Flannel Baby Blanket With Satin Binding




This Instructable is for an easy basic baby blanket. It has two layers of flannel and a satin binding. It is very baby-friendly in that it can be machine washed and does not need any other special care. The blanket only takes about an hour or so to make.

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Step 1: What You Need

-two 1-yard pieces of flannel
-one package satin blanket binding (at least 140 inches long, I use Wrights)
-a sewing machine and knowledge of how to use it
-something to mark your fabric like tailors chalk
-sewing pins

Step 2: Wash Your Fabric

Pre-wash your flannel. This is important because the blanket will be washed a lot and you don't want it to shrink. I usually wash the flannel in warm to hot water and dry it on high heat for maximum pre-shrinkage. Iron your fabric to get any wrinkles out.

Step 3: Measure Your Fabric

Put the two pieces of flannel together with the wrong sides together and mark the largest square you can on the top piece, which should be about 32-34 inches to a side. Make sure that the pieces fully overlap within the square. You can use the selvedge for one of your edges. I generally measure by laying them out on a large cardboard grid that you can get at most fabric stores. Mark each of the edges of the square with tailors chalk or other fabric marker. The mark doesn't have to come out because it will be covered by the binding in the end.

Once you have your marks, pin the pieces together near the marks so that your fabric doesn't slip when you are sewing.

Some people put little yarn ties through both layers at measured intervals or use another quilting technique so that the fabric doesn't slip against itself when it is a blanket. If you want this, then now is the time. In my experience, these blankets are small enough and flannel sticks to itself well enough that you don't really need it for practical reasons.

Step 4: Sew the Fabric Together and Cut

Using a straight stitch, sew your fabric together about 1/2 inch or so in from your marks. I use the edge of my presser-foot as a guide. It doesn't matter what color thread you use in this step. When you are done sewing, remove the pins and cut along your marks.

Step 5: Zig-zag or Serge the Raw Edges

Zig-zag or surge the raw edges together to prevent fraying. Again, any color thread will do.

Technically you don't need this step, but I like my blankets to be as sturdy as possible. It also helps stabilize the edges, which makes it easier to apply the binding.

Step 6: Prepare Binding

Blanket binding is a wide strip of satin folded in half. One side of the fold is slightly shorter than the other. Before you use it, you want to iron out the wrinkles. Put your iron on the satin setting and, keeping it folded, iron both sides of the satin.

Then prepare the beginning of the satin. With the folded side away from you and the shorter side up, the beginning end is the one on your left. Take this end, open it up. If the edge isn't even, cut it and gently burn the edges with a flame to keep them from fraying. If you burn too much you will scorch it and it will become all wrinkled. Re-cut and start over if this happens. Then fold the ends to the middle fold so you are left with a point -- like the first steps of making a paper airplane. Close the satin and adjust so that the folds line up on top of each other. Iron.

Step 7: Attach the Binding: Initial and Straight Edge

Here we are going to attach the binding to the blanket so that it has nice neat mitered corners. The trick is to do one side of the blanket at a time so that you don't get bunching in the satin. In the pictures, the slight bumps in the satin are quite exaggerated. It looks nice and smooth in real life.

I will refer to two zig-zag stitches:
-zz1 is a very tight (short stitch-length) zig-zag such that the zigs barely clear each other. You want the width to be ~3/16 inch. On my Brother machine the stitch length is 1.0 and the stitch width is 5.0.
-zz2 has the same width but a longer stitch length (~1/8 inch between zigs), something that looks pleasing to you. On my Brother machine the stitch length is 2.5 and the stitch width is 5.0.

When you sew the satin on to the blanket, stitch near the edge of the satin. Because the shorter side of the satin is up, you will always catch the longer edge, but you want the zig-zag to straddle the satin edge on both the top and the bottom.

Sandwich the flannel in the satin at the prepared end so that the shorter side of the binding is up and the fold of the satin lines up with the blanket edge. Do this so that the satin covers a little more than half of one of the blanket sides. Pin from the beginning of the satin to the corner of the blanket. Starting at the tip of the folded satin, use zz1(backwards then forwards) to secure. Make sure you are catching both the top and the bottom edges of the satin! Then use zz2 to continue stitching to the end of the blanket. If the satin slips some and you have to adjust the pins, don't worry, that is why we are only doing one side of the blanket at a time. Your flannel might have a little fold right at the end near the straight stitch, and that is OK too because it will be covered by the satin and no one will know! When you get to the end, back-stitch about 3 or 4 stitches to secure. Cut thread.

Step 8: Attach the Binding: Mitered Corner

This is the most fiddly part of the whole process. When done right, the corner looks very neat and tidy.

Pinch the edge of the blanket and open up the satin. Bend the satin so that the corner of the satin and the corner of the blanket are at the same place, then close the satin so that there are satin folds coming out at 45 degree angles from the corner. Pin.

Now sandwich the rest of the blanket edge between the satin and pin to secure.

Since the satin is slippery, the folding can get a little funky. I usually pin the back of the blanket then the front. Then put pins all the way through and remove the first ones. The trick is to get the 45 degree folds to line up on top of each other. When you sew, you want the zig-zag to straddle the two edges, so the folds you have to be symmetric to within your stitch width.

Now that you have your folds pinned, use zz1 to secure the folds near the corner (back and forth about 4 stitches each), then switch to zz2 to finish the 45 degree folds, turn the corner, and sew the rest of the blanket side. Again, adjust the pins if needed, just make sure that the middle satin fold lines up with the flannel edge.

