Free Starter Guide

DIY No Sew Flannel Blanket Scarf

Woman with dark hair wearing a DIY flannel blanket scarf with an orange and teal Southwestern pattern over a burgundy shirt and ivory sweater.
Project At-A-Glance
gifts, no-sew1 hour
This no-sew blanket scarf is made from cozy flannel and makes for an easy handmade holiday gift—for you or someone you love!

Share this post:

Today, I’m showing you how to DIY your very own No Sew Flannel Blanket Scarf. It is so quick and easy to make, and you don’t need to have any sewing experience! These scarves are a wonderfully personal and beautiful gift to give to someone you love. You can pick whatever flannel your heart desires—stick with classic plaid, choose a simple print, or do a fun novelty print!

My closet is chock FULL of these blanket scarves made from using this very tutorial—and I’ve given away dozens of them over the years. Blanket scarves are wonderful because they not only work well as a scarf, but also a shawl, a nursing cover, or even a small blanket. Throw one in your carry-on the next time you fly, and you’ve got yourself a nice scarf, a blanket, and a pillow—all in one!

DIY No Sew Flannel Blanket Scarf

This blanket scarf is so simple to make, I think just about anyone can do it. The hardest part is deciding on what color and pattern of flannel to get from the fabric store! Let me show you how to make it.

What do you need to make a DIY blanket scarf?

To make this blanket scarf, you need exactly one supply: flannel fabric. Head down to your local fabric store, and you’ll probably see three or four different flannel sections. Flannel comes in one of two widths usually—either 42″ or 60″. Traditional blanket scarfs are usually right around 50″ square, so if you want to go that route, make sure to find 60″ wide flannel. I personally have no problem with making scarves from narrower fabric—the end result is about 41″ wide—even on my big and tall frame, the scarf still looks large enough. All the photos in this post are of me (at 5’9″) wearing the smaller size scarves.

When you hit up your fabric store, you’ll likely see four different kinds of flannel you can choose from:

  • Nursery/Baby Flannel: Look for all the super soft pastel flannel, and you’ve found the baby flannel! This fabric usually runs about $6/yard but is frequently on sale at my local fabric store for 50% off. If you can find a pattern you like here, this flannel works just fine and dandy for a blanket scarf. This flannel is usually 42″ wide, so you’ll need a yard and a quarter to make a square blanket scarf.
  • Shirting Flannel: This softer, thicker, and almost always plaid flannel is higher quality stuff, so you’ll be paying $10-$15 a yard (again, sometimes there are 50% off sales). It also tends to come in wider widths. You can get 60″ flannel in this section normally, so if you want to make a larger, traditional blanket this is where to look. You’ll need a yard and a half of 60″ shirting flannel to make a square blanket scarf.
  • Standard Flannel: This is where all the random flannel goes—you’ll see everything from plaid to mermaids to stripes to dots printed on these flannel bolts! This is usually the most affordable of the flannel, and you can usually find it on sale for $2-$3/yard—or even cheaper for solids. You can really customize your gift—get cat flannel for the cat lover, pink plaid for the pink lover. This flannel is usually 42″ wide, so you’ll need a yard and a quarter to make a square blanket scarf. Standard flannel tends to be a bit stiff right off the bolt, so I recommend washing it a number of times to get it to soften up before gifting.
  • Luxury Flannel: Some stores will also carry luxury flannel, which is very soft, very high-quality flannel. It can come in either 42″ widths or 60″ widths. This flannel can run anywhere from $10-$20 a yard—which is still a steal considering how high quality the fabric is. And keep an eye out for coupons on your fabric store’s app to save money.

Any of the types of flannel will work for this scarf, you just have to decide what your budget is and what size scarf you’d like to make! And a reminder: flannel doesn’t have to be plaid and neither does your blanket scarf! 

Flannel and Scissors

Wait, isn’t 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 yards of flannel too short for a scarf?

For a regular scarf, yes, but for a blanket scarf, it isn’t! Because you wear a blanket scarf by folding it on the diagonal, and then tucking the ends around your neck a relatively “short” amount of fabric will do the trick. Here is a good article that shows you exactly how to wear/tie a blanket scarf. If you try to wrap this scarf around your neck like a regular long, skinny scarf, it will be too short.

If you do want the oversized traditional blanket scarf size, make sure to track down 60″ wide flannel. However, in all the photos in this post, I am wearing smaller square blanket scarves made from 42″ wide flannel. This works because of how you fold the scarf on the diagonal and loop it around your neck. Whichever width flannel you go with, the scarves will be wonderful and the method for making them is the same.

Dark haired woman smiles while wearing a gray DIY blanket scarf with cats and hearts on it.

How do you make a no-sew flannel blanket scarf?

The first step is to wash and dry your flannel. Not only will this help soften up any of the lower-quality flannel, but it’ll also pre-shrink the flannel. 

