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How to make a t-shirt blanket

September 28, 2022 4 min read

Interested to know how to make a t-shirt blanket? Read our step-by-step guide on how to make a blanket out of old t-shirts and other items.

Do you want to make your own t-shirt blanket?

If yes, then you have come to the right place.

It is not as hard as you might think, you don’t need to be an expert crafter to make a high-quality blanket or quilt top out of old t-shirts and other items of clothing.

Read on to discover our step-by-step guide to making your own t-shirt quilt and create a long-lasting keepsake or custom gift for a family member or friend.

Step 1: Collect old t-shirts

The first step is simple; open up your closet and look for the old t-shirts that you want to use to make your blanket. These could be old concert t-shirts, marathon shirts, personalized tees, shirt collection, or even old baby clothes.

You can pretty much make a t-shirt blanket out of any old t-shirts, as long as they are not in too bad condition and that they are not covered with sequins, gems or other embellishments.

Depending on how big you want your t-shirt blanket to be, you will need around 16 t-shirts. This will make a blanket that is 4 blocks wide and four blocks long.

Step 2: Cut out the center of each t shirt

Next, take each t-shirt and cut a square from the middle. Try to ensure that the main image is fully included in the square as this will help the blanket to look more professionally put together.

Ideally, the square should be at least 12 inches or 30cm big, but it doesn’t need to be completely smooth at the edges as it will be cut again later.

Step 3: Iron fusible interfacing to each square

To stabilize each t-shirt square, lay them down on an ironing board and then lay a piece of fusible interfacing over each one. Iron each piece on using a low heat setting.

Interfacing is needed as this will make it easier to work with the fabric and also help to prevent sagging and stretching.

Step 4: Trim each square

Once the interfacing has been successfully fused to each square, you can now trim them down and get rid of any rough edges. You can do this using either a pair of scissors or a rotary cutter.

Carry out this step until each square is uniform in size.

Step 5: Plan your perfect layout

You now need to design your preferred layout for your t shirt quilt. If you have 16 squares, you can choose to create a square blanket by laying out your squares in a 4 by 4 shape or if you would prefer a rectangular blanket then arrange your squares in 5 rows with 3 blocks in each.

The layout you choose is entirely down to personal preference and the number of t-shirts that you have available. Don’t rush this step and instead take the time to play around with the design and find the perfect layout.

Step 6: Pin and sew the squares together

Once you have decided upon your layout, you can now pin the squares together ready to be sewed. Bear in mind that these pins are not permanent and are just there to help you keep your chosen layout in place.

You can then start to sew each square together using a sewing machine or by hand if you would prefer to do so. Sew one row at a time and then sew each row together to complete your t shirt blanket.

Step 7: Attach the batting and backing

Although you do not have to add batting to your t-shirt blanket, this will help to make the finished product cozier, thicker and more long-lasting.

If you have not made a t-shirt blanket or quilt before then you may not know what batting and backing is. Batting is the layer of padding that is placed between the top and the back layer of the blanket and the backing, as the name suggests, is the piece of fabric that goes on the back of the blanket to cover the batting.

Step 8 (optional): Add a border

If you do not have sufficient t-shirts to make the full size of blanket that you want or you want to add some additional detailing to your blanket, then you could choose to add a border.

A border goes all around the edges of your t-shirt blanket, as well as between each block if you want it to. You can use most types of fabric for this including other t-shirts or spare material you have lying around.

For best results, choose fabric in a bright color as this will really make your blanket pop and create an extra layer of visual interest.

What types of fabric can be used to make a t-shirt blanket?

When it comes to making a t-shirt blanket, most types of fabric can be used, and you can even mix and match different materials and garments if you want to.

Some of the most popular items of clothing that you can use to make a t-shirt blanket include:

  • Sweatshirts
  • T-shirts
  • Baby clothes such as Babygro’s and baby bibs
  • Polos
  • Jerseys
  • Tank tops
  • V neck tops
  • Tech shirts
  • Dress shirts

In terms of materials, you can use fleece, cotton, flannel, polyester and dri-fit materials. You can also use garments that feature zippers and buttons.

That being said, there are also materials that are difficult to work with such as denim, canvas, knitwear, leather, lycra, silk and letter jackets. Although that doesn’t mean that you can’t give it a go!

If you have not made a t-shirt blanket before or you are not confident in your crafting skills and you don’t want to risk ruining your favorite items of clothing, it might be a better to send your t-shirts off to a t-shirt blanket company who can do all the hard work for you.

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