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Tutorial: DIY Lovey Tag Blanket

Project At-A-Glance
Sewing, DIY15 min
This tag blanket takes less than 15 minutes to sew and makes a great baby shower gift! They are a fun, portable way for babies to explore textures.

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Tutorial: DIY Lovey Tag Blanket

Before I had a kid, I had never heard of a tag blanket in my life (also called a “lovey”), and in fact, when I first saw one, I had a definite “Uh, what the heck is that for?” moment. Tag blankets are small. At about 16” square, they’re too small to be used for warmth. And are covered by little ribbons. Weird, right?

But now that I have a beautiful baby girl, I totally get it. Tag blankets are a fun, portable way for babies to explore textures, colors and feeling with their hands. They’re basically a toy that doesn’t squeak, squawk, or make noise (which is awesome). They’re completely washable and can fit in almost any pocket of any bag. I’m a big fan of tag blankets. And so is the JuneBug. We handed one to her a few weeks ago, and she was immediately fascinated by the various feelings and textures on the blanket.

DIY Taggie Blanket

The “original” tag blanket is sold by a company that holds the patent on the design, and, let me tell you, they ain’t cheap. For what amounts to about $2 worth of materials, they can run upwards of $35! Because of the patent and copyright, there is supposed to be no selling of off-brand tag-style blankets on the market, but I thought I might share a quick tutorial for how to make one for other frugal parents out there. Just don’t sell them using this pattern. Because you might get sued. And that wouldn’t be cool. I don’t want you to get sued.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own tag blanket:

  • 2—17” squares of fabric
  • 32–4” pieces of fabric ribbon
  • Coordinating thread
  • Ruler and fabric pen
  • Pins, scissors, sewing machine, all the other good stuff that goes along with sewing.

For the fabric, I highly recommend using two different textured fabrics for the most varied tactile experience—I used two squares of soft minky, one with raised dots, and one with ridges. You could also use terry cloth, velour, satin, fleece—basically anything that has an interesting texture. Also, the bolder the patterns and colors, the more likely your baby will be to respond earlier.

DIY Taggie Blanket

Follow the same philosophy for the ribbon – pick different textures, fabrics and colors. I went with a collection of grosgrain, satin, and textured fabric ribbon. Don’t use any ribbons that have glitter or embellishments that could come off (these WILL end up in your baby’s mouth). And again, try for colors that are bright and bold—baby girl is really digging the orange and pink circle ribbons right now.

Also, I recommend checking with the cutting table at your local fabric store – they might be able to slide you some freebie short remnants of ribbon cuttings that they couldn’t otherwise sell. Trust me, they aren’t doing anything with their 4” ribbon pieces but throwing them in the trash.

DIY Taggie Blanket

This blanket is so easy to make, it’s ridiculous. Start off with one of your 17” squares of fabric, right-side up. Using a ruler and fabric pen, measure in 8 1/2” from one corner, and place a mark.

DIY Taggie Blanket

Then, take the ribbon you’d like to be in the middle of the row, and fold it in half, right-side out. Pin that ribbon down on top of the mark you just made—aligning the center of the mark with the center of the ribbon, and aligning the raw edge of the ribbon with the raw edge of the fabric. Make sure the folded side of the ribbon is “pointing” in toward the middle of the piece of fabric.

DIY Taggie Blanket

Fill in left and right of the center ribbon with your remaining ribbons—folded in half, right-sides-out—making sure to space them out evenly (this will depend on the width of your ribbons). Also, make sure to leave about an inch free on the ends.

DIY Taggie Blanket

Repeat with all the ribbons on the remaining three sides. It looks a little crazy, but I promise it’ll end up working out when you’re done.

DIY Taggie Blanket

Go ahead and place the blanket on the sewing machine and sew 1/4″ away from the edge to tack the ribbons to the blanket—removing the pins as you go.

DIY Taggie Blanket

DIY Taggie Blanket

Now take your second square of fabric, and place it, right-side-down, on top of the piece of fabric with the attached ribbons.

DIY Taggie Blanket

Align all the edges neatly and then pin it down.

DIY Taggie Blanket

Using a 1/2” seam allowance, sew all the way around the edge of the blanket, except leave a 3” gap in the middle of one of the sides to allow you to turn the blanket inside out.

DIY Taggie Blanket

Using that gap, turn the whole thing inside out. Like magic, the ribbons are facing the right direction!

DIY Taggie Blanket

DIY Taggie Blanket

Give the blanket and good pressing, and then carefully fold under the unfinished part of the seam, and pin together.

DIY Taggie Blanket

DIY Taggie Blanket

Using a coordinating (or contrasting, if you’re feeling crazy) thread, top stitch 1/4” from the edge of the blanket, all the way around. This not only closes the opening, but it also reinforces the ribbons so little exploring hands can’t pull them out.

