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I love blankets, especially wool blankets, expensive wool blankets by Pendleton, MacAusland or Woolrich (Hudson's Bay Collection). I love them but, I cannot afford to buy them.

So… I decided to make my own. Yeah, the wool is not Virgin wool from Wales or Canada and the colorful stripes are not perfect nor are they woven, but they only cost me a few bucks to make and they aren't bad for second best.

Step 1: Supplies

  • You need a decent sized piece of wool (60" x 78") - I live in the bay area and have access to some great, CHEAP junk stores like SCRAP (http://www.scrap-sf.org). I can find some high quality and sizeable pieces of 100% wool for under $1 here. You can also find old army blankets at flea markets and on ebay for pretty cheap as well.
  • scissors
  • painter's tape
  • newspaper
  • spray paint (at least one color of your choosing)
  • well ventilated area
  • drop cloth

Step 2: Clean Up Fabric Edges

If you bought a scrap piece of wool, clean cut and fray the edges so that the blanket holds up in the wash and also looks nice and even.

Also, you can hand stitch along the edge of the fabric to prevent it from unravelling or, even better, if you have a serger or a standard sewing machine, you can clean finish the edge.

Step 3: Paint Stripes

1. Tape off the section of your blanket that you want to paint making sure to conceal the remainder of the blanket with newsprint. I also tape the newsprint down to my drop cloth or cardboard because it gets windy here and I don't want it flying around.

2. Paint! Depending on the color you are trying to achieve, you may have to paint a few layers with short dry times in between.

3. Make sure stripe #1 is dry before removing the tape.

4. Customize… Feel free to add as many stripes in as many colors as you like. Using the same paper and tape, relocate your guide to the placement of your choosing and spray away.

Step 4: Dry / Air Out / Wash

Once the paint is fully dry, allow it to air out overnight - spray paint fumes are harsh / toxic.

**You can use fabric paints, but the application is trickier and the dried paint feels less integrated into the fabric / blanket loses a bit of its softness or give.

I like to give the blanket a cold wash (either by hand or on the delicate cycle with a very mild detergent once the job is done. Then I let it air dry and then… I cozy up.

<p>That looks like a great alternative to the expensive wool blankets!</p>

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