue so even with fewer rounds it was taller)

slip stitch and weave ends in basket crochet

To finish, slip stitch and then weave your end in.

Zpagetti crochet yarn basket

Working with the zpagetti yarn was quite easy but physically harder than normal yarn. Rather than using your wrists for leverage and control, I found it was easier to work from my elbow and shoulders.

Color block crochet baskets neon

Handy for storage…

Crochet blue basket storage

…or as a hat!

Girl with basket hat

The yarn works up very quickly and is suited for projects that will take some wear and tear. Because it has a lot of body, the sides of the baskets are very sturdy. I enjoyed working with Zpagetti yarn so much I even made a crocheted doiley mat with it.

You may have already seen it if you follow me on Instagram. See my Doiley Mat.

Have you used recycled textile yarns in the past? I’d love to hear your experience with it.

Looking for places to buy recycled t-shirt yarn? Try these suppliers:

Thick Thread
I Love Create store
also (Australia)


  • Joanna says:

    These are devine!! What a lovely idea and environmentally friendly too! I may have a go at these when I’ve learnt how to crochet. In the mean time, perhaps I’ll try knitting some!
    Jo ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  • Julianne says:

    Look awesome. Zpagetti yarn has a neat finish ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Julianne says:

    ooh and I just checked out your doiley mat. ” Wow ” beautiful. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sarah @ Chantille Fleur says:

    These are really cute! I can’t crochet, but can knit quite well, I wonder how this yarn would be in knitting? I love working with strange yarns, and this one certainly sounds very fun and interesting! Thank-you for sharing!
    Sarah xo

    • Miss Cinti @ My Poppet says:

      I was sent some knitting needles but I can only do the most basic of stitches. I did knit up a little sample dish cloth quite quickly. It’s very chunky and textural. Great for large scale stuff. Also quite stretchy.

  • Maddie says:

    what a great recycled product! love the tute too. might have to linkify!

  • Stacie says:

    evidence that i need to try my hand at crochet

  • Featheringtodo says:

    Lovely! You just convinced me to buy those crochet needles and zpagetty! (and when I read the other comments above, I’m not the only one convinced:))

  • Michelle Lubbers says:

    I am going to try my hand at these baskets… with some homemade t-shirt yarn from old shirts I have lying around. Since I am from the states, I do not have the option to purchase this yarn, so I’ll make do =). I am hopeful my baskets will be as cute and functional as yours look to be!!

  • Dganit Kliger says:

    These baskets are great! I have a question: Once youare happy with the size of the base and begin with the side, don’t you sc in back loops only?

    • Miss Cinti @ My Poppet says:

      Good question. I sc in both loops and the sides still turned up, but if you want to give the base a cleaner edge you can just do in the back loops. It will leave a little ridge at the base.

  • Deebi27 says:

    Michelle L.

    I have ordered t-shirt yarn stateside from Maine at a online store named ReStitch Yarn. I found them online at Check them out. The owner Polly is most helpful!

    I want to learn crocheting so that I may make a set of these for my daughter or my crochet teacher will do them for me! Hope this helps!

  • Annabelle says:

    Congrats on being on!

    I crochet baskets too, but haven’t used this yarn. I’ll definately be running out to get some soon. Thanks so much!


  • My Brown Paper Packages says:

    I have been looking for some way of organising all my bits and bobs – this is perfect!

  • Sara says:

    Just found you via Pinterest. Too cute!! I have colored hemp I’m going to use for a remote caddy. I may even make some in seasonal colors so I can swap them out! Great inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kayla says:

    Love the look of it! Gives me a few ideas. Where can I get some of this yarn?

    • Miss Cinti @ My Poppet says:

      There is a link in the post as to where the yarn is available in Australia. If you are overseas try googling Zpagetti yarn.

  • Niccola says:

    My daughter and I have never crocheted before but had a go after visiting your blog. I wanted to let you know that I have linked this post on my lasted post. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Niccola and Ruby

  • Donna says:

    Just finished my first go at a basket – but it’s a lot saggier and baggier than yours! It just doesn’t seem to have the structure at the sides (I do have quite even stitches but perhaps they are just looser than yours?). It also curves in at the top. I don’t mind it, it will make a friendly, homely bread basket! But I would be interested if you have any hints and tips on how to get it more “rigid” as yours seem to appear. If I got one of my kids to put it on their head it would be more a beret than a hat! Thanks!

    • Miss Cinti @ My Poppet says:

      Sounds like your tension is looser, you may want to try using a smaller hook? I crochet with a very tight tension generally so maybe that helps with stiffness. Not sure why it curves in, if you changed yarn maybe the yarn at the top has less stretch?

      Keep experimenting!

