No-Sew Fleece Tie Blanket Tutorial

Hello fellow bloggers. How’s life? Hope everyone is enjoying their summer and enjoying the last few weeks of it before the kids head back to school.  Unfortunately we haven’t gone anywhere or taken any real vacation time as a family. But we managed to steal a few random days here and there to spend with the kids and take day-long road trips.  Can’t express enough how much I truly enjoy spending time with my family. My hubby and kids mean the world to me and every moment we get to spend together whether it’s in front of the tube watching a movie or out an about, it simply doesn’t matter what we are doing or where we are doing it, so long as we are together.

So lately I’ve been busying myself with small projects here and there. Recently my daughter asked me to make her a fleece tie blanket.  So we waited for the sales and then headed over to Joanns to pick out out some fun fabric to work with.  What I liked about making this blanket was the fact that you don’t have to break out the sewing machine.  Not that I don’t like sewing, I do, I just don’t sew as often as I used to or would like to.  I guess I’m all over the place when it comes to crafting. I’m a bit scattered if you will.  One day I like knitting, the next crocheting, then the next paper crafts or card making. You just never know what will pop out of my creative head..lol! I really enjoy working with my hands and creating pretty things for people to enjoy.  My dad worked as a metal machinist for many years. He operated various types of machines that he used to cut and shape metals into specific pieces or parts to be used in industrial settings. I know it was work that he took great pride in and enjoyed it very much before he retired.  I recall him showing my mom parts that he’d made and explaining what they were for like a kid does when he brings home a project from school. I sometimes compare myself to  my dad and believe that I get my desire to work with my hands from him. My mom was a crafty chic back in her day too.  I remember as a kid she would sew dresses for me and knit sweaters for the family.  I can’t help but put my hand on my chest as if clutching my heart in pain when I recall all the times I begged my mom not to make me wear that “ugly” sweater to school. I was only 9 or 10 at the time and never appreciated the labor of love that was put into such a precious gift. Unfortunately that beautiful ugly sweater my mom knitted as well as other dresses she had sewn for me were stored away for years before they found their way to the goodwill.  My dad however saved a beautiful sweater she had knitted for him. Even though he doesn’t wear it anymore (fits him a little too snug now)  he has kept it all these years and shows it off proudly whenever we reminice  old times.  He calls it his “precious gift”.  My dad has a very rough edge to his personality so for him to say something so sweet about something my mom made for him, means a LOT to her.

Anyhoooo….back to the fleece blanket…lol!  Sorry I tend to get off topic sometimes.  I guess I just wanted to share some background on why I like crafts so much.

So I had no idea on how to make a no-sew fleece tie blanket.  I researched the internet and came across a ton of tutorials on Pinterest which were extremely helpful. I learned one thing. Fleece blankets are NOT HARD to make and are perfect for gift giving.  You can make them for baby showers, birthdays and even as a wedding gift. I’ve made three. Two for my girls and one for my niece’s baby shower.   Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Yardstick
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Something you can use to cut 4 x 4 size squares from each corner of the blanket. I just happen to have this clear plastic template I had ordered from Creative Memories back when I used to do a lot of scrapbooking.
  • And of course patterned fleece as well as a contrast solid color fleece in the size you prefer. I bought two yards worth of material to make a good size blanket. But of course it’s up to you on how big or small you want your finished project to be.

IMG_1983 When you have your fleece lined up together be sure you have both pieces with the wrong or dull sides facing in to each other. Then lay out your blanket on a flat surface.  Smooth out the blanket so there are no bumps and then use the yard stick to measure and carefully trim off any extra pieces so it’s nice and even on all sides.  I used pins to secure both pieces together so they don’t shift around when trimming the sides. IMG_1968     Unfortunately I just realized I failed to take a picture of the two fleece blankets laid out with the 4 x 4 size corners cut out. So I had to dig into my stash and found a patterned piece of fabric and a solid contrast to go with it just so I could kinda simulate the steps I did when I made the fleece blankets. IMG_1991 IMG_1992   IMG_1993 IMG_1995Ok so now you get the idea? Be sure to cut 4 x 4 corners out of each corner of the blanket as it is laid out in front of you.

The following pictures are that of the first blanket I made for my oldest. As you can see she really loves the cheetah print with the pink contrast. She’s such a styling girl, what can I say!

Now it’s time to cut the fringes.  I cut them about 4 inches long and about 1 inch wide. Like so… photo 2    Then the final step is to tie the knots. Now I know there are different ways to tie a knot and you can use any knot that suits your preference.  Just be sure to double tie the knots so they don’t come undone. photo 4 photo 3  Here’s the second blanket I made for my youngest. She saw the one I made for her sister and just HAD to have one too. She picked out her pattern and contrast fabric herself. Looks like I’ve got two girls that are stylin! IMG_1987 IMG_1989     Oh look I found a picture I did take of the four corners cut out when I made the second blanket. IMG_1973 IMG_1990 IMG_1985 IMG_1984 IMG_1986 And the last blanket I made was for my niece who is having a baby soon. Can you tell by the pattern what she is having? 🙂   photo 3 photo 4 photo  Hope you enjoyed my tutorial. Please feel free to comment, like or follow me. Have a fantabulous day!

