Make a yo-yo without the yo-yo-maker

Yo-yo's have become very popular in quilting, and there is a variety of yo-yo shapes that can be made with the help of a plastic yo-yo maker.

To make a traditional yo-yo you will need:

  • Something to make a circle on fabric, a mug or glass will do
  • Marking tool
  • Needle and thread
  • Beeswax (optional)


Use your mug or glass and the marking pen to make a circle on your fabric.  I have a chalk pen that my mother gave me as one of the first tools in my quilting toolbox.

Cut the circle out and get your needle threaded.  Before starting with the sewing, pull your thread through the beeswax to keep it from tangling and getting a knot.  Make sure your thread is long enough to go all around the circle that you’ve cut.

circle of fabric

Circle of fabric.


Pull your thread through the beeswax to prevent snags in your thread.

what you need for that yo-yo

Fabric, marking pen and a mug for the circle

marking on fabric

Mark a circle on the fabric.

Tie a knot in your thread, and stitch a small hem around the circle of fabric.  No double stitches, the knot is to keep the thread in place when you pull it tight in the next step.

hemmed fabric

Completed hem around the circle.

pull the thread

Hold the fabric with your thumb on the inside of the yo-yo, and pull both ends of the thread to gather the fabric. The hem will automatically fall in the middle, nicely tucked into the circle.

finished yo-yo

Tie a knot in the thread and trim away the excess. Shape the curves of the yo-yo to make a perfect shape.

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