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Quick, Simple Fleece Projects: Ponchos and More!

Updated on October 16, 2017
RTalloni profile image

Robertatalloni means creativity. Whether in writing or in more typical art forms artistry (and a bit of fun) must be part of the work.

• ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~☃ Warm the Chill ☃~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ •

The sides could be tacked or stitched up a few inches under the arms, but I like the unencumbered structure for around the house.
The sides could be tacked or stitched up a few inches under the arms, but I like the unencumbered structure for around the house. | Source

Wondering About Using Those Fleece Blankets? Think Ponchos and More!


☃ You may ask, “Who doesn't know what to do with blankets?” However, those flimsy pieces of fabric that we see so many of during the winter months are a different bird. It's time to think "poncho!"

Some of those blankets have a nice, neat blanket stitch around the edge, some are printed with seasonal designs--Thanksgiving wreaths, harvest scenes, Christmas trees, snowflakes, and more. Some have fringes, and some are quite plain in design.

One was not enough. After all, a girl needs ponchos that coordinate with her wardrobe!
One was not enough. After all, a girl needs ponchos that coordinate with her wardrobe! | Source

Made of some sort of fleece fabric these blankets are lightweight, and sometimes they're referred to as lap warmers. They are actually child-sized blankets, and not very helpful on a cold night, but there do seem to be a lot of them floating around.

Even drug stores have center aisles with piles of these fleece products in them. Visit a nursing home and there will be plenty for everyone. Some are wrapped and tucked under Christmas trees. Using them as blankets, however, seems to be problematic.

They generally stay in their wrapper piled up in a closet, or they find their way to the trunk of a car to have on hand “just in case.” People at nursing homes generally try to send them away with a relative, although homeless shelters might want them.

So, what’s a person to do with their collection of these fleece blankets that do not seem to know what to do with themselves? From ponchos to stuffed pillows and toys, there are many uses for these modern phenomena.


Here’s One Project that will Answer the Question, “How to Use Those Fleece Blankets?”

☃ After finishing my final clean-up of holiday stuff and such around the house, there sat the collection. Folded up fleece blankets of the season were still on the couch. Old ones and new ones waiting my decision for their future. There were a couple really nice ones that I would hold on to, but the others needed a destiny, a chance to do or be something productive.

A few days brought a change of weather and the house was cooler than usual. I couldn’t sit by the fireplace with my Mactop all of the time, and found myself in another room at the desktop. A chill kept creeping in, but I was resisting a yet heavier layer of clothing, and I did not want to turn the thermostat up.

• ~~~~~~~~~~~☃~~~~~~~~~~~ •

Assess the blanket's size and pattern design.
Assess the blanket's size and pattern design. | Source

Bright ideas sometimes come at the least expected moments. This one was mentally formed in the back of my mind while I concentrated on email. Out the idea popped--it wouldn’t be contained! Such a simple idea for a cozy, lightweight bit of extra warmth that allowed me to be busy around the house with ease.

It's so comfortable that if my grandchildren were here we would float around the house together like flutterbys busily doing this and that together, or I would wrap them in my lap by the fire and read to them, or rock them into their nap times. As it is, I decided to write this hub so you could have a chance to give your unused fleece blankets a new direction in life.

Now that I've used it for a couple of days, I'm beginning to think of my newest creation as a warm apron to wear around the house in the winter. The sides could be tacked our stitched up a few inches, but I like the unencumbered structure for working between the computer and other areas of the house, as well as for easy on/off.

This fleece poncho is now my winter apron design! I'm taller than many women so the "sleeves" are 3/4 length for me, making it easy to stay busy when wearing it. Shorter people might want to cut or fold back and stitch the sleeve area if they want to use this to work in.


☃ Follow These Instructions to Make Your Own Fleece Blanket Poncho/Apron for Chilly Mornings:


• Spread your fleece blanket out and look at its shape and pattern design if it has one.


• Fold in half lengthwise, keeping in mind which side you would like to use for the front.


