Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo

Ribbon-embellished blankets

by: Chica

Ribbon-embellished blankets
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Ever notice how you can give a baby a stuffed toy and the first thing he does is go straight to the soft, ribbon tag? Tags are fascinating to babies and they love to play with them and put them in their mouths. So why not make a blanket with lots of ribbons on it, so that the baby can focus on what she loves most? It’s easier to do that you might think.

The material for your blanket should be something soft and baby-friendly. My favorite materials to use for this are microfleece, and flannel, because they are super soft and thin enough to sew easily. You could use regular fleece too, but be ready for a battle with your sewing machine when you get to the part where you’re sewing several thick layers of fleece and your thread wants to break!

For the ribbons, you can use any ribbon you like, as long as it’s made of fabric and baby-friendly. I prefer satin and grosgrain ribbons. You can use just one color or mix and match the patterns of ribbon for the effect you want. My favorite ribbon width to use is 3/4″, but you can use variations. This is a great way to use up extra bits of ribbon leftover from scrapbooking!

You’ll also need some straight pins, thread, a sewing machine, and scissors for this project.

Figure out how big you want your blanket to be and cut two layers of fabric 1″ bigger than that. In other words, for a 12″ blanket, cut two pieces of fabric 13″x13″ (Fig 1). That will give you a seam allowance of 1/2″ on each side.

Cut the ribbons into 6″ lengths. You’ll need to put one ribbon about every 2 inches along each side of the blanket. For a 12″ blanket, I use 4 ribbons on each side (16 total).

ribbon embellished blanket

Lay one piece of material face up on the table. Take a ribbon and fold it in half and pin it on top of the fabric so that the folded edge is towards the middle and the two cut ends are touching the end of the fabric. (This may seem wrong, but we’re building this blanket inside out, and it’ll all work out when we flip it later.) Be sure to put the pin at least an inch away from the edge of the fabric so that it won’t get in the way of your sewing.

ribbon embellished blanket

Keep pinning ribbons along one side, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Now do the same thing for the other three sides. When you get to the corners and find that two ribbons overlap, don’t worry; just pin them down together.

ribbon embellished blanket

Now lay the other piece of fabric face down on top of your pinned piece, aligning the edges. Secure with a few more pins. Take this to the sewing machine and sew around all four sides, about 1/2″ in from the edge, making sure you catch both ends of each ribbon as you go. However, be sure not to sew ALL the way around — leave a gap of about 2 inches open — so that you can flip the blanket inside out.

ribbon embellished blanket

When you’re done, take your scissors and snip the point of fabric off of each corner, but be careful that you don’t cut the stitches. This will keep your corners from being too bulky when you flip it.

ribbon embellished blanket

Carefully turn the blanket inside out by pushing it through the little gap you left in the stitching. Be very careful, because there are lots of sharp pins inside! You can remove all of the pins as you see them. You’ll notice that the one ribbon that was next to the stitching gap is still loose, because you didn’t sew it down.

ribbon embellished blanket

Remove the pin from this ribbon, too. Fold the edges of fabric along the gap inwards and tuck the ends of the loose ribbon inside.

ribbon embellished blanket

Pin it in place, being sure to go through all layers of the fabric.

ribbon embellished blanket

Now one more trip to the sewing machine. This time, you’ll want to sew as close to the edge of the fabric as possible, and all the way around. This row of stitches will serve several purposes: it will close the gap you left for flipping, it will secure that last loose ribbon in place, it will add extra strength to the stitches holding the ribbons in place, it will help keep the blanket flat, and it will look pretty!

ribbon embellished blanket

And now you’re done!

ribbon embellished blanket

Ribbon-embellished blankets
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82 comments so far:

  • 1
    Katy 06/09/2010 at 9:05 am

    Chica, I just added pictures of my taggie blanket and burp clothes. The mom-to-be LOVED them!!! Thanks again!

  • 2
    Chica 06/09/2010 at 9:11 am

    Katy, those are adorable! Fellow readers can see Katy’s pics here and here. Thanks for sharing your pics with us!