Repeat this twice more. For the last corner, pin, but don't sew yet.

Step 9: Finishing

Pin the 4th corner and the first few inches of the side. For the final blanket edge, cut the satin so that it overlaps with the beginning plus 4ish inches. Do the same airplane-wing fold as in Step 6. Iron so that the new folds are on top of each other.

Finish pinning the satin around the blanket edge taking care to make sure that the tip of the satin is even with the edge of the blanket. Sew the corner as in the previous step and use zz2 on most of the rest of this side. Just before the tip of the satin, use zz1 (back and forth) to secure.


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17 Discussions


8 months ago

why does the satin have a short and long side?


1 year ago

I've sewn off and on my whole life, let's just say it's been around 45 years. Anyway, I've never made this type of blanket before but I've admired them. Thank you for these extremely thorough and well written directions! I made one for my granddaughter and I'll be making another for a coworker who is expecting her first baby. Truly, thank you for taking the time to be so thorough in your instructions or I may have never attempted it. Working with satin isn't my favorite thing to do, but you made it painless!

Would I be able to use fleece on one side and flannel on the other. I want to make a lap blanket for my husband. I have a little over two yards of a hard to find fleece pattern. I wanted something a little involved than a tie blanket. I am learning to sew and your clear instructions make me confident.


4 years ago on Introduction

Thanks for your lovely, clear instructions! I made this blanket for my soon-to-arrive nephew Teddy.


6 years ago on Introduction

I just have to say this is THE BEST blanket tutorial ever! Thank you so much for sharing. I have followed your instructions to make several of these blankets for family and friends and they come out perfect every time. Great tutorial!

1 reply

7 years ago on Step 7

Okay, I have made a few fleece blankets, and also a couple of flannel blankets now. I'm a beginning sewer. I get my pre-made satin binding from Walmart. I consistently have trouble with wavy, uneven sewing lines. I lay the blanket flat, put the binding on it, and I pin it down. The front/back appear to be "straight". Then when I start sewing the front, it is a nice even line along the binding, and I flip the blanket over and EVERY time it is wavy and it goes from being right along the edge to as much as 1/2 inch into the binding. I can't see what's going on on the back side while I sew... and it NEVER turns out straight. What am I doing wrong??

2 replies

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Honestly, use Wright's. It's the only brand that I use now for satin blanket binding. I have tried several other, cheaper brands and exactly the same thing happens to me. It slips around, it's not cut evenly so I can't line it up with the border on my blanket properly, the short side and the long side aren't consistent. It's not you that's making it wavy. It's the cheap satin that's not cut properly.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Hmmm, I am not sure, but satin is a very slippery material to work with. The satin binding you are using has a crease it in right? I have only tried the Wrights Single Fold Satin Blanket Binding, so one thought is that it could be that the brand you are using is slightly different than the one that I have used. One thing that I always do is adjust the pins as I sew, so every 6-12 inches, I check the un-sewn binding and readjust as necessary. Another thing to check, if it is just the back side that is wonky, is that your feed dogs (those moving metal teeth-looking things under your fabric on your sewing machine) are working properly. If they are not in the 'up' position, or if they are not moving, then the bottom fabric may not be moving at the same speed at the top of your fabric and you can get funky slippage. And finally, try to play with distance between the satin crease and the edge of the blanket. It could be that you either have too wide of a gap, or not enough gap. Just make sure that the edge of the flannel is not bent over at all under the satin. Let me know if none of that works and I can thing of other things to try.


7 years ago on Introduction

Thank you so much. I'll do better on the "next" one.


7 years ago on Step 7

It says "attach the binding to the blanket" and "one side of the blanket at a time".
Then it says "when you sew the satin on to the binding". Isn't the satin THE binding? Does this just mean from the corner of the folded satin binding to the edge of the binding and continue on around? I know, I'm a first time grandmama and new to sewing.

1 reply

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Actually, that's just a typo!, it should be "when you sew the binding on to the blanket" Thanks for catching that, I will fix it now. Also, just to be clear, when I say 'one side of the blanket at a time', I mean one of the four side edges at a time. I realize that 'side' could be taken to mean top or bottom. Let me know if you have any other questions, and I hope this works for you!


9 years ago on Step 9

I am having a problem with my zig zag stitch catching the underside satin binding on the edge like the top side.  Any helpful ideas for me??

1 reply

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

I have a couple of things you might try:
1-Make sure that the shorter side of the binding is facing up. All of the satin binding I have seen has one side that is shorter. Check to make sure that is the case
2-I try to just barely catch the satin edge on the top side. The satin has a little ridge at the end, and I try to put my top zig-zag so that it just catches all of the ridge
3-Try not lining up the fold of the satin completely with the edge of the flannel, leave a little gap. That way the satin is more likely to lie on the fold and retain a shorter and longer side.
4-If all else fails, just put your zig-zag so that you aren't catching the edge at all. You can either try to catch just one of the sides over the edge, or sew a good 1/4 to 1/2 inch in from the edge. It creates a different effect, but looks just as polished.


9 years ago on Step 8

Thanks for your help.  I've been fooling with this for awhile.  I had already cut my binding, so I'll just forge ahead.  But I like this.  Maybe I can sew the binding back together and then do your idea.  Thanks again.

1 reply

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Good luck! I had to try a few different methods before I came across this one somewhere online and it works great for me.