This might be the absolute easiest way to make a DIY dog blanket. It’s no-sew and almost no effort required! We’re currently shivering through winter here in New Zealand, and I’ll be sharing some cosy DIY winter warmers for pets (or people). They’re great for night time or camping cuddles for summer furfriends as well. Since some of you aren’t into sewing, I thought I would start by sharing a very easy no-sew blanket option before we get into our actual homemade dog blanket projects.
Creating Easy DIY Blankets with Fleece
No Fray? No Sew!
Fleece is a knitted no-fray fabric. Although edging is nice for looks and added stability and durability, it isn’t necessary. This means that all you need to do to make a blanket is cut to the desired size. The hardest part will be deciding what fleece to buy. As noted in our post about fleece for dog tug toys, it is a synthetic, but it is durable, washes well, and dries quickly.
Selecting Fleece for Dog Making Blankets
When shopping for a single-layer blanket fleece, look for a thick and sturdy high-quality polar fleece. It will be snugglier solo than a flimsy fleece. Plus, a sturdier fleece will be less prone to stretching and deforming, which is particularly helpful if the edges are left unfinished.
Since fleece is fur magnet, pick your colours and patterns carefully for looks and practicality, but really, everything in my life seems to have some fur on it these days!
Last but not least, size matters. Consider the size on the roll (selvage-to-selvage) when planning your project and selecting the fleece.
Confession: I had to buy this fleece material when I saw it in my local craft store. Cute little dogs, but in my go-to greys and neutral colours. Perfect. Then it then sat in my craft stash for ages waiting for me to FINALLY get around to making blankets. Sorry, Oli and Humphrey. The fleece was 148cm wide, so I bought 3m to make two almost square big blankies. Easy math! It is a decent weight, but not a full heavyweight fleece, so better suited to a finished edge for stability than a no-sew blanket.
No-Sew Fleece Blanket Edge Finishing Options
There are lots of pretty no-sew fleece blanket designs with fringes, knotted edges, braided edges, etc but with big dogs like mine, pretty fringes and tassels are just asking for ripping. Plain is fine and very easy. The only DIYing required to turn a length of thick fleece into a blankie is to cut to size, taking care to ensure the edges are as straight as possible.
Straight edges make all the difference between looking like a off-cut vs. a simple throw. I usually cut fleece with scissors and don’t care much about straight lines for tugs, but for a perfect blanket edge, a rotary cutter, mat, and straight edges are handy.
Making a Simple Fleece Blanket with Pain Edges
Supplies and Materials
To make a simple fleece blanket, you will need a suitable piece of fleece (sturdy heavyweight fleece will be the most durable) and scissors. As noted above, if you have a rotary cutter, mat, and a straight edge for a guide it will be much easier to cut perfect straight edges, but they’re not essential. You will need to work incrementally and slide unless you have an enormous mat though! You can use any long straight object as a guide or lightly mark a line before cutting with scissors.
- Fleece fabric
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Straight edge (either as a cutting guide or to mark a guide line)
- Square object (optional to assist with checking corners)
- Measuring tape (optional)
Making a No-Sew Fleece Blanket
To make a no-sew basic fleece blanket or to prep fleece for making into a fancier blanket with edge finishing (which is what’s going to happen with this fleece in an upcoming post):
- Select a suitable fleece. Unlike many sewing materials, pre-washing is optional as polar fleece is colourfast and doesn’t normally shrink (high temperatures should be avoided when washing or drying fleece). You may still like to wash away any smells and residue from manufacture, transport, retail, etc. either before sewing or before first use.
- Check the selvage edges and trim if/as needed.
- Check the cut edges and trim if/as needed. Most fabric retailers cut fairly well, but quick cuts are rarely perfectly square and/or straight, especially with slippery stretchy fleece. Check the full length to determine the minimum trim possible (less wastage) before cutting. Use the straight trimmed selvage edge as a guide for squaring the corner to help ensure your trimmed blanket is a crisp rectangular shape.
- If you are making more than one blanket from the pieces of fleece, measure and cut into pieces at the desired size if/as needed. You can fully measure and mark or simply measure to the cutting point and then use a guide to square and cut (or mark a line for cutting).
Done! For my blankies, this was just the first step of preparing to bind the edges for a more finished blanket; however, Oli had the privilege of a test snuggle and promptly nested himself into the blankie unwilling to let me take it back for continues sewing. I think that’s a sign of approval.
A plain piece of fleece isn’t quite as pretty nor will it have the stabilisation of a finished edge for shape and durability, but it is incredibly easy. Plus, you can always repurpose the fleece or upgrade the blanket later. We’re going to use the particular pieces of fleece to make bound blankets.
In addition to being great for stabilising the edges on a stretchy material like fleece, binding really dresses things up without much effort or expense even if the edges don’t need covering. Check out the details on our homemade quick-dry binding tape and the finished bound fleece blankets that I made using these cut pieces of dog patterned fleece. Woofs!