By Kelly O’Roark
Giving a loved one a personalized blanket isn’t only a thoughtful gesture, but it adds a tremendous amount of sentimental value to the gift as well. You’d love to make it even more special by doing it yourself. However, it can seem like a daunting task (especially if you haven’t touched a sewing machine ever since you took your high school home economics class). Even iron-ons can be tricky, and of course, the risk of accidentally acquiring unwanted burns isn’t exactly appealing. Believe me, I get it. Sewing and ironing aren’t things that I could put on my resume either, so I decided to make a DIY personalized fleece blanket that didn’t require the use of any tools or machinery!
All it takes is a fabric-specific adhesive and a steady hand, and it’s literally so easy that this just may end up being your go-to gift for friends and family. Here’s how to personalize a blanket quickly and efficiently with just three things.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
Before you start, you’ll need three things:
- A fleece blanket
- Fabric glue
- Embroidered letters and appliques
When choosing a blanket, be sure to choose one that isn’t overly thick so that the letters will lay evenly on top of the surface without getting lost in the fabric. If you like the idea of making personalized blankets for a baby or toddler, you’re in good company, as that’s what I’m setting out to do with this adorable sun, moon, and stars blanket.
If you’re making one for an older child or adult, you can pick a more sophisticated pattern or color, but again, make sure that it’s not a plush blanket. Next, go to your local arts and crafts store and buy permanent fabric glue. This particular glue bonds to various types of fabric (and even leather), and more importantly, it’s clear and washable.
While you’re at the arts and crafts store, find letters for the blanket recipient’s name. If you’d rather create a DIY monogrammed fleece blanket (instead of spelling out the first name), then find three capital letters for the initials. These embroidered letters (which double as iron-ons) can be found in different fonts, sizes, and colors, so choose whichever combination you feel will work best with the blanket’s pattern.
Since I’m doing a monogrammed blanket, I chose cursive white letters and also bought a couple of yellow butterfly appliques since the blanket is blue with yellow and white accent colors. Now that you have what you need, it’s time to get started!
Step 2: Glue the Embroidered Letters Directly Onto Your Blanket
Make some space at your craft table or kitchen table so that you have a hard, smooth surface on which to work. Arrange your letters in a way that you find aesthetically pleasing, and place them on the blanket so that you’ll remember where to glue them. Grab the first letter and apply your fabric glue to the back. (Less is more, so just a thin line is all you need.)
After you lay the first letter down, press firmly for a few seconds to ensure that it fully adheres to the blanket. (As a side note, if you accidentally get glue on your skin, immediately wash it off with soap and water before it can dry on your fingertips. Again, less is more, as the glue will spread out once the letter is pressed down onto the blanket).
Repeat this step for the remaining letters. (If you’re in the mood to continue the monogrammed theme, you can make DIY personalized throw pillows using the same technique!)
Step 3: Add Additional Embroidered Appliques Around the Initials
When it comes to making a customized blanket gift, I always like to add something a little extra to make it even more personal. Below the letters, you can add a heart, a butterfly, a star, or the recipient’s favorite animal or symbol. I decided to use the smaller of the two yellow butterflies, as it fits perfectly beneath the letters without overcrowding. If you have room, you can put additional appliques on either side of the name, or just put one or two above or below it.
After gluing it, press down firmly as you did with the letters, and allow the blanket to dry for at least 30 minutes.
And that’s it! Making a DIY personalized blanket can be quick and painless, and doesn’t have to take up most of your day. On a sentimental level, personalizing a blanket with someone’s name or initials is a great way to take an average gift item, and turn it into a special treasure. So if you’re looking for ways to make custom birthday and holiday gifts, add this easy personalized blanket project to your DIY arsenal. You (and the recipient) will be glad you did!
Images used with permission, courtesy of Kelly O'Roark