I had promised Gift Idea #10 two days ago. I know. I should have more integrity. But, for this gift, I had wanted to do a picture tutorial (all together now: Ooooooh. Ahhhhhh.), and this snowy day is perfect to work on a project and take some pics.
This is an awesome DIY (read: "do it yourself") handcrafted gift. And it can be reallllly inexpensive, if you play your cards right. I've been making this gift for several years now, and assumed that most people knew how to make them. I've recently found that many people WANT to make this gift, but weren't quite sure how. One friend I talked to even thought it was COMPLICATED, so she's never tried!
Hear me now: SIMPLE. FRUGAL. HANDCRAFTED.
As always, it doesn't get any better than that!
Revolution Gift Idea #10:
No-Sew Fleece Blanket
I make these blankets often, and not just around the Holidays. I've given them as birthday gifts, baby gifts and wedding gifts. A few months ago, I made a smaller one for Little Chica, and it is now her BLANKY.
And we do not go ANYWHERE without BLANKY.
And we do not go ANYWHERE without BLANKY.
Not only are these simple and handmade, but they are INCREDIBLY warm. My scientific theory on the Warmth Factor: air gets caught between the 2 pieces of fleece, and it heats up nicely. If you are a scientist, feel free to let me know if I am way off (and maybe why a scientist is reading this blog)?
It's not hard to find great sales on Fleece. I was at the local Jo-Ann fabric store yesterday, and the entire stock of fleece was 25%-50% off! Most of the fleece was 50%, with the exception of sports-logo fleece, which was only 25%. My goal was to make a blanky for Chica's friend, Little John. His parents are HUGE Eagles fans, so I wanted to get an Eagles print fleece with a black fleece to back it.
I was bummed to find that the sports prints were only 25% off, and they were more expensive at their base price. So I almost gave up on the project. As I was walking around the store, I decided to check out the remnant baskets (fabric remnants at odd sizes, so they are discounted). Would you believe there was ONE small roll of Eagles print fleece and one roll of black in the remnant baskets?!? So, what should have cost upwards of $25 orginally, came down to $6. NOT BAD.
Note to self: ALWAYS check the remnant baskets.
Now that I have my fleece, I can start the project.
Here are the simple steps to making a No-Sew Fleece Blanket:
(I apologize in advance for the poor picture quality. The best image capturing device I have is my cell phone. Have I mentioned I need a new camera?)
You will use 2 pieces of fleece to make the blanket. Essentially, you are tying the 2 fabrics together. I know, no-brainer, right? I recommend using 1 print fleece for the front and 1 complimentary solid color fleece for the back. You don't have to do this, it just looks nice. If you are going to do an adult-sized blanket (where 2 adults can comfortably snuggle under), get 2 yards of each fleece. If you are going to do a child-sized blanky, use 1 yard of each. Note: the Eagles print has odd dimensions, since it was a remnant, so it is slightly smaller than a normal blanky.
Next, you will place the 2 pieces of fleece together, one on top of the other. Make sure the 2 sides you want to be the front and back are facing OUT. 99% of the time, they will be roughly the same size, and you will only have to trim a few pieces to make it flush. Since I had remnants, I had to do a little more cutting and aligning than normal. Note: you don't have to align them perfectly. That's what I love about this project - it is very forgiving! Just make them approximately the same size, and cut out any egregious misalignments.
From here on out, you will keep the fabrics together, treating them as one piece of fabric. So, even though in the pictures, you only see the Eagles print fleece, know that the black fleece is underneath. Cut a 3x3-inch box out of each corner. If you don't do this, the blanket will become kind of round and oddly shaped. I learned this the hard way.
Once the corners are cut out, begin to cut 1x3-inch tabs across each side. Try to make them the same size, but if you mess up, I won't tell.
Next, tie the Eagles tabs together with the coordinating black tab underneath. I tie them so the black tab shows on the Eagles side, and the Eagles tab shows on the black side. I would advise tying one side, and then tying the opposite side instead of working your way around. This helps to keep the fleece from bunching and stretching. You will see in the picture below I did one long side, and went on to tie the opposite side instead of the intersecting side (does that make sense? If not, email me and I will explain it better).
Tie together all 4 sides (I'd encourage you to do this paired with a glass of wine to sip and a romantic comedy to watch). Voila! You are finished!
To give you an idea of how big a 1-yard kid blanky is and a 2-yard adult blanket is, Hubby kindly allowed himself to be photographed for comparison purposes (isn't he cute?).
Another inexpensive but nice gift on the list! Personalize the print to the recipient's taste. If you have a Sharpie market, write a little message in the corner or sign it. I guarantee you, it will be appreciated on cold, snowy winter days like today!
More Revolution Gift ideas to come next week - so check back daily!
***I apologize for the picture sizes in this post - I don't have time to mess with them and resize them, and I know they are out of the borders. One day I will be a trendy, savvy techno blogger. Today is not that day.***