In today’s post: No sew fleece blankets are so easy to make! Pair two of your favorite fleece prints or solids into a cuddly blanket that makes a great DIY gift. Learn four different ways to make these blankets.
No Sew Fleece Blankets Make Great Gifts
Whether you’re getting started on gifts for Christmas or are just looking for a craft idea, no sew fleece blankets are a great EASY project. Most fabric frays when it’s washed, meaning blankets have to be sewn together and flipped inside out or have a binding strip sewn along the edges. But fleece doesn’t fray, which means making a fleece blanket is much easier! If you can cut fabric and tie knots, you can make a no sew fleece blanket.
These easy blankets are made with two layers of fleece, which makes them extra cuddly and warm. I like to use a pattern for the top and coordinating solid for the bottom, but you can use whatever you’d like. If you’re making blankets as gifts, it’s fun to choose fleece prints that match the interests of the recipient.
How to Make a No Sew Fleece Blanket
The process is easy: you’ll layer two pieces of fleece together, trim them up so the edges are straight, and then use one of four easy techniques to attach the two layers and finish the edges. Throughout this week I’ll show you how to finish your blanket with a tied edge, a braided edge, a fringed edge, or cute little bows. Today’s post walks you through the most common type of fleece blanket: a tied fleece blanket. For the other three edge options, visit the links below:
Learn how to make a fleece blanket with a braided edge
Learn how to make a fleece blanket with a fringed edge (my favorite!)
Learn how to make a fleece blanket with bows along the edge
Fleece Blanket Video
Watch this short video to see how to make each of the four types of no sew fleece blankets. Supply list and step by step instructions for the tied fleece blanket follow the video.
For a tied fleece blanket, you only need three things:
- 2 pieces of fleece fabric in coordinating colors, 1.5 yards each for a child size blanket, 2 yards each for a teen/adult blanket
- Sharp Scissors or a rotary cutter and cutting mat
What Kind of Fleece Should I Use?
I generally buy fleece from Jo-Ann, and they sell three different types: Blizzard Fleece, Anti-Pill Fleece, and Luxe Fleece. Luxe fleece is gorgeous, but it’s too heavy to use for a doubly layer no sew fleece blanket. For these blankets I recommend using Anti-Pill Fleece. Here’s why:
Anti-pill fleece is extremely soft and cuddly, and like the name indicates, it’s made so it doesn’t “pill” or end up with little balls on top of the fabric as it wears. Blizzard fleece is cheaper than Anti-Pill fleece and is available in LOTS of prints, so it’s also an option. However, the quality is a step down from Anti-Pill fleece: it’s not quite as soft and probably won’t hold up as well over long term use (it may pill as it’s used). But depending on how many blankets you plan to make, you may find the price difference makes Blizzard Fleece a better option for you. I do not recommend mixing types of fleece in a blanket. For example, don’t use an Anti-Pill solid and a Blizzard fleece print in the same blanket.
How Much Fabric Will I Need?
You can make fleece blankets in any size you’d like. For a baby blanket, plan to purchase a yard of each fabric you’d like to use. For a blanket that’s a good size for kids, you’ll need one and a half yards of fabric (2 pieces, 1.5 yards each = three yards total). Fleece comes 60 inches wide, so a yard a half gives you pieces that are approximately 60×54 inches.
If you’re making the blanket for a teen or adult, purchase 2 yards of fleece in each color (4 yards total), which will give you 60×72 to start with. Depending on the finishing method you choose, the finished product will be 4-10 inches smaller in each direction than the fabric you started with.
Buy Fleece on Sale
DO NOT buy fleece at Jo-Ann at full price! Fleece goes on sale regularly (60%-70% off) especially during the fall and winter months, so it’s worth waiting for a sale. For a child size blanket, when Blizzard fleece is on sale you’ll be able to get both pieces of fleece for about $10. For the same size blanket, Anti-Pill Fleece will be closer to $20.
