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Rectangular Crochet Basket Pattern Using T-Shirt Yarn

With four kids and two adults in the house, we have soooo much laundry! 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 t shirt 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.

Foundation (white)

Ch 23.

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 cardboard boxes into stylish storage bins for your closet.

You can also crochet your own kitchen dishcloths or a blooming flower crochet bracelet. And if you have any left-over t-shirt yarn, be sure to check out these top 20 t-shirt yarn projects to make!

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Thursday 22nd of July 2021

I'm looking to make a basket for our cat to sleep in. He's only 10 months old but already huge! I will be buying the t-shirt yarn. For the size you make, would you think 1 of these would be enough? Weight: 6-Super Bulky | Ball Weight: 8.82 oz. / 250 g | Ball Length: 131 yard / 120 m

Jane and Sonja

Saturday 31st of July 2021

Hi Lisa, that would be so cute for your cat! I would recommend ordering 3 of them to have in case you need and then returning them if you don't end up using them all. Always better to have more than not enough.

Melissa Vera

Wednesday 27th of May 2015

I love this idea. If only I knew how to crochet. Thanks for linking up to the #HomeMattersParty this week. Can't wait to see what you link up next week.

Jane and Sonja

Wednesday 27th of May 2015

Thank you for stopping by Melissa! We are always looking for ways to work with what we've got. I am looking forward to exploring some of the tips on your site (!

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