  • 3
    Bailey 06/15/2010 at 5:48 pm

    I am about to make some of these now. I decided to buy a package of receiving cloths to make the blanket. I like to use them because they are cheap, easy to use and thin.

  • 4
    Jo 06/16/2010 at 7:44 am

    Bailey, using the receiving cloths is a great idea. Please share your results with us in our Flikr group!

  • 5
    Maggie 07/05/2010 at 11:21 am

    I am a tween who loves sewing and this is perfect since my cousin is having a baby boy.
    It is so easy!
    I love all of these ideas, So creative!

  • 6
    Chica 07/05/2010 at 1:24 pm

    Hi Maggie! I’m so glad to hear that you’re crafting at a young age and excited about this project. We’d love to see what you come up with :)

  • 7
    Rachel 07/17/2010 at 9:53 pm

    Another new project on the front burner! I’m planning to make tons of these for our Church Christmas Craft Fair in November. One question though – I’ve seen these made exactly like these, then the tags are “heat sealed”. Could you please tell me what this is? Thanks so much.

  • 8
    Chica 07/18/2010 at 6:34 pm

    Hi Rachel! You know how some ribbons will fray if you leave a cut edge exposed? Well you can seal the edge by CAREFULLY holding it very close to a candle flame, so that the heat of the flame causes the fibers to melt ever so slightly and bond together. This is what is meant by “heat sealed” and should only be necessary if you leave the ends of the ribbon hanging out of the blanket. If you fold them into a loop and tuck the ends inside like we show in our tutorial, you won’t need to worry about sealing them at all.

    Good luck with your craft fair, and we would love to see photos of your tons of finished blankets!

  • 9
    Mary 09/06/2010 at 9:36 am

    These are cute, but I’d worry about the little ones getting a finger twisted in the loop of the ribbon. If I were making one, I think I’d stitch a line down the center of each ribbon to seal the opening.

  • 10
    Chrissie 10/06/2010 at 8:50 pm

    Just wanted everyone to know that I just received an email from the company “Taggies” and if you are selling this product you may be up for infringement. I had to contact their lawyer in Boston, hopefully they will accept my appology as I was selling them from a facebook group about 2 years ago.

    Good Luck and Happy Sewing everyone :)

  • 11
    Lisa-Marie 10/21/2010 at 3:11 pm

    Wow this stuff is amazing!! I am a stay at home mom with lots of time on my hands! I find it really hard to sleep while my son naps during the day and I was looking for activities to try out! This is the perfect idea! Lots of babies were born this year in my family (including my almost 3 month old son) so I was thinking what a great idea this would be for those babies (and maybe even the toddlers)as Christmas gifts!
    I think I am going to go hunting for supplies tomorrow morning! Oh I can’t wait! You have no idea how excited I am (sorry if I’m coming off as strange) Just the thought of having something to do until my son wakes up makes me happy :)
    Thank you so much for this!
    Can’t wait to start!

  • 12
    Victoria 10/25/2010 at 1:12 am

    Thank you so very much for this! I made my son a Halloween tag blanket with black corduroy on one side and silky green polyester on the other and Halloween tags all around! It is adorable & I had no problems with your instructions ( I did however have a problem filling up my bobbin LOL ) ! My son loves these blankets so much, I plan to make more!

  • 13
    Stacey 11/07/2010 at 3:14 pm

    Thank you for the instructions! I can sew minimally so need help! :) I used the bumpy minky fabric on one side and it was hard to work with. I used lots of pins and held it taut as I sewed. I made sure to place the ribbons on my other more stable fabric though as I pinned them in. The taggie did not come out as aligned as I would have wanted but the baby will know no different! ;) I am making this more for the tactile aspect than the pretty aspect anyhow.

  • 14
    Rachael 11/13/2010 at 10:14 pm

    Wonderful instructions! I made my 1st one tonight. I messed it up a little on the corner where that last ribbon is though. One question…are you supposed to wash this after it’s completed and before use??

  • 15
    Chica 11/14/2010 at 8:51 am

    Hi Rachel, congrats on making your first blanket :) Since these are headed straight for a baby’s mouth, I suggest making sure the fabric is nice and clean. You can either wash the fabric before you sew, or wash the whole thing afterwards.

