Simple and sweet baby blankets are one of my favorite baby gifts to sew, and today I’m sharing a DIY self binding baby blanket tutorial that just might become one of your favorites as well! You’ll learn how to make a self binding baby blanket in no time, with the help of the detailed photo (and video!) tutorials below.
These fun little quilts can be intimidating at first, but if you follow the instructions for the unique way the mitered corners are sewn, you’ll see that although it can be a little mind-bending, it’s also very simple and fast! You’ll be a pro in no time.
The self binding method allows both the front and back fabrics to be highlighted, which makes it perfect for cute contrasting colors or prints.
It’s a quick project that’s great for all levels from beginners on with just two pieces of fabric, and can be done in less than an hour!
Best Fabrics to Use for Baby Blankets
While flannel is always my go-to for DIY baby blankets, you can use a variety of fabrics, or even mix and match different fabric types together!
For warmer climates, you may want to use quilting cotton, either for both layers or just for the front or back, and for colder climates, snuggle or cuddle fabrics like minky (read my tips here first to save you some headaches) work great. A fun combo is cotton for the center fabric and minky for the back – you get the best of both worlds!
How Much Fabric is Needed for a Self Binding Baby Blanket?
Not a whole lot, which is one of the great things about these fun little quilts! 1.5yd for the backing piece and 1.25yd for the front gives you plenty of fabric for the entire blanket. You might even have enough left over for some cute burp cloths!
More Baby Blankets to Sew
This self binding quilt method is just one type of baby blanket you can learn to sew, and there are so many more waiting for you to learn! A few ideas for your next project:
Rag Edge Baby Blanket Tutorial
Elephant Applique Baby Quilt Pattern
Song Lyric Baby Quilt
Gathers & Giggles Baby Quilt Pattern
Ric Rac Baby Blanket Tutorial
…did you know you can even use your Cricut to help make your next baby quilt?!
Supplies to Make a Self Binding Baby Blanket
affiliate links below
1.5 yard flannel for blanket back/border (make sure to pre-wash)
1.25 yard flannel for blanket top (make sure to pre-wash)
ruler – I use a cutting mat, rotary cutter, and ruler set similar to this one, and couldn’t live without it!
sewing machine (this is my fav for beginners)/needle, pins and basic sewing supplies
DIY Self Binding Baby Blanket Video Tutorial
If you prefer to learn via video tutorials, we have you covered! View the entire process below to learn how to make a self binding receiving blanket, or catch it HERE on our YouTube channel, along with all of our other video tutorials.
Fabric Pieces to Cut
(For 38.5×38.5″ finished size)
flannel for blanket back/border: 42″x42″
flannel for blanket top: 36″x36″
Note: The sizes you cut your blanket top and back will determine your finished blanket size. Pieces cut at 42″ and 36″ will give a finished size of 38.5″. If you want to adjust your size, just remember that the finished size will be the median between the two sizes you cut, minus 1/2″ for seam allowances.
Because my flannel in the tutorial photos shrunk to a maximum width of 40″, I cut my backing fabric 40×40″ and my front piece 34×34″, but I recommend always using the largest size you are able to for your backing to give the largest finished size possible.