      • Donna says:

        Success! I did indeed change hook size (to 10mm) and that certainly helped with wobbliness. And I also discovered why mine was curving in – I was working round my basket from the inside (as in inserting my hook from the inside or the basket to the outside) while in your pictures, you were working from outside the basket (inserting your hook from the outside to the inside) and lo! A straight edge basket! Love it!
        Have just unravelled my first attempt so that I can try again with my refined technique! They are sooo quick to make up, it’ll be worth it!
        Thanks for your suggestions!

        • Bek says:

          Thanks so much for sharing this Donna!! I was having the exact same problem – now I can’t wait to have another go at it tonight, after the loveable little rascals are in bed!!

  • Katie says:

    Forgive me if I’m wrong but it looks like you don’t yarn over, your yarn is coming from beneath. I noticed when you do a treble you start with a yarn over but the rest of stitch is completed with the yarn coming from beneath again. Just wondering if you have better results doing this than the traditional way?

    • Miss Cinti @ My Poppet says:

      Technically it is a yarn over but rather than my hand doing the work, I let the hook grab the yarn, it’s more efficient that way. It’s just the way I was taught by my mum, i think it’s a European style. the stitch result is the same. She is a very efficient knitter and crocheter and tries to keep excessive movements to a minimum

      • Clayton says:

        Actually, the results arenโ€™t the same. โ€œGrabbingโ€ the yarn with the hook, the way you do, is a yarn under. It uses less yarn than a traditional yarn over, because it isnโ€™t wrapped around the diameter of the hook. Stitches made in this method are tighter, use less yarn, and have a twist in them. Thatโ€™s why the single crochet stitches look like little Xs. A traditional single crochet looks more like a V. This technique is popular in making amigurumi, when a dense fabric is desired so that the stuffing does not show through. Works great for making stiff-sided baskets as well. Hope this helps!

  • Jo says:

    I’m very excited to make this. Just wondering how much yarn I need to buy? Any suggestions?

  • Cass says:

    I love everything about this craft – the colors, weight, and style. I have never seen yarn like that. Great job, love the backdrop and styling too.

  • Nafisa Amin says:

    I love your color scheme and the useful pretty baskets. I am a crocheter and will definitley try to make these lovely baskets. Thanks for the pattern.

  • Gemma Madden says:

    Hi can you use any other yarn for this and the heart basket? I haven’t had yarn since I started crocheting so haven’t had much practice and when I did use all my savings to buy yarn to make blankets for other people all my crochet stuff was stolen whilst in hospital here. I feel very disheartened and feel like giving up crocheting :(. I really wanted to crochet a blanket or something for myself but I can’t find the right pattern. Any way we can’t get this yarn in the uk as far as I’m aware so what cld I use instead?

  • Sandra Cwynar says:

    I bought fettuccini could I make these baskets

  • Sarah Johnson says:

    These look awesome! I’ve been searching for some soft baskets to match one my son has that I love but can’t find them anywhere that I want to buy. Wondering how much yarn you’d say it took to make the size basket you did. I’ve been a knitter in the past, but have not yet crocheted…this looks like the perfect project to start with!

    • The baskets didn’t use much yarn. I’d say a third of a skein for the big size. It’s had to tell because I used a few colours. If you can get hold of a ball of t-shirt yarn you can make several baskets for sure.

  • Cucicucicoo says:

    I love these! I made some of these up, filled them up with goodies to eat, and gave them to my mother. She loved them! And wouldn’t you know it, my kids had the instinct to wear them on their heads, too! I wrote about them in this post about t-shirt yarn crocheted baskets. Thanks so much for the tutorial! ๐Ÿ™‚ Lisa

  • Trudy turker says:

    love these baskets!
    I made one but it doesn’t look that great.
    I live in Turkey and found t-shirt yarn but it is 4cm wide, I think it may be the problem. What width yarn did u use?

  • JULIAN says:

    How many yards of yarn will I need to make the baskets? I have to order it online and don’t want to have to pay shipping twice.

    • I used a few colours so one skein of each colour was enough, bit if you are using just a single colour I think one large skein should make you several baskets. Sorry I’m not sure about exact yardage.

  • Becca says:

    When I try and crochet with zpaghetti yarn, it is instantly really stiff and hard to work with, so stiff it doesn’t lie flat. What can I do? ๐Ÿ™

    • It is quite hard work. I’m thinking your tension may be too tight. Maybe use a larger hook or try and crochet a bit looser. Because t-shirt yarn is stretchy, if you pull it too tight when you yarn over it will spring back and curl up. Hope that helps sort your problem.

  • Rachael says:

    Can anyone help me figure out how to keep my baskets from curling in? Thanks in advance.

  • Hadil says:

    Hi! These baskets are lovely! But each time I make one, the walls end up curved inwards, and not straight like the ones you make. What am I doing wrong?

  • Lyn says:

    Can you tell me how you join in your different colours please. The baskets are beautiful

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