Making a fleece tie-blanket is an easy and inexpensive way to stay warm during the harsh winters here in Storrs. Not only are they simple to make, but there’s a satisfying feeling in choosing your own designs for your cozy comforter. All it takes is some scissors, a couple of index cards, about $25 to 35 and an hour and a half (or four, if you’re like me and take forever to pick a fleece print).
The first step is choosing your fabric. JoAnn’s is a good place to start, since they have a wide variety of fabric designs to choose from and will often have sales or coupons on their selections.
There are several different types of fleece to choose from, including Blizzard (which is soft and thick), Anti-Pill (which doesn’t produce those little pills of fabric you sometimes see in old sweaters) and Micro (which is very soft and often used for baby clothes and blankets). While the type you use it up to your discretion, I recommend either Anti-Pill or blizzard.
To make a tie-blanket, you need two pieces of fleece to tie together. The main design is the one you want to show off, and it goes on the top. Usually this is the side with prints or designs on it, though you can have solid colors for both fabrics if you wish.
Nowadays you can get prints of everything from “Doctor Who” and “Legend of Zelda,” to more traditional patterns such as florals or chevron. You can get sports team prints, too. Prints with copyrighted characters or designs on them tend to be more expensive, so keep that in mind.
For your second, bottom piece, try to pick a solid color that accents the design (if you have one). For example, if you pick a fabric with blue flowers on a white background for your top piece, try to choose a blue bottom fabric that matches the color of the flowers.
Once you’ve chosen your fabric, take them to the cutting counter and specify the lengths you want for each fabric. I like a nice big blanket, so I go for six feet (two yards) on each piece. If you’re tall, you might want to go for seven feet.
When you get home, spread out the fabrics so they lie on top of each other and line up. Make sure that the bottom fabric has the wrong side facing up, and the top fabric has the wrong side facing down. To find out which side is wrong, look at the sides of each piece. The fabric should curl into the “wrong” side.
Then grab a good pair of scissors. Along each edge of the fabric is the tag—a nasty-looking bald strip where they start the weave, or a white set of print with the store logo. Cut the tags off.
Make sure your fabric is lined up. Grab an index card and cut a square card measuring five-by-five inches. Using the card as a guide, cut a square on each corner of the layered fabrics.
Grab another index card. Cut a one-by-five inch strip of card, and use this as a guide to make the tassels for the ties. Them, cut the tassels, one inch wide and five inches deep, on the layered fabrics on all edges of the blanket. Make sure they’re still lined up. (Tip: If your scissors start to dull, use them to cut some aluminum foil. This sharpens them.)
When you finish cutting all the tassels, now it’s time to tie. Tie each top tassel to its respective bottom tassel, so you tie each layer of fabric to the other. Make a double knot on each one, or it’ll come loose.
Once you’re done tying, give yourself a pat on the back. You now have a custom, machine-washable, cozy fleece blanket to cuddle or to give to someone. No sewing or hassle needed!
Marlese Lessing is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She tweets @marlese_lessing.