Making fleece blankets the no-sew way is a great activity for all ages and abilities, and they are excellent gifts you can make, for all sorts of occasions – not just winter holiday gift giving, but also birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc. Even St. Patrick’s Day for those who are Irish! Perfect for your senior activities.
These no-sew fleece blankets are perfect to use for any season, including spring and summer when the weather has cool spells. Also consider them for charitable giving – children’s hospitals, the homeless or needy, for Christmas charity drives, for soldiers overseas, anyone who is ill. Or in need of a little TLC.
Seniors do need a little finger dexterity to tie the knots, so if you’re using this as one of your elderly activities, some may need a little extra help. This is fun to do in groups, but also suitable as an individual activity too.
Tips for Making Fleece Blankets
Size — The size for making fleece blankets depends on who you’re giving it to. Roughly, a child will need a blanket about 1 ¾ yards (although babies’ can be smaller); a teen about 2 yards; an adult, 2 to 2 ½ yards. The fleece will come in different widths, from 40 to 60 inches. You will be tying together the fringes of two pieces of fleece. The fringe will be cut around the edges, about 3 to 4 inches in.
Colors — Choose a couple colors that go together. An easy way is using cool colors of blues, purples, lavenders, greens, grays, taupe, etc.; or the warm colors of yellows, oranges, pinks, peach, reds, magentas, etc. You can also take a look at the favorite color combos in your own clothes and home décor to see what you like. Using a plain color with a coordinating print is very popular, as well as a bold color with a soft one.
Where to purchase — Fleece can be found in almost every fabric store. Or purchase it online and have it sent to you (i.e., from Amazon, which usually ships for free).
Instructions for Making Fleece Blankets
* 2 pieces of fleece, the same size
* Tape measure or ruler to measure fringe
* A piece of paper cut 4×4 inches, to measure and format the corners
* Sharp scissors
Constructing the Blanket:
Cutting the Fleece
- When making fleece blankets, it is very important to cut the fabric (or have it cut at the store) together, so the pieces match each other in size.
- Cut of the salvage areas (if any) – these edges do not work for tying.
- Lay both pieces of fleece on top of each other, flat out on your table, with all edges even.
- Pin or clip them together so they stay put.
- Next, you will be shaping each corner in order to fringe the corners nicely. Take the 4×4 inch piece of paper. Lay it a a corner and pin it to the fabric. Then cut out the corner. Do this for each corner (see picture on the right). (You can practice this first on an old piece of fabric to see what it looks like, if you’d like).
- Now it’s time to cut the fringe. Starting at a corner, cut in 3 to 4 inches deep. And about 1 inch wide. (Do not make them thinner, as the fringes could tear later).
- You can make a paper or light cardboard template for the 3”x1” shape, so you don’t have to keep measuring it – making fleece blankets is a lot easier using a template.
- Cut the fringe slits all around the blanket.
Tying the Fringe
- When making fleece blankets, it is important not to tie the knots too tightly, as it will cause the blanket to pull and not lay flat. Edges would curl up instead.
- To begin knotting, start at one corner. Take the fringe from both the upper and lower blankets, and tie them together snugly, but not too tightly.
- If you have 2 contrasting pieces of fleece and want a reversible look, then tie the knots of every other one on one side…
- Then turn over the blanket and tie the others.
- It is best to double knot them to make them stronger so they can withstand activity and the washing machine!
That’s it! Making fleece blankets is an easy, satisfying project. The feel of the fabric is not only fun to work with, but of course wonderful to use. And those who receive these blankets will appreciate the care you used to make them.
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Also be sure to read:
Outdoor Elderly Activities — Some can also be done throughout other seasons. And consider how they can be moved indoors too – giving more options for fun things to do. (Likewise, many of our indoor activities can be moved outside!)
Elderly Games For Fun and Function — Elderly games are excellent for exercising those “mental muscles” and stimulating memory, focus, cognitive skills, plus relieving stress and worry.