I really love making things for babies because you can use bright colors, fun patterns, and soft fabrics, and this awesome DIY minky baby blanket is no exception!
Minky!!! I love it because it’s so ridiculously soft, plus it’s pretty easy to sew (doesn’t stretch in crazy ways, stays put, etc.) And it comes in tons of colors, so you have a lot of options.
I was super excited to get an invite to my cousin’s baby shower a while back because I knew it meant a whole slew of soft, bright, and fun baby crafts! Remember the diaper strap tutorial I posted earlier? That was for my cousin as well. I had seen a cute minky blanket over at Happy Hour Projects, and decided that would be the perfect gift!
DIY Minky Baby Blanket
You only need two things to make this blanket (plus standard sewing supplies :-p):
- 1-2 yards minky
- 1-2 yards cotton fabric
How much fabric you need depends on how big you want your blanket to be. I did a bunch of research trying to figure out the “best” size and realized that it doesn’t really matter that much! Baby blankets can be whatever size you want them to be. But if you want a general idea, here are a few guidelines:
- Crib blankets should be somewhere between 46″ and 52″ along each dimension. You can make them square if you want, or rectangle, but these are generally the biggest blankets.
- Receiving blankets are usually somewhere between 34″ and 42″ along each dimension. It’s big enough to wrap around a baby while you hold them, but not so big that it gets bulky when you hold both the blanket and the baby at the same time.
- Swaddling blankets are the smallest, and usually square. They tend to be about 30″ on all sides, and they are usually made of thinner material so that you can wrap it around the baby multiple times without too much bulk.
I wasn’t sure of their exact crib measurements, and also, I didn’t want the blanket stuck in the crib all day; I wanted it to be a blanket you carried around with you while you held the baby. So I decided to make my blanket 36″ square. Also, I figured as the kid got older it could be like a security blanket that he could drag around with him. 36″ square is still big enough to be useful as a blanket, even as the kid grows, but not so large that it’s cumbersome to carry around.
Start by prewashing your fabric. This step is SUPER important! Fabrics, especially cotton, can shrink in the wash. You don’t want to do all this work to make a gorgeous blanket, only to have it shrink and get all wonky the first time you wash it! Cotton can be washed hot and dried, but minky is a little more delicate. Wash it warm and tumble dry, no heat, or hang to dry.
Once your fabric is washed and dried (and ironed, if the cotton got wrinkly in the dryer – don’t iron the minky!), cut your fabrics to size. Then place the minky on your table, soft side up, and place the cotton, pattern side down, on top of it. Line up the edges and pin all the way around. Minky is pretty easy to sew, but it’s important to pin your project well and always sew with the minky on the bottom so the feed dogs on your sewing machine can grab it.
I decided to round the corners of my blanket just to make it a bit more interesting. Grab a bowl or plate and trace it onto the fabric. Cut along your line and re-pin the rounded corner.
Once you’ve pinned all the way around, sew around all four sides of the blanket with 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving about 4″ open for turning inside out.
I find the easiest way to leave an opening is to make a right angle turn once I reach one side of the opening and sew right off the edge of the fabric! This prevents your seams from ripping out once you start to turn the blank right side out. Make this right angle turn on both sides of the opening and you’ll be all set!
Turn your blanket right side out through the opening. Reach into the blanket through the hole and make sure there isn’t any bunched up fabric along your edges. Once the blanket is smoothed out, all you have to do is close the hole.
Tuck the raw edges of the fabric into the blanket so that you have a nice straight fold across the opening, in line with the folds from the seams at either side. Pin the opening a few times, making sure to keep your raw edges tucked in, and then top stitch around the entire blanket with about 1/4″ seam allowance. Make sure you sew through all four layers when you top stitch over the opening (from the top down: cotton, folded cotton edge, folded minky edge, and minky). This will close up the hole and keep your stitching consistent around the entire edge.
And you’re done! These baby blankets make great shower gifts because they’re quick and easy to make, plus you can customize them with any combination of fabrics and colors!
What are some of your favorite shower gifts to give or receive?
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