Thursday, March 17, 2011

Receiving Blanket Tutorial

I've been busy juggling Bears, Boats and Brontosauruses the last couple of days. Sounds like a handful, yes? Not so much when they are caught on these fabrics...

One of my favorite things to make for a new baby is my version of a receiving blanket. I started making these when I was due with my own little ones. I found that the receiving blankets that were available in the stores were too small. There have been advances in nearly every aspects of our lives since I gave birth to my babies. You would have thought someone would have put a little effort into improving a flimsy receiving blanket, but apparently that wasn't at the top of the list. Most receiving blankets available in stores today are about 30"x30", which is really too skimpy to wrap around a newborn. Plus, they are made from cheap, lightweight flannel and are a single thickness. Here's the solution -- a quick tutorial on how to make a soft, double-sided, 41"x41" receiving blanket for a little one in your life.

Receiving Blanket

Materials needed:
1 1/4 yards flannel
1 1/4 yards cotton fabric (or flannel)
5 yards (2 pkgs.) Jumbo Rick Rack
embroidery floss


Making your fabric into a perfect square: 

1.) Trim any manufacturers lettering from the selvage (finished edge) of your flannel fabric.

2.) To cut your fabric into a perfect square without much measuring, trim one unfinished edge straight by using a rotary cutter. Then fold the fabric on the bias (diagonally) so that the just trimmed edge meets a selvaged edge, like this...

3.) There will be a little extra fabric on one side. (This should be the unfinished edge of your fabric that hasn't been trimmed.) Use the edge of the top fabric as a guide to trim off the extra fabric underneath. When you're done trimming that edge you will have made a perfect square!

4.) Use the edge of a plate to draw a line to round the corners of your fabric and trim your fabric on that line.

5.) When finished with Steps 1 - 4 you will have a perfect square with rounded corners...

Applying the Rick Rack:

6.) Sew the Rick Rack onto the top of your flannel fabric by placing the rick rack just inside the edge of the fabric and sewing about 1/8" from the edge.

Finishing the edges:

7.) Now we'll make it into a double-sided (soft flannel on one side -- cotton on the other) blankie... Cut any manufacturer's lettering off the selvages of the cotton fabric.

8.)Place the flannel fabric on top of the 1 1/4 yard of cotton fabric -- right sides together. Pin the edges. Trim edges of your cotton fabric closer to the edges of the flannel fabric.

9.)  Sew the flannel and cotton fabrics together by lining up your presser foot along the flannel edge and sewing. Approximately 1/3" seam allowance. (This seam will be "inside" the line of thread where you tacked the rick rack.) Leave a 4 inch gap along this seam to pull the fabrics right-side-out.

10.) Pull fabric right side out. Press edges of fabric and slip stitch the 4" gap shut.

11.) To secure the top fabric to the bottom fabric: Start by evenly measuring out 9 points and putting a pin in each spot, like the illustration below.

12.) Then use a double strand of embroider floss to tie the fabrics together.

13. That's it! You've got a beautiful, well-made receiving blanket for an adorable little munchkin in your life! 

I'd like to say these blankets are more economical than the store bought varieties, but generally speaking that just isn't true. Mine cost a little less than $20 for the materials for one receiving blanket. (You could make them with less expensive fabric, which would help them cost less.) I can tell you, however, that these blankets last forever! We still have several that I made for my own children that are in great condition. They are used when our grandbabies come for a visit. ;o)

Often I buy fabric online, but these fabrics were purchased at a Hancock Fabric Store in our hometown. They have a great supply of heavier-weight printed flannel. Love those funky looking flannel dinos!

Link Parties:
Strut Your Stuff Baby Ideas @ Somewhat Simple
Mad Skills Mondays @ Support Blog for Moms of Boys
For the Kids Friday @ Sun Scholars
Show & Tell Saturday @ Be Different Act Normal
Friday Fun Finds @ kojo designs
Friday Flair Party @ Whipperberry
All Things Domestic @ Crazy Domestic
Frugalicious Friday @ Finding Fabulous
Free for All Friday @ Sassy Sites
Fantabulous Friday @ Mommas Kinda Crafty


King's Cleaning said...

Hello! I enjoy reading your blog so very much :) I have at least 5 lovely ladies in my life who are due to have babies within the next few months so I am really enjoying your baby tutuorials. I do however wonder where you purchase your lovely fabrics? Hobby Lobby, Joann's? Thanks for sharing! Wishing you a beautiful day :)

Suzanne said...

I usually purchase my fabrics online through Etsy sites,, or (lately) --

For these particular fabrics I went to a Hancocks store in our town. They have a heavier weight flannel ($5.99 yard) that I really like.

Anne said...

These make such cute blankets! I love the rounded corners and the ric rac trim!

I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


{northern cottage} said...

love it - super super cute! Wish I had this tutorial (and knew how to sew back then and had extra time) when my kids were really I wish I had a friend like you to make them for me when my kids were babies!

really really fantastic!

Misty Makes said...

I love these blankets, someone gave my son a similar one when he was born and it was always my favorite to put on the floor, because I felt like when he was just starting to crawl the flannel helped give traction. Hes 3 and we still use it in his bed.
Thanks for the tutorial, I'll be making some for gifts.

Lynn said...

I love the cute fabrics in these blankets. I made something similar when my I had my babies. The fabrics back then were not as cute as now:-) I like the rounded corners, I didn't think of that! The flannels today are so warm and cozy. What a beautiful baby gift!

cathie said...

These seem like great baby blankets, so durable. Can't wait to try this myself, thanks for sharing!

Beth said...

I love Hancock fabrics too, but watch out, sometimes the exact same flannel fabric (or plain cotton) is at Walmart for 1/2 the price. SOMETIMES. But if you use coupons then it's about the same price.

Diane said...

I make the blankets much as you do, but in the center I sew 4 hearts, all joined together with the point in the center. This stabilizes the blanket fabric and gives a cute design.

Kendra said...

This is super cute! I love the rounded corners!

Anonymous said...

These look so comfy!

Neoma said...

That dino-fabric is so CUTE! I love it! And a great tutorial also! Thanks for sharing!


Tolentreasures said...

Great tutorial! Actually, a woman at church just gave me a whole bolt of really nice flannel and I have been trying to figure out what to do with it and I think that there is jumbo rick-rack in the stash somewhere also!



Unknown said...

Great tutorial! I never thought to use ric rac on the edging.. I will have to try that! So cute!

I'd love to have you come by and link up at my For the Kids Friday Link party (going on now!). We have lots of fun ideas to share. Hope to have you stop by!

Megan said...

I really like the ric rac. Ric rac makes everything pretty.


Mia said...

My heart gets all melty when you make all this adorable baby stuff! I just love it when there is a new baby joining the crew.

Kelly @ Run With Glitter said...

I need to make a gift so these are perfect.. I'll link to you when I make them!!! I'd love to have you link this up!

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this at For the Kids Friday at SunScholars! I will be posting the next party tonight. I hope to have you linking up again this week!

:)rachel @

Ginger said...

So cute! Baby gifts are my favorite to make too! Thanks for linking up to Mad Skills Monday!

lesa said...

Thank you for sharing!