• With sharp scissors, cut a 1” nick across the center of the fold.


• Cut about 4” down the front side. Do not cut more of the back at this point.


• Next, cut on the fold approximately 4” across each side.


• Check to see whether any of the cuts need to be longer. Do not stretch the cuts while trying the poncho on. It should easily slide over your head.


• If any of the cuts need to be longer, start with the front slit and try the poncho on with each cut. Cut only an inch at the time until the poncho slides easily on and off your head. Be careful not to make cuts so long that the poncho is too open around your neck and shoulders, defeating the purpose of the project.


• You might like to round the corners of the cuts off somewhat, but they can be left as is so they can fold down sort of like a collar cozying up to your neck area


Fold blanket in half.  You will be cutting in the center of the fold.
Fold blanket in half. You will be cutting in the center of the fold. | Source
Do not make cuts too large, but cut larger as needed per instructions.
Do not make cuts too large, but cut larger as needed per instructions. | Source
Front cut is longer than the back cut.  After you first  try it on if your opening needs to be larger decide whether to cut the front longer or to slightly lengthen the shoulder cuts.
Front cut is longer than the back cut. After you first try it on if your opening needs to be larger decide whether to cut the front longer or to slightly lengthen the shoulder cuts. | Source

Think Outside the Box and Use Fleece Blankets for Other Purposes


☃ When the first idea for making something with these mysterious fleece blankets dawned on me, my mind began roaming around for more projects to use them in. The web is full of ideas, tutorials, and patterns. Here are a few that make great springboards for new projects:


This is a sewing tutorial for making fleece socks--a great project for using patterned blankets.

Here are some sewing patterns for making puppets--a great project for those solid colored blankets.

This is a sewing pattern for making fleece hats--use solid or patterned blankets. One blanket could make a family batch of warm hats!

Here is a sewing pattern for making mittens and scarves.

This is a sewing pattern for making vests. I want to try this with a fleece blanket!

Here is a sewing pattern for making a fleece blanket with sleeves.

This fleece baby toy tutorial makes a soft tag toy that would make a neat gift bow.

Here is a nifty fleece dog bed project to use at home or give away to a lucky dog friend.

Yet more fleece projects for your to peruse from Fleece Fun.


