Are you also a compulsive blanket shopper? It can’t be just me…! I don’t know what it is about throw blankets, I can’t help myself. Maybe the promise of more cozy nights wrapped up on the sofa? I’m sharing this easy DIY blanket with a sweet braided fringe because I’m not always the most discerning buyer. I’ve ended up with a few very plain fleece blankets I’m not sure what to do with. They’re super cozy for sure but they can be kind of drab. So if you’re looking to update your stash of fleece throw blankets, find some matching yarn and read on to learn how to make a fringe blanket with an on-trend braided fringe!
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To Make a Fringe Blanket, you’ll need…
- Fleece throw blanket
- Yarn – 2 balls (Red Heart has so many colors you’re sure to find one matching your throw!)
- Sewing machine (here’s a great starter)
- Cardboard box or book
Step 1: Find matching yarn
Before you begin, you’ll need to find some yarn that matches the color of the fleece throw you want to update. If you don’t have any in your stash, here’s a good place to look: they have so many colors! It’s fine if there is some deviation in the color. My 2 balls didn’t perfectly match my throw blanket. In fact, the 2 skeins didn’t even have the same exact color! I could see a small difference in the grey hue between the two but slight changes like that are virtually invisible to the eye once the yarn is braided.
Step 2: Cut the balls of yarns for the fringe
To prepare the yarn for the fringe, we need to cut it into equal pieces 8 to 10″ (20 to 25cm) long. In order to that efficiently, I wrapped an entire skein of yarn around a box and cut it through with my scissors. Wrapping the whole ball of yarn only took me a few minutes and I got an unexpected arm workout! Repeat the operation with your other skein and you should be rewarded with a large pile of cut yarn.
Step 3: Spread the yarn evenly
We need to add a fringe on the 2 short edges of the throw. In the unlikely event you have a square throw, just pick the 2 lucky edges. Before you begin, fold one edge into 4 and mark out the folds with pins. This will divide the edge into 4 equal lengths and you can divide the yarn more evenly this way.
To start, split the pieces of yarn into 2, one for each edge of the throw. Set one aside while we work on the current edge. Take the halved yarn and split it into 4, one for each of the 4 sections of the edge you just marked out with pins.
Take one bunch and set the other 3 aside. Split it into several small bunches and even it out across the section, like in the pictures above. Make sure the center point of the yarn is on the edge of the throw blanket.
Step 4: Sew the fringe
Now that you’ve started spreading the yarn, place the throw under your sewing machine foot. Set the sewing machine to a large zig-zag stitch and start sewing over the edge of the throw. Make sure your zig zag continues catching the edge of the fleece as you sew down the section.
Once you finish sewing the section, take another small bunch of yarn you set aside and spread it onto the next section. Continue sewing and spreading as you go along down the edge of the throw. This part works up really quickly once you get in the groove!
When you’re done with the first edge, repeat the previous steps with the other edge: divide the edge into 4 sections and spread the yarn evenly across each section as you sew.
Step 5: Braid the fringe
The braiding step can be completed in under an hour if you’ve had too much coffee or you’re really cold and you need that throw blanket NOW. Otherwise, it’s a chilled-out activity you can complete while catching up on TV or simply in peace, giving you space to think.
For the braiding, lay down the blanket on a flat surface and fold the yarn over so that you have a full fringe. Smooth it down with your fingers and maybe iron it a little bit if it’s going crazy.
Take about 1 inch (2.5cm) of yarn fringe and split it into 3 strands. Braid the strands until it reaches 3 inches (8cm) then wrap one piece of yarn around tight and knot it. Continue down the edge.
When you’re done braiding both edges of the throw, place it flat and smooth it down. Make sure the edges are straight and cut the braids short. I cut the yarn 1.5″ (3 to 4cm) away from the knot to give the ends a tassel-like appearance.
Finally, brush the ends of the braids for a softer look. Go crazy with that brush because yarn, unlike cotton cord, will not unravel its strands so easily! The end result is so soft and fluffy, it’s worth the effort.
And voila! I have to say, it’s a super comfy blanket. Mine has been adopted by my boyfriend and I fear I may never get to enjoy it again… Better make two!