Friday, October 10, 2008

How To . . . Make Easy Fleece Blankets

My kids love snuggling up in blankets while they watch TV, read books, or play board games. Lately, I've been finding their bed comforters and mine on the playroom floor, left in the upstairs hallway, and just about anywhere else I can trip and fall over them.

After some brain-storming, I decided to make each of the kids some snugly fleece blankets for Christmas. I'm hoping these smaller blankets will be easier to keep track of and be less of a tripping hazard. They can also be stored in a basket in the playroom for easy clean-up.

The problem was I had never actually made a cute fleece blanket before. So I did some internet research and talked with my friend, Amy, who answered some of my questions. As I was making the blankets, I had this great thought that I should take pictures and pass on my new-found wisdom to others who are clueless about making fleece blankets as I was. :)

My first suggestion is to watch for a really good sale on fleece. I kept watching the Joann Fabric sales and went shopping when their fleece was 50% off. Fleece isn't cheap, and the sale price was totally worth the wait! Before purchasing the fabric, I had to figure out how much to get for each person. The lady at the cutting desk helped me. For my one and half year old, I purchased 1 & 1/4 yards; my four year old 1 & 1/2 yards; and my seven & nine year olds 2 yards of fabric.

Once the fabric is home, the fun begins! I was surprised how easy and fast each of these blankets were to make!

First, you'll want to decide how you want the blanket edges to look. Because fleece doesn't ravel, you don't need to hem the edges - which means you can do lots of fun stuff! There are some fun rotary cutters with creative edges, such as waves, zig zags, etc. You can also cut strips in the fabric and knots on them. I decided I didn't want knots. I thought the knots might be uncomfortable if the kids are laying on the floor, wrapped up in the blanket. For our blankets, I decided I really liked the fringe-edge look.

For this project, you will need:


Fleece, Scissors, One Sheet of Card Stock, and Ruler.



Step 1: Trim off the selvage edge of the fleece. This is the edge that has tiny holes that run up the side. There may be a white edge to indicate the selvage edge, but some fabrics don't have it. I found this edge has a slightly different texture with the holes running along the length. It just needs to be trimmed to the point the texture is fleecy & the holes are no longer on the fabric.


Step 2: Decide how long and wide you want your fringe to be. I decided to have each fringe to be 3" long and 1" wide. This is where the card stock comes in hand. I laid the card stock length-wise (landscape), and measured 3", then cut that section off. This is how long each fringe would be. Then I measured & drew lines every 1". This became my guide for cutting.

At this point, I folded my fleece in half (the direction doesn't matter), then laid it on my bed. I started on the side opposite of the fold, where the two sides meet together. Be sure they are evenly matched before cutting. I like to cut right to left, so I put my ruler on the right side, and laid the extra portion of card stock at the 3" mark, and the section of card stock with the 1" measurements along the bottom of the fleece. (see picture above)


Step 3: Let the cutting begin! Line up your scissors with the 1" marks, and start working your way across, cutting up to the card stock at the 3" mark. After several cuts, I was able to figured out just how far to open my scissors & make the 3" cut at one time. I also got really good at eyeballing how far 1" was. Then I used the bottom portion of the card stock to double check every once in a while. (See two pictures below)





Step 4: When you've finished that side, you will start working on one of the sides that has a fold. I found it was best to start at the fold and work away. Begin by cutting the actual fold itself. (see picture below)



Step 5: Tricky Corners . . . The closer I got to my corner, the more I was worried about how to make it look right. I had read some instructions online, but they were confusing. Basically, you will continue cutting every 1" until you meet the cuts going the opposite direction. (see picture below)



Your last cut will be right along the edge of the opposite fringes, cutting those fringes off. (see below)



When you cut off the fringes, you will be left with a pie wedge shape, as pictured below. (PS - while cutting fringes, be sure not to mistake your finger for the fabric! If you do, cute band-aides really do make it all better!)



Repeat steps 4 & 5 on the last side, and voila! Your fleece blankets are done. If you'd like, you can add some zigzag stitching above the fringes on the blanket, but it's not necessary.



Me & one of the finished blankets.



I finished all of our kids' blankets in about 1 1/2 hours one evening while they were in bed. I hope these pictures and instructions were helpful. If you have any questions, just let me know!

This is a fun and easy project for presents, baby showers, or an easy craft activity for an older child.

14 comments:

Heather Justesen said...

Great directions. I love these fuzzy blankets!

Amy said...

The prints are so cute. Great job on posting the instructions. I'm so sorry about the cut finger. So do you suffer from the same disease that I do? The "I can't wait 3 months to see the looks on the receiver's faces, so I'm so tempted to give it to them early" ;) I'm terrible at secrets. I'm sure you're better then I am. Looks like you had fun

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Heather - Thanks! I'm glad they were easy to understand.

Amy - I only want to give them when the kids are fighting over blankets or I'm tripping over a blanket they left laying somewhere. Then I think, "Oh how nice it would be to just give them to them now." But I shall prevail! Christmas isn't that far away! :)

The Thomas Five said...

Nice Blankets... A great project that with a sale our coupon makes a budget friendly Christmas gift.

They look cozy- guess I will be keeping my eye out. Thanks!

The Thomas Five said...

Nice Blankets... A great project that with a sale our coupon makes a budget friendly Christmas gift.

They look cozy- guess I will be keeping my eye out. Thanks!

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Hey Robin - I thought of you & all the crafts you do with your kids while I was making blankets! You are the queen of crafts!

ali said...

Great job Danyelle!

I make lots of blankets for everyone else ... crocheted and quilted and fleece ... but have never once made one for my boys! How terrible is that!

I decided about a week ago that they deserved some Mommy blankets ... they ought to have a closet full! I just might start with some cozy fleece ones this year.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Ali - I hope you have fun making blankets for your boys!

Kellie Buckner said...

Awesome blankets! my kids have TONS of blankets but I think I'll make some for my nieces and nephews for Christmas. Thanks for the idea and great instructions!

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Kellie - I bet your kids love all those snugly blankets - and your nieces and nephews will, too! :)

Kimber said...

Those blankets are great. They also a good wedding gift - I have made big blankets (large enough for two people, cuddled CLOSE, of course, to fit under) and used it to "wrap" a bowl with popcorn, sparkling cider, and snacks or an inexpensive DVD. It's a fun date-night wedding gift and not too expensive if you can get the fabric on sale!

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Kimber - That's such an awesome idea! I love it!!! Thanks for sharing.

Ebony said...

That’s really a great idea to get big discount. I too love to shop at Joann.

dreamaire outlast blanket said...

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