Can’t sew? No worries! A bit of fleece, some scissors, and a little patience are all you need for a one-of-a-kind blanket. This no-sew blanket is perfect if you’re looking for a quick, easy project for yourself, the kids, or grandkids.
Now, this idea isn’t new; plans abound for knotted, no-sew blankets. For my own no-sew blankets, I like this picture tutorial from Instructables. I used two 60″ x 82” pieces of fleece for a final blanket that measured about 48×80”.
Simple instructions in a nutshell
Do take a look at the detailed tutorial if you’ve never made one of these before, but in a nutshell, here are the steps for making the basic blanket.
1. You’ll need 2 pieces of fleece, the same size.
2. Line up the fleeces, back to back.
3. Trim the edges, if necessary, so the two pieces are an exact match.
4. Cut a 5″ square from each corner. (See photo.)
5. Begin on one side to cut the fringe and continue around all 4 sides. I’ve used a yardstick to draw a light pencil line from the inside corner of one cut-out square to the opposite inside corner and cut each fringe about 1/2″ in width.
6. Make sure all fringes of the 2 layers of fleece are aligned, and begin tying them in knots. (See photo for Step 6.)
7. Continue tying knots all the way around the blanket.
In about two hours I had the perfect themed blanket for our high school’s spring baseball season (take that, months-long quilting project!). With so little time and less than $40 invested, I’m happy to send it out for sleepovers and football games, too.
Presenting the no-sew waterproof picnic blanket!
I wanted to have a more versatile fleece blanket, though. I wanted to find a way to make this blanket a little more “outdoor friendly” without rendering it noisy or uncomfortable when camping or curling up for family movie night, so I decided to add a waterproof layer by attaching buttons on each corner and then buttoning that waterproof piece to the blanket.
Fastening the buttons
Once the knotted blanket is made, it’s easy to attach a large button at each corner. First, though, pull a fringe piece from the top and and a second fringe piece from the side and bring them together in the spot where you’ll sew the button. (After the button is sewn, you’ll want to be able to secure the fringe edges over the button so they’ll tuck neatly under the waterproof layer. I eyeballed how far in to sew the button before attaching it. If the button is too close to the fringe, the edges will stick out and get dirty.) Once you’ve determined your placement, lay the tassles back down and attach the buttons.
When I sewed the buttons on each corner, I only brought the thread through the top piece of fleece. Use a double strand of thread and sew through the button holes until they feel secure—maybe a dozen times or so.
Next, I took a couple of fringes at each corner of the blanket and cut a parallel slit through them. (Remember, if you’ve measured before sewing the buttons, pulling up just a couple should keep the rest of the tassles tucked in.) Slip the button through the slits to protect the fringed edges under the final layer:
Add a waterproofing layer
I placed a cheap tablecloth (72”) soft side down and cut small slits lining up with each button. There’s no need to make the slits as large as the button, as the cut will show, and the fabric will stretch to let the button pass through. I also dabbed a bit of clear nail polish on the underside of the slits to minimize fraying. I chose buttons over hook-and-loop tape because movement on the blanket can detach the tablecloth. As you can see, the folded-up tassles can “hide” under the tablecloth so they don’t get dirty at your next picnic. If you’re snuggling up, simply remove the tablecloth and slip the button out of the slitted tassles for a traditional fringe blanket.
That’s it! In a couple of hours you, too, will have a unique blanket with a detachable waterproof layer. If you have suggestions for improving the prototype, I’d love to hear your comments!