With four kids and two adults in the house, we have soooo much laundry! Also, getting the kids ready for school in the mornings can be quite hectic. So rather than taking all the laundered clothes upstairs, I’ve gotten into the habit of planning out at least a few days of outfits for the kids straight out of the dryer. I’m fortunate to have a shelf above my washer and dryer, so I place the clothes into piles on the shelf, one for each child. After a few days though, the piles get messy and mixed up. I decided it would be good to have one small basket for each of the kids’ clothes. Instead of buying them I wondered whether I’d be able to make my own rectangular crochet baskets.
For a while I’ve been wanting to try crocheting with t-shirt yarn. I was quite excited to try and repurpose some of our old t-shirts, those that had stretched funny, had holes or stains. I also used up a few of the extra-large ones I had purchased on a recent trip to Value Village (spent only $6 altogether). I was surprised by how nicely the yarn turned out and you can see how I used the whole shirt (rather than just the torso part) to make the yarn in another post.
I must admit, it took more t-shirts than I had anticipated: to make these three large rectangular baskets I used:
- 3 men’s XL t-shirts: one each of navy blue, bright green, white
- 4 women’s L t-shirts: one each of pink, black, navy blue, white
The final crochet baskets measured 13”w x 10”d x 5”h but you can adapt the pattern below to make them smaller (use a shorter starting chain, reduce the number of foundation or wall rows) or larger (use a longer starting chain, increase the number of foundation or wall rows). I used a size 9.5mm hook and crocheted relatively loosely.
Here’s the free pattern to make one rectangular crochet storage basket using tshirt yarn:
Abbreviations used: ch, chain; sc, single crochet; sl st, slip stitch.
Row 1: sc in second ch from hook, 22 sc across. Turn.
Rows 2-17: ch 1, 22 sc across. Turn.
Row 18: ch 1, 21 sc across, 3 sc in next space (to form corner), 15 sc along the side of the foundation, 3 sc in next space (to form corner), 21 sc across, 3 sc in next space (to form corner), 16 sc along side of the foundation, sl stitch to ch1 space. Fasten off (if you’d like to start a new colour).
Walls (blue, green and white)
Join next colour with a sl st, ch 1, sc around, join to starting ch 1 with a sl st.
Ch 1, sc around.
Continue with as many rows of that colour as you’d like: I did 4 blue, then switched to green for 2 rows, then white for 2 rows for a total of 8 rows.
I had a little helper along the way who inspired other uses for these baskets! Let us know in the comments below what you would use these baskets for. And if you're interested in more large upcycled DIY storage box ideas, you can learn how to transform plain cardboard boxes into stylish storage bins for your closet here.