Friday, November 16, 2012

Easy and Inexpensive = the Perfect Gift!

Well, autumn is rapidly passing us by here in New Hampshire - it seems like the temperatures are becoming more wintry every week!  It's the perfect time of year to curl up with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book - but to do that, you also need a snuggly blanket!  :)  Here's an easy way to spiff up a couple of ordinary fleece blankets and turn them into something a little more special.  Just be careful - you may need to make more than you planned since you might want to keep one for yourself!

What you need:  
So simple - just two fleece blankets (mine were less than $3 each at Walmart) and a pair of scissors.  I borrowed my Mom's special cloth scissors, but any sharp pair will do.  Now, I like the combination of a pattern with a solid, but you can do whatever floats your boat.  :)

Lay your blankets on a countertop or tabletop, smoothing them out and aligning the edges as much as possible - and make sure that the "right" sides are facing OUT.  (Hi, kitty!)

Trim off the edges, removing the stitching - you won't need it!

Next, cut about a 6 inch square out of each corner - it looks weird now, but once you start tying, it works out nicely.  If you skip this step, as I did the first time I tried this project, your blanket will be all weird and blumpy around the corners.  Nobody wants a blumpy blanket!

After that, work your way ALL the way around the blanket, cutting 1" wide strips through both layers, about to the depth that you cut the square from the corner (see below).  Try to keep the blanket layers aligned through this process - not usually a problem due to static!  :)

And finally, the step you've been waiting for - the end is in sight!  Start tying the two layers of your tassels together, making sure to double knot them.  This will take you a while, but it's not bad once you get into the groove - although I have to admit that when I was tying this blanket, I suddenly forgot how to tie a knot when I was on the third-to-last one...that was interesting.  I fumbled through it somehow, though.  :)

Ta-da!  Admire the finished product below - a doubly snuggly blanket.  I should've timed myself...I think this took me over an hour, but I'm sure that with practice I could whittle it down to 30-45 minutes.  In any case, this is an easy, satisfying project that makes a great gift - whether it fills a spot on your Christmas shopping list or is just a gift for yourself!  The variety is endless, too - I only showed you this one color combination, but I have lots more waiting to be tied: leopard print with solid brown, zebra print with black, polka dots with purple, blue snowflakes with white...

Hopefully this idea (which, by the way, is not original to me; I have merely adopted and modified it) will help you to enjoy the colder months a little bit more - everyone needs a snuggly blanket or two (or three or four)! :)  Have a great weekend!!