Getting Started: Cut Straight Edges
To begin making your blanket, you’ll need to even up the edges of your fabric. Lay the piece of fabric that will be the back of your blanket down on a flat surface, like the floor, with the right side (front side) of the fabric down. The right side of Anti Pill Fleece is the fuzzier side, or the side that the print looks more clear on. Smooth the wrinkles out of the fabric. Then lay the top fabric down on top of it with the right side up. Smooth the top fabric down and match up the edges as much as possible.
The edges of the fabric will probably not be exactly straight right now. Sometimes the selvedge edges don’t come perfectly straight and sometimes the cut edges get cut crooked at the fabric store. Additionally, sometimes the print versions of fleece are slightly wider/narrower than the solid versions. None of this will be a problem once your blanket is completed. Just smooth out the two layers of fabric the best you can. Then use scissors or a rotary blade with a cutting mat and ruler to cut the edges fairly straight. Cut through both layers of fabric at once, so they will both end up being the same size, and try not to cut off too much fabric. Don’t stress if the edges don’t end up perfectly straight – no one will notice once the blanket is completed.
Make a Cutting Template (Optional)
For all four methods of making a no sew blanket, you’ll make cuts that are a couple inches deep by one or more inches wide along the edges of your two layers of fabric. Essentially you will cut a fringe, creating strips on all sides of the blanket. Making the fringe cuts is actually what takes the longest on most of these blankets. Try not to stress too much about making exact cuts; once the blanket is finished it really won’t matter if some of the strips are slightly wider than others. I like to make card stock templates to make the cutting go a little faster. This is especially helpful if you are making multiple blankets.
Get a piece of lightweight cardboard (like a cereal box) or even a piece of heavyweight paper like card stock. Make cuts in it that are the same width and depth as the cuts you’ll make for the blanket. Lay the cardboard over your blanket, matching up the edges, and cut the fabric at every cut in the cardboard. When you get to the end of the cardboard, pick it up and lay it over the next section of blanket.
It’s also helpful to make a square template the size that you’ll need to cut off each corner (sizes are noted in the instructions for each type of blanket). You can use that square to measure how deep to make your cuts as well. You can see how I use the templates in the video that’s above under the head “Fleece Blanket Video” and also in the printable instruction card at the end of the post.
Cut Strips into All Four Edges
At each corner, cut away a 5×5 inch square. Then make 5-inch cuts that are 1 inch apart along all four edges of the blanket. It can be helpful to use a template or a yardstick to measure the cuts. You can also estimate the cuts instead of measuring; just make them slightly wider than the width of your finger. Please note that you are treating the two fabric pieces as one.
Tie Balloon Knots
Next you’ll take each strip (holding the two layers as one) and tie it into a knot, the same way you’d tie a knot in a balloon. Pick up one strip with your right hand. Wrap it up and around a finger on your left hand. Push the end of the strip through the loop you just made to complete a balloon tie (like you’re tying off a balloon). Pull the knot tight. Continue knotting every strip in the fringe, all the way around the blanket.
Note: I prefer to use balloon knots because they lay flat and they do a good job showing the contrasting fabric that’s on the bottom piece of your blanket. However, if tying knots this way is difficult, you can use a different kind of knot. You could separate the two layers of fringe pieces and tie them together using a square knot instead.
- 2 pieces Fleece Fabric 1.5 yards each for child size, 2 yards each for adult
- Sharp Scissors or rotary cutter + cutting mat
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- Place both pieces of fabric down on the floor, right sides facing out. Smooth out fabric and match up edges. Cut edges straight, trimming through both layers of fabric at once so both layers are the same size.
- Cut a 5×5 inch square from each corner of the fabric (you will be treating both layers of fabric as one from here on out). Make 5 inch cuts all the way around the edges of the fabric, 1 inch apart.
- Pick up each strip of fabric and tie it in a ballon knot, wrapping the piece around your finger and tying it like you would a balloon.
- Continue all the way around the blanket, tying each fringe piece into a knot.