Advertisements

Bringing an old file cabinet back to life with some Mod Podge

When I clean house, I clean house! That means I will throw out or donate anything I haven’t touched in months or deemed useless. I just don’t see the point in hoarding items that other people can use. Once every couple years I’ll hold a yard sale if I’ve accumulated items that I feel I can get a few bucks out of. But even the months leading up to the yard sale can be a bit painful for me because I hate walking into my garage and seeing bags and bags of things I have no use for. It takes everything in me to keep from loading it into my van and hauling it down to the nearest goodwill…LOL! BUT I will say that with some creativity and patience you can turn trash into treasure or in this particular case, into a fun DIY craft project. For instance, a few months back I was in need of a file cabinet so I could store all my card making and sewing supplies and important documents. So I posted a status on my Facebook wall asking if any of my friends had an old file cabinet they didn’t need. Didn’t feel like paying for a new one if I could find one for free. After all, who doesn’t want free stuff? right? A family member responded and said he had not one but two cabinets that he didn’t need so hubby and I went to pick them up. I admit they sat in my garage for a couple of months before I delved into a time consuming project to rejuvenate them.

Below is a before and after picture.  I’m sorry I should have taken more pictures with step by step instructions of the whole process. I did include instructions below at the end of this post.  Hope you find the steps easy to follow. Feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have any questions.

002

002

006

007

010

Here are the steps.  You may need to do the painting one day and then the mod podging the next day. It’s the perfect weekend project 🙂

Supplies you will need:

  • Pretty scrapbooking or gift wrapping paper
  • Scissors
  • Xacto-knife
  • Masking tape
  • Sanding paper
  • Paint
  • Mod Podge (this stuff rocks!!!)

Step 1 – Run a damp cloth all around the surface of the cabinet. Clean out the insides cabinets really good too even though you won’t be painting in there. Then remove all the hardware (the handles and metal label holders).  The thumb latch didn’t come off so I just left it alone.  See the before picture.

Step 2 – Sand all around the cabinets, top, sides, back and the trim around the drawers (you don’t need to sand the drawers).  This is best done outside.

Step 3 – Again clean the cabinet making sure that it’s free of any dust from the sanding. You want a nice smooth, clean surface before you start painting.

Step 4 – Just so that I didn’t have to worry about the dogs or anything floating in the air that could possibly get in the paint, I decided to do the painting indoors. If you choose to do this, find a good spot in your house where you can spread out an old bed sheet or large painter’s plastic sheeting on the floor and secure in place with masking tape. This will help protect your floor. Open windows to allow air ventilation.

Step 5 – Open the drawers and adhere masking tape all around the edge of the drawers because you will not want to get paint on them.

Step 6 – I know nothing about paint so I went to my nearest paint store and asked for the cheapest paint that I could find that could be used on metal surfaces. The guy recommended an acrylic latex semi-gloss paint. I grabbed a small can of 30.7 fl oz in the color I wanted. One can was more than enough for two cabinets.

Start painting your cabinet. Let the first coat dry then after a few hours, apply a second coat. Let dry. You can determine if you want to go for a third coat. I just did two coats.

I wanted to ensure that the cabinets were completely dry before beginning the next step so I let the final coat dry overnight.

Step 7 –  The next day – cut out the paper you want to use to cover your file cabinet drawers.  I used wrapping paper but you can use scrapbooking paper if you like.  You will need to take measurements so that you cut out the right size plus some extra.  You should have about 1/2 inch extra margin so you will have enough to fold back.

Step 8 – Here is a picture of the Mod Podge I use. It’s a sealer, glue and finish all in one and it’s awesome! You can get this from Michael’s or Joanns. It comes in a gloss finish but I prefer the matte.

002

Grab your cut out paper and brush the back side of it with mod podge. Or you can apply the mod podge directly onto the metal surface of the drawer. You must adhere the paper to the face of the drawer and position it as quickly as possible before the mod podge starts to dry.  You will need to grab your Xacto knife and carefully cut around the thumb latch so that you can smooth out the rest of the paper with your hands. This will prevent wrinkling or bubbling of the paper. Some people will want to use a ruler or something flat to smooth out the paper. I tried this and didn’t like how it wrinkled my paper. So I used my hands. You may still have some slight wrinkling but not as bad.  You should have about a 1/2 inch of excess paper on all sides of the front of the drawer. You will want to fold this paper back and smooth it out.

Step 9 – With your Xacto knife gently and carefully cut through the small slots where the metal label holders go.

Step 10 – I’m a very detailed person and like things to look nice and have a clean finish. When you have the drawers open, be sure to look around the inside along the sides where you folded the paper back and cut or trim the paper where ever needed so that it fits around any metal parts of the drawer.

Step 11 – Once the mod podge has dried and you are happy with how you’ve adhered your paper to the drawers, you may now apply a single coat of mod podge over the paper to give it the sealed finished look. Let dry and apply another coat. Let dry completely before you  attach the metal handles and label holders.

I hope these instructions were helpful and that I haven’t scared you away with all the detailed steps I provided. I’m one of those people that likes to jump in and get things done quickly but I’ve learned from past experiences that the finished product will not always come out looking pretty if you rush without paying attention to detail.  So just turn on your favorite music or put on your headphones, take your time and enjoy yourself.  I promise you’ll be happy with the end result.