Did y’all enjoy your black Friday shopping extravaganza? I know I did! I especially loved saving 40% on everything I purchased. And on Saturday I definitely did my part to support Shop Local Saturday by purchasing a new digital camera from a local photography shop. Overall I saved several hundred dollars on purchases of things I had needed for a while, including some much-needed winter wear. I’m still trying to craft most of my gifts this holiday season, though, in an attempt to keep spending down. Here’s one easy gift that will surely be appropriate for many on your gifting list!
This time I attempted to make a blanket. Without a sewing machine. Or any hand-sewing. Fear not, there are no staples, special tape, glue, or any other magical trick involved… I simply tied the pieces together. The finished result is below, click on each photo to see it full-sized in a new window.
For this project, all of my materials came from Joann’s fabrics. Most of their standard fleeces run aroungd $8.99-$9.99 per yard, however they frequently run fleece at 50% off, and I brought the price down even more by storing up some 40% off coupons. How much fleece you need to buy will depend on what size you want your finished blanket to be. For this one, I wanted the final dimensions to be around 4′ x 5′, a basic throw. To do this, I purchased 1 and 2/3rds yards of a solid fleece (the pink) and 1 and 2/3rds yards of a printed fleece (the zebra print with peace signs.) For those of you non-sewing inclined such as myself, the rolls at Joann’s came two yards (6′) in length so I purchased 1 and 2/3rds (5′) for the width. Once I tie all my tassels, the dimensions will shrink by around 1′ (because I will be cutting in 6″ around each side) so if I begin with pieces 5’x6′, I will end with a blanket which is 4’x5′. If you want to make something more full size, I would purchase about 2 and 2/3rds yards or 3 yards (8′ or 9′) to make a 5’x7′ or 5’x8′.
On this particular throw I had a friend with a sewing machine stitch on the letters of my sorority in a contrasting color. This idea could easily be adapted to someone’s initials or a symbol such as a heart. If you want to include this personalized addition, purchase an additional 1/3rd yard of fabric. It’s up to you whether you’d like printed letters on the solid, or solid letters on the printed side. Again, this detail could easily be left out to make the project entirely sewing machine free.
Once you’ve gotten your two pieces of fabric (and sewn on your letters if you so choose) you’re ready to start cutting and tying! Lay your fleece on the floor, wrong sides touching. This means that one “pretty side” will be facing the floor, and the other “pretty side” will be facing up, towards you. I found it was really helpful to attach a safety pin in each corner to keep the fabric aligned while snipping. Using fabric scissors, cut a 6″ square out of all four corners. Next, cut strips 1″ wide and 6″ inches tall all around one side, and then tie the top strip and bottom strip together along the whole edge. Repeat on all four sides and you’re done! Aside from buying materials, this project took me a total time of about two hours.
I think these blankets could be used as gifts for a lot of different occasions such as a baby shower, birthday, bat mitzvah, or even high school graduation gifts. They are so snuggly and effortless, but can easily be personalized with different colors and patterns for every individual. When I was a freshman in college, one of my best friends made me one to match the colors in my dorm room comforter! To adapt this gift for a guy, many fleeces are available with sports logo prints, or two contrasting university school colors would be a neat personal touch.
Have you ever made one of these? What other variations can you think of?