Once your flannel is washed and dried, you need to cut the finished edges (called selvage) off your flannel fabric. We need to remove these so the scarf will properly fray later—also, in many flannels, the selvage isn’t printed with the fabric print. No one wants “Copyright 2017 Joann Fabric” printed on the edge of their scarf! Most flannel comes with two edges finished, but some might not. Basically, if the edge looks hemmed and doesn’t have threads unraveling, you need to chop that hem off. You can use a pair of sharp fabric scissors or a ruler and a rotary cutter to make sure you get a straight line. 

A piece of flannel is laid out on a cutting mat with a ruler and rotary cutter over top cutting off the selvage of the flannel fabric.

Next step, cut your flannel into a even-ish square. Normally with sewing projects, you need to be pretty darn accurate with your cutting so everything will align, but since this is a no-sew blanket scarf, you can get away with being not quite as precise. I tend to fold my piece of fabric into quarters, and then cut that into an even square. 

A piece of blue, black, and teal plaid flannel fabric is folded into quarters and placed on a cutting. A rotary cutter and ruler are used to cut straight lines for a DIY blanket scarf.

How to do fray the edges of the blanket scarf?

And that’s all the cutting you have to do! Flannel does a really good job of not unraveling like crazy, so you don’t have to hem the edges (hence the no-sew part of this tutorial), but you do want to give the edges a finished look by adding a fray to the edges of scarf. There are a number of ways to get a good fray, but the two I recommend are:

Hands-off/carefree approach: use the washing machine to fray the edges

This is also the method I prefer if I’m making a number of scarves. You can load your whole washing machine full of them! I did nine blanket scarves one Christmas using this method. This method is pretty carefree—it’s not going to be a perfectly even fray, but it is super easy and I love the rustic look!

Cut slits as long as you want your fray to be every 1/4″ along all four sides. You can make these cuts very tiny for a short frayed edge or longer for a funkier fray. I do recommend keeping it under about an inch if you’re using the narrower width fabric.

A tight view of pin and teal plaid fabric with small slits cut across the end. A pair of scissors lays open next to the fabric.

Wash and dry repeatedly until the fray looks the way you’d like it to look. This gray cat scarf got this way after two rounds of washing and drying. Some flannels will take just one round, some will take quite a few. I’ve found that the softer the flannel to begin with, the quicker it frays.

Tight view of the corner of a DIY blanket scarf after the edges have been frayed. The scarf is gray flannel with cats and hearts on it.

 

Precise approach: fray it by hand

I’ll warn you. This method is tedious. But it’s also mindless and simple. You can easily do this while marathoning through cheesy Christmas movies on Netflix. Start with one edge, and separate out a thread (a small seam ripper might help), then pull it all the way the length of the scarf until it is separated. Trash that thread, and then start again. Keep on pulling out threads until the sides of the scarf have a fray that is as wide as desired. Repeat with all the other sides.

Fraying Edge

Frayed Flannel

How do you package up a no-sew flannel blanket scarf for gifting?

Once you are done fraying all the edges, the scarf is DONE! Run a warm iron over the scarf to give it a finished look, then fold it up into a small shirt box. I like folding it so a little bit of the fray shows.

DIY No Sew Flannel Blanket Scarf

As far as care goes, I wouldn’t recommend putting this through the washing machine or the dryer—since the edges aren’t finished, it could unravel more than necessary. But honestly, who washes their scarves anyway? I know I don’t! Instead, spot clean the scarf if something gets on it, and if you really need to do a deep clean, hand wash it and let it dry flat.

If you’re concerned about the scarf unraveling too much, you could also run a coordinating straight stitch just to the inside of the fray to help avoid this. Happy holidays!

DIY No Sew Flannel Blanket Scarf

DIY No Sew Flannel Blanket Scarf

Yield: 1 scarf
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: Low

Materials

  • 1 1/4 yards 42" wide flannel fabric OR 1 1/2 yards 60" wide flannel fabric

Tools

  • Fabric scissors or rotary cutter
  • Self-healing cutting mat
  • Fabric ruler
  • Seam ripper or washing machine

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry the fabric.
  2. Fold the fabric in half selvage edge to selvage edge (the selvage edge is the finished edge that sometimes has words or a hem on it)
  3. Using fabric scissors or a rotary cutter, ruler, and cutting mat, cut the selvage (finished) edges off the flannel fabric. Discard.
  4. Fold the fabric in half, and then in half again to form a rectangle (that is close to the shape of the square).
  5. Measure the shortest side of the rectangle, and then mark on that measurement on the longest edge of the rectangle.
  6. Using fabric scissors or a rotary cutter, ruler, and cutting mat, the edges WITHOUT folds until the fabric is relatively square—it doesn't have to be perfect. For 42" wide fabric, you'll cut off 1-2" of fabric. For the 60" wide fabric, you'll cut off closer to 5".
  7. Fray the ends of the scarf by either clipping the edges of the scarf and then machine washing and drying multiple times until you achieve the desired fray. A tight view of pin and teal plaid fabric with small slits cut across the end. A pair of scissors lays open next to the fabric. Or by using a seam ripper and hand removing each thread.