  • 16
    Christina 11/14/2010 at 5:10 pm

    My 1 year old is attached to his taggie and we have lost. I have been to every store in my hometown and noone has them so I decided to make him a few. The instructions and pictures are wonderful thank you so much. You are a life saver and I am sure Ryan will thank you as well!

  • 17
    Chica 11/14/2010 at 7:00 pm

    Christina, I’m so glad we could help. Tell Ryan we said hi :)

  • 18
    Marianne 01/11/2011 at 10:43 am

    Thank you so much for posting the instructions and great photos to go with them. This is very helpful! My husband and I will soon be traveling to China to adopt our son and I want to make some of these for him (for the plane ride home!) and also a bunch to donate to the orphanage. These little taggies will be a big hit I am sure and will be great for encouraging sensory and motor skills. THANK YOU!! :o)

  • 19
    Chica 01/11/2011 at 6:20 pm

    That’s a wonderful idea, Marianne. Have a safe trip and congratulations on the addition to your family!

  • 20
    anne 01/18/2011 at 2:44 pm

    love these. i make mine 8×8. i also put a teether on one of the ribbons. it still washes great.

  • 21
    Chica 01/18/2011 at 6:52 pm

    Great idea, anne. Thanks for sharing!

  • 22
    naomi 03/31/2011 at 4:41 am

    cheers, found some people online that make these , i asked if they do custom pieces, haven’t had a response so decided to make it myself… seems pretty straight forward to me :)

  • 23
    Kim 04/20/2011 at 11:25 pm

    Thank you so much for your tutorial. This was my first sewing project and you made it very easy & fun! I have a long way to go with my sewing but I’m off to a good start thanks to you :)

  • 24
    Julie 05/18/2011 at 10:32 am

    Hi! I’ve found that using no snag velcro strips in place of one or two tags is handy in attaching a small toy or two to the blanket! It folds over just like the ribbon but has dual purpose! I have a few babies recently born in my circle of friends so I’ve been working on churning these things out! Thanks for the easy to follow instructions!

  • 25
    Beth T. 06/24/2011 at 3:21 am

    Ashley of “Film in the Fridge” showed a Tag Blanket today, so I went strolling around the internet, looking at many directions. Yours are the best and your pictures are so helpful! I’ll be making some tomorrow! Thanks very much.

  • 26
    Chica 06/24/2011 at 2:01 pm

    Beth, so glad we were able to end your search :)

  • 27
    Marchelle 07/30/2011 at 9:09 pm

    I just finished my first Taggie thanks to your AWESOME instructions (and free even!). I am an avid sewer and your instructions were better than some patterns I have paid close to $20 for!
    I made my first biological nephew’s taggie out of a flannel Chicago Bears fabric (Dad is a fan) and then a poly/cotton blend with footballs all over it for the back – I went ahead and added a quilt batting to give it a little more substance (luckily my machine loves thick things so I had no issues). I sewed the famous Bears C with the word Bears under it on the front so the batting doesn’t shift after washing and drying. I did post a photo for you in your Flickr group :) – I couldn’t help it I was so proud of it!!

  • 28
    Keila 07/30/2011 at 11:23 pm

    Thank you so much for the instructions! I’ve now made 4 of them!

  • 29
    Chica 07/31/2011 at 10:04 am

    Marchelle, thanks for the high compliments on our tutorials and patterns. I am a huge Bears fan, so I absolutely love your blanket! Thanks for sharing a photo with us. Fellow readers can see Marchelle’s photo in our Flickr group here.

  • 30
    Sue 11/15/2011 at 11:29 am

    Thanks for the good instructions! I made one in the shape of a butterfly.

  • 31
    ss 12/01/2011 at 1:30 pm

    I made one but am worried baby will get hands stuck in ribbons. Should I sew up the ribbons leaving a 1/2 inch gap?

  • 32
    JoDee 09/10/2012 at 8:28 pm

    I just made my first taggie blanket! It was fun to do! I plan on making more! Lots of babies being born from our church! Great gifts! Thank you for the pattern and instructions. Very easy to follow!

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