I started making no-sew fleece blankets because it's really difficult to find a nice heavy blanket that washes well, has a cute, personalized pattern on it and doesn't cost the proverbial arm and leg. And it's also a nice project to do with kids. They love that they helped make their very own blanket. My daughter loves loves Thomas the Train, so naturally, she would have a Thomas blanket, right?
In addition to my kids, my niece, brother and sister-in-law also received no-sew fleece blankets from us for Christmas. I guess my husband was feeling left out. One night as he curled under our younger daughter's cupcake blanket, he declared that he too wanted a no-sew blanket of his own.
So that's exactly what my oldest daughter and I made him for his birthday.
I had no idea what I was doing when I began, so I had to reference a lot of online sources to get a complete picture of what to do and I still had to wing some areas. So here's a simple step-by-step guide on how to make your own no-sew fleece blanket.
The fleece blanket uses two different pieces of fleece. More often than not, there's some sort of pattern (and you can really get virtually anything you want) and then a solid color that matches the pattern. It's usually on sale at JoAnn's for 50% off of the price per yard (or sometimes higher, you just have to watch the fliers and coupons).
Here's exactly what you need:
2 yards of a patterned fleece
2 yards of a solid matching fleece
4x4 piece of scrap paper
First lay your solid fleece down with what will be the back of the blanket to the ground and the inside facing upwards. Next, lay your patterned piece of fleece on top with what will be the front of the blanket facing the ceiling.
Smooth the wrinkles and line up the top side so the edges match perfectly. It's time to trim your fleece. You need to cut the selvage off. The selvage is the uncut edge of fabric that is either not part of the pattern, has a distinct edge to it or a line of holes.
Mine had a white edge on the pattern fleece and a distinct ridge on the red fleece that needed trimming.
Next, place the 4x4 piece of white paper in each corner and cut out around it.
This will allow your corners to be tied properly and without bulk.
Then, lay a yard stick (or some sort of measuring tape) from corner to corner four inches up from the bottom of the edge. It should line up with the top corner of your cut out box.
Now you're ready to cut your tabs. Measure roughly an inch per tab and cut the fleece four inches up (it should reach the top of the yard stick). So each tab will be 4 inches high by 1 inch wide. Don't worry if some are bigger than others; try to get them all 1 inch wide as best as you can.
Repeat this process around every edge.
Now you're ready to tie each tab. Double-knot each set of tabs. I double-knot them because they hold better with rough wear and tear and they stay tied better in the washing machine and dryer.
Once you've finished tying each tab, you're finished. It's really that easy!
To wash these blankets, I use the warm cycle with regular detergent and fabric softener and throw them in a medium temp dryer until completely dry. When I take them out, I sit on the couch and quickly go through all of the edges to retie any tabs that may have come undone.
This clearly isn't a complex, challenging project, nor is it a super-cute and unique craft, but it's useful, cost effective and a great afternoon project with kids. Oh and I think it makes a great personalized gift!