Recommended Products

Many outgoing links on Wholefully are affiliate links. If you purchase a product after clicking an affiliate link, we receive a small percentage of the sale for referring you, at no extra cost to you.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

Leave a Reply

49 Responses
  1. Kristin Q

    This so excites me. I was planning on asking for a blanket scarf for Christmas and I’m now looking forward to making my own (probably come January when things slow down). Looking forward to the rest of the posts this week!

  2. I keep eyeing blanket scarves at stores, but can’t justify the price. This tutorial totally puts them within reach. (And, yeah, great gift idea, too!) Thanks, Cassie! 🙂

      1. Two down, many more to go! They’re so cute, and the fabric that I chose makes it look like it’s from J.Crew. I love this. And for me to love a craft project, you KNOW it’s easy. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I just moved and am sort of in limbo and low on funds, so I needed a cheap, thoughtful Christmas present idea for family. Perfect. 🙂

  3. Alice

    Unrelated – I know – but can you tell me about your boots? I’m on the lookout for something just like that! ….and the scarf is fantastic 🙂

    1. Cassie

      Flannel threads are pretty…sticky (technical term!). They do a good job of velcroing to each other. You might have to retwist occasionally, but for the most part, they just stay put.

  4. Erica Ridge

    Thanks for this fantastic tutorial! I just went and bought the fabric today to make one for me and one for a dear friend who is swapping cold Canada for cold Norway! And the friendly, helpful ladies in the little quilting store on my street in the suburbs made the whole experience even better. They offered me coffee and weren’t revolved by my disgusting cold!

  5. Lisa

    I bought 2/yards of fabric on side has fringe on it I’m taking it its the hemmed side so are u saying first fold long ways cut it then cut the hem off that on it? So I will then do the threading on all 4 sides? Thank u

  6. Julie Coverley

    I love your scarf! I sometimes do a zigzag stitch in a matching colour where I want the fray/fringe to reach to. It makes the edges more secure and you can safely machine wash if you need to. It does mean it’s not ‘no sew’ though!

    1. Sally G.

      I went to JoAnn and purchased 10 different flannels. Each was a yard and a half. BIG MISTAKE. It is not a traditional blanket scarf length at ALL. I am NOT a happy camper. Fortunately, I sew so I will sew the short sides together and make it an infinity scarf. It barely doubles relatively tightly to my neck so if not sewn, it’d come right off. It goes around my neck and hangs down to about my belly button. A blanket scarf is a LOT bigger.

      1. Vicky

        Wow, Sally G., you can sew and you couldn’t figure out this no-sew project??? And you can’t see the fringe that is clearly twisted??? Strange but methinks you’re a person who likes to complain and enjoys NOT being a happy camper. Great tutorial, Cassie! One of the best I’ve seen and I’ve been sewing (and doing no-sew projects!) for 33 years. Keep up the good work!!!

  7. Tami Brown

    Does this work on wool too? Have some wool tartan that I would like to make a scarf from for my boyfriend. Am wondering if I need to put a stitch in it to keep it from unraveling…

  8. Stacy

    Hi!! So.i am making my scarf and super excited to get it done. However, I am also disappointed… I think it is to short. You posted above that you need a yard and a half of fabric which I bought. But then a little further down you coment that with two yards of fabric you can get two scarves. So…now realizing I should have bought two yards and I bought three different colors of flannel in a yard and a half each. ?

  9. Katherine Josephson

    Thank you! I love your scarf and am planning to deck out the entire family of ladies and guys in these scarves. Your pictures are worth a thousand words and make them so easy to make. Lots of left over thread going into plastic ball ornaments as a joke. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Keep up with the great ideas.

  10. C Garlisch

    I like this idea. But 1.5 yds can not be what you are wearing in the picture. It’s too loose for that length. And your fringe you said is 6 inches….? Looks like maybe more like 2…?
    Thanks for sharing but I am a bit disappointed as 1.5 yds is short.

    1. Cassie

      1 1/2 yards is 54 inches, and most blanket scarves are between 50-54″—so yes, a yard and a half should do the trick for a standard blanket scarf. If you’d like a longer scarf, 2 yards would get you a nice, long one. You can also make the fringe as long or as short as you think looks nice. 🙂

Starter Guide

The free Living Wholefully Starter Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes, and a 14-day meal plan to get you started on the road to vibrant health.

Meet Cassie
Meet Your Host

Hello. I’m Cassie, and I’m excited you are here!

I'm a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. Come along as I explore good food, holistic wellness, natural homekeeping, gardening, and all the other things that bring me joy!

Learn More →