DIY Taggie Blanket

Give it another good pressing, and voila! A tag blanket.

DIY Taggie Blanket

DIY Taggie Blanket

This would make an awesome gift for a baby shower. And they’re so easy to make, you could make a couple with various patterns and textures to keep baby guessing.

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.

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62 Responses
  1. Rhenda

    Thanks for sharing! Have to add that my experience with getting freebies of scraps they intended to throw out is nil. Once, I mentioned I’d take them since they were going to toss them. They proceeded to make a receipt for me to take up to the checkout counter. I told them nevermind if they are going to charge me for odd little scraps that was in their special “discard” bin. They got a tad huffy with me even tho I had already had yards of the same item totaled up. Oh well. Win some lose some as it goes.

  2. Diana Shepard

    This blanket has been suggested by a young friend of mine that it a psychiatric nurse. She asked me to make some for her dementia patients! This is going to be a great project for our ladies in my congregation that love to sew 🙂

  3. Dipak Tanna

    i just want to ask one question

    Are these ribbon loops safe for baby – will their fingers not get caught or trapped in the loop .

    i notice that all care labels and neck labels on baby clothing do not have loops any more because of fear that baby’s finger might get trapped in it

  4. Jennifer

    My son has worn out his lovey and would now like me to preserve it somehow. Any suggestions? The material is too old to find anywhere so it can be repaired.

  5. Christine Savinelli

    Do you pre wash the ribbon & If so how do you do it? Would love to make one for a great nephew due soon!?

  6. Rosann Batteiger

    Thanks for the detailed instructions, but not sure how you could make this in just 15 minutes. It too me at least 30 minutes to cut out the ribbons.

  7. hilary gallina

    Hi from Australia,
    Yes you can buythese feather pins. These I use in my patchwork blankets. Should be able to get them from your local sewing , fabric craft shop.

    1. Julie @ Wholefully

      I’m sure they can be made bigger, and you wouldn’t necessarily have to quilt it, though it might hold up a bit better if you do.

  8. Whitney

    Hi, I’m finishing up my blankie right now, made for my best friend’s new baby. Thanks so much or this tutorial.. I have two questions.
    1. Where did you get the feather pins?
    2. Any tips for sewing straight when only leaving 1/4 inch allowance? I love to sew but I feel like no matter how hard I try I can’t make a straight line! It stretches and pulls and goes all over the place.

    1. hilary gallina

      Try putting some masking tape as a line on the right side of the sewing foot exactly 1/4 inch from needle.
      Also use your left hand to support fabric at back .
      Right hand to guide material in front.
      Sew slowly when doing the straightline.
      Don’tbe in a hurry.from experience I have never really sewed a proper straight line. It takes time snd practice.have funtoo.

  9. Brandy

    I’ve never sewed with minky before, but have made quilts with cotton fabrics before. Should I use a different needle when sewing with minky?

  10. I ordered the crinkly sound plastic on Etsy I believe. It doesn’t take much. You only put in one corner. I have been told you can also use chocolate chip bags.
    I have embroidery machine and put their name on it.

  11. Shirley

    What a brilliant idea for a gift .. A friends daughter is having one soon. It will be better than knits that she will grow out of quickly. Can I use fleece fabric on one side?

  12. Becky

    On the concern about baby getting fingers twisted in ribbon, I saw a lady on a post suggest to sew lengthwise down the middle of the ribbon which will eliminate the loop.

  13. Maggie N

    Adorable! They didn’t have these years ago when I had my son, but my niece is about to be two, and all the new things for baby! So exciting! Of course, if we bought everything we wanted to give them, well… Thank God for sewing machines, crochet hooks, and knitting needles…. and all the things that make for great toys. A quick share! At one point, hubby and I splurged on $300+ in toys for our toddler. My mom was his daytime sitter though, and we took plenty to her house. She was a big fan of sodas though, and for a spell of bedrest (thanks to blood clots in my legs) I was given a collection of fuzzy posters in poster tubes to keep me occupied while unable to get up and move around. My son played with his expensive toys for a few minutes. Just a few. Then he dug through a toy basket and got… A two liter bottle that had some small bits and bobs with a cap, superglued on so he couldn’t get to the smaller things. When he tired of banging that thing around, he went wild with a poster tube from the fuzzy posters I’d colored constantly until the doctors said it was okay to move around more. LOL! The option of noisy, expensive toys, and he chose the toys my mother made out of things he saw us using and interacting with instead. It was the most important thing I could tell my sister when she wanted to splurge on things boasting to make baby so smart and interactive. They want what they see. Child proof it, and save for the toys you want to give them that you can’t make for yourself.

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I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

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