When it comes to gift giving for kids in the family, it’s easy to choose toys – they are relatively easy to buy (just pop into Walmart and buy a set of LEGOS or the latest Transformer) — but they are also the first to get tossed aside within a few days when the novelty wears off.
This past Christmas, we had to pick up gifts for 8 kids in our family and at the last minute, my husband was insistive on going to Walmart to lay down some serious cash on video games and [junk] plastic toys.
Don’t even do it.
I had this conversation in the car with him just minutes before he got out, and insisted that superhero blankets might be a better option – not only is it a gift that they can use for years to come, the plastic won’t clutter their house. Deep down I hoped that my sister and brother in law would appreciate our efforts to avoid “another toy” or, screen time addiction.
JoAnn and Hobby Lobby have quite a nice selection of fabric – but in this case, we opted for Walmart – while we might not find as large of a fabric section as we would like, they do have a significant cost savings on fabric for kids. Cotton Superhero and Star Wars novelty fabric (cotton) was an affordable $3.97 a yard – which is amazing considering most kids are into one or the other!
Not to mention, the minky fabric that we usually pay $10-$15/yard for at JoAnn (even with coupon) was only $4.97 per yard at Walmart. Quite a bit of savings!
Making a cuddle blanket is so inexpensive, and really isn’t challenging at all. If you can sew a straight line, then you can make these blankets for anyone in the family – from the smallest baby to the oldest NFL fan. 🙂
Superhero Novelty Cuddle Blanket
- thread (preferably a color that matches the material)
- quilters pins (a pack of 250 is sufficient)
- sewing machine
- fabric scissors
- 2 yards cotton superhero fabric (Walmart has a wonderful selection for the best price)
- 2 yards coordinating minky dot fabric
Lay the minky or cuddle fabric on the floor (or your craft table), right side up, and then place the cotton fabric on top, right side down to line up the edges. Trim the fabric as needed to make a perfect seam.
(This is just one of the many we sewed up – which is why it’s not the same fabric as the one above!)
The key to sewing minky or cuddle fabric is pinning like crazy so it doesn’t move – so pin around the outside of the blanket, every 1 1/2 – 2 inches, leaving at least 1/2 inch on the edge for the seam.
Pin the entire blanket with the exception of a 6″ gap on one side. I usually do this 6″ gap in the middle of one of the sides.
Sew around the edge using a straight stitch and leaving 1/2 inch seam allowance — remove the pins as you go. Do not sew the 6″ gap: I would recommend doing a backstitch on both sides of that gap to reinforce.
You will be pulling the fabric through that hole and the backstitch will ensure that the seam doesn’t rip.
You may choose to sew a second time around the blanket as a reinforcement, making sure to skip the 6″ gap. If you do a second reinforcement, sew right on top of the first stitch.
Pull your hand into the 6″ gap, and gently pull out the blanket, making sure to push out the corners with your finger. Now, the blanket should be right side out, with a 6″ gap on one side. Trim any little bits of string, and make sure all pins are removed – sometimes those little buggers get stuck in there and once you sew that gap shut you won’t be able to get them out.
Finish by sewing the gap shut – using a 1/4 – 1/2″ seam allowance and a straight stitch. You may want to sew over the gap a second time, for reinforcement – if you do, sew directly over the first stitch.
That’s it! You have yourself a superhero cuddle blanket. Your first may have taken you a little longer than an hour, but once you get the hang of it, you will be able to crank out blankets in no time 🙂
When I sewed up blankets this last Christmas, I was able to hunker down and do 8 blankets in a matter of 3 hours, with all 5 kids lending a hand at some point or another. If you have older kids that can help you pin, that can definitely help you, too!
When giving these blankets as gifts, it’s always best to note that the recipient should machine wash on delicate cycle, cold water – tumble dry low. Our kids have had their cuddle blankets for several years and they wash up beautifully.