If you want to buy fleece fabric to use for specific sewing projects be sure to look for high quality grades that are anti-pill. The red advertised at Amazon is a great choice throughout winter, not just the holidays, because a pop of red in any season adds zip to a winter day!

~~~~☃~~~~

More ideas for using up your stash include designing seasonal throw pillow slipcovers, slipcovers for pet beds, pet jackets and booties, doll clothes, and who knows what else!

If you come up with new ideas please share them with us in the comments section below. If you write a hub on a fleece project please let me know so I can link it to this one.

Most of all, have fun creating something useful out of at least one of those fleece blankets!

☃ Be Sure to Check out Readers' Ideas for Using Fleece Blankets

Don't miss readers' ideas on how to use fleece blankets in the comments section below, and please add your own idea if you have one to share with us.

(Follow the ☃ to the last section of this hub!)

Easy Fleece Mittens

Curved Edge Fleece Blankets

Super Easy Fleece Hat

☃ Do You Have an Idea for a Fleece Blanket Project?

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    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      peachpurple:

      Thanks for stopping by. In the hub you can read that there is no sewing required for making an easy poncho from this type blanket.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i want to sew this blankets myself, it looks easy but i need a sewing machine

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      Prateek Dev Vimal:

      How delightful to read of your friend's response to your project! So glad to know that you used this idea to make your own poncho and that you took a moment to let us read about it.

    • Prateek Dev Vimal profile image

      Prateek Dev Vimal 2 years ago from Delhi, India

      I got my Vintage blanket cut it and made it into a poncho . Now my best friend wants one .

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      Your Cousins:

      I hope you have fun with it! Thanks for stopping in and letting me hear from you on this easy project.

    • Your Cousins profile image

      Your Cousins 2 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Can't wait to get started on my poncho! Great ideas--voted up and interesting.

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      pstraubie48:

      Thanks for your feedback here. It would be great to see some of her ideas in a hub! Let me know if you do one so I can link it here.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      phdast7:

      Thanks for stopping in! 'Tis the season to see more of the little blankets, so we'll be able to have a party with them no matter how we like to use them. :) Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      How clever..what a smart idea. My sister is always coming up with creative ways to use these blankets too. I will be sharing this with her.

      Pinned and voted up

      Angels are on the way ps

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Wonderful ideas and possibilities RT. I love those little fleece blankets because they are lightweight and sometimes you just don't need the weight of a regular blanket. Hope all is well. :) Theresa

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

      Hi anidae! Thanks much for checking out this project hub and for leaving your comment. These blanket ponchos couldn't be easier to make and I think I may need a couple more this week! :)

    • anidae profile image

      Anita Adams 3 years ago from Tennessee

      As always, RTaloni, you are so creative and inspiring. This is a great post for the craft lovers like me.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Melissa:

      Thank you for stopping in to check out this fleece blanket project hub! You reminded me to add a new photo. Check out my pink fleece blanket poncho--one is not enough!

      That is funny about our blankets and flooring. :)

    • profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago

      I'm definitely going to try this, thanks so much. But I noticed something strange looking at the pictures. I have the exact same blanket as you, but mine is red. And I have the same tile flooring in my kitchen...weird...

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Lrc7815:

      Thanks for coming by and leaving your input!

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

      Golly, so many great ideas for those blankets sitting in the closet. Voted up.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      moonlake:

      Thanks for letting me know that you like the ideas on using fleece in this hub. Hope you get do make some of the projects before cold weather sets in! :)

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      Great ideas I love fleece and it's so easy to work with. I hate to see cold weather coming. Voted up and more.

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Sharkye11:

      Thanks for letting me know that these ideas are what you needed! Enjoy making your project(s).

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      Excellent collection of ideas! I have a very homely fleece Christmas blanket stashed in the closet that is just begging to be re-purposed. Thanks for the ideas!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      sofs:

      Thanks kindly--you know that ideas like this fleece blanket project sometimes just hit you out of the blue. :)

      Appreciate that you came by and let me hear from you!

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 5 years ago

      Wow brilliant idea.. we may never need fleece blankets here so much.. but this does give me other ideas. Thanks for sharing.. Have a great day!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      thougtforce:

      You are welcome. :) I'm going to work on a painting project in a bit and am thinking that I probably need to dedicate one of the ponchos to that work, using it like a winter paint apron. Hope you enjoy yours and find many uses for them!

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 5 years ago from Sweden

      So many great ideas on how to reuse fleece blankets! I like to use fleece blankets but I have never thought about reuse them in this creative ways. Thanks for the many creative ideas. The poncho idea is one I will try first since I always feel cold on my arms when it gets a bit chilly!

      Tina

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Lynn S. Murphy:

      Thanks for your input on this project! If only I could find the time to develop some more involved projects with this "handy" fleece and make a series out of this idea... :)

    • profile image

      Lynn S. Murphy 5 years ago

      Great ideas and what a hoot to repurpose and regift. I really like the poncho idea as well. Awesome hub.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      ethel smith:

      Thanks bunches. I'm loving the lightweight winter apron that I'm wearing more and more, and its helping me remember that I want to do some fleece projects before our southern summer hits and fall is tooooo busy again.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 5 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      What great ideas and so well expained

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Dolores Monet:

      Thanks ever so kindly! I'm still enjoying my fleece blanket "apron" as I work around the house on these chilly days! So appreciate your input and vote!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Voted up! A great idea for a cozy winter project. I am a big fan of shawls, but they do not work if you are busy in any way and I think the fleece blanket poncho allows some freedom of movement. And fleece is so nice and warm!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      everythingdazzles:

      Thanks kindly--hope you get to experiment with this one. I've enjoyed some of your DIY already! :)

    • everythingdazzles profile image

      Janelle 5 years ago from Houston

      That is a very clever and fun idea. Thanks! I love DIY projects. I do a lot of them on my hub page too.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Simone Smith:

      Thanks bunches! Let us know when your idea for using these items bubbles to the top--I expect great things... :)

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      This Hub totally rocks. I'm all for projects that repurpose things we might not otherwise be using all that much!

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Nicole S:

      Your idea for pillow cases sounds great, especially for those big, comfy floor pillows! Thanks for coming by and contributing your idea. :)

    • Nicole S profile image

      Nicole S Hanson 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Great idea for these! I think they're also great for pillow cases. Great hub!

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Millionaire Tips:

      Thanks so much for adding your Christmas tree skirt idea to this hub! I imagine it did work wonderfully!

      So appreciate your coming by with your input.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      That's a good idea. I've seen the ads for a snuggie, and wondered if I could make my own. Thanks for the idea of just using a fleece blanket for a poncho. I've used a fleece blanket under the Christmas tree. Just cut a slit to the middle, and lay it around the base of the tree. It worked wonderfully.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Genna East:

      Thanks for stopping in and letting me know you enjoyed this hub's ideas. Appreciate your input very much!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Chatkath:

      I hope we get to see some of your projects! Do a general one for us showing the repurposed items you've been working on, then do individual how to hubs--how's that for a direct hint? :) A nice, warm crochet project in the lap this time of year is the next best thing to a kitty, isn't it?

      Thanks much for coming by and for your input!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      randomcreative:

      Thanks for stopping in and letting me hear from you! :)

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Interesting hub, and I love the apron/poncho idea. It gets pretty chilly in New England, and these tips are ideal this time of year. Up and useful.

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 5 years ago from California

      Wonderful idea RT! After moving in August/September I found my old crochet needles and got busy. What fun! I must find time to post - I think it is the creative part that I enjoy, to make something usable out of the un-used, ahhhh-recycling!

      You get the stars for that one! Rated up and useful!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great topic for a hub! It's such a great idea to turn these fleece blankets into other items instead of having them sit around. Thanks for the suggestions!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      gogogo:

      Thanks kindly, both for your visit and your votes!

    • profile image

      gogogo 5 years ago

      lots of good ideas I vote up and useful

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      PWalker281:

      Thanks bunches for your input! Now I've got ideas for combining crochet and some of these projects...where to find the time for developing the ideas? :)

    • profile image

      PWalker281 5 years ago

      Great ideas for repurposing those fleece blankets! Rated up and useful.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      DonnaCosmato:

      Thanks much. The mystery of how the collection of these blankets grows is an odd one--maybe people slip them into our homes without telling us because they don't know what to do with them either!

      Thanks bunches for mentioning that we don't have to finish fleece edges--I should have mentioned that in the hub.

      So appreciate that you came by and commented!

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Pamela N Red:

      I was thinking about the possibility of making items out of the blankets and returning them to the original owners. Wouldn't it be fun to see if they recognized the item? :)

      Seriously, the projects could be quite fun and useable because some of the prints are nice.

      Thanks much for stopping in and commenting!

    • DonnaCosmato profile image

      Donna Cosmato 5 years ago from USA

      This is a wonderful collection of reuse/repurpose/recycle ideas for all those fleece blankets that seem to multiply when I am not looking. The best thing about crafting with fleece is it doesn't ravel so you don't have worry about finishing the edges. Great hub; voted up.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      rebeccamealey:

      Thanks. I'm liking my apron more and more. I may yet shorten the sleeves on mine before I make another because I do want to work freely in it--but I'll keep one long in case I get to take my grandchildren on a flight. :)

      So appreciate your input!

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      My goodness you have a whole plethora of projects to make. It does seem we end up with lots of these during the holidays. They are what people buy when they can't come up with an idea. Great ideas.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Clever idea! A good recycling project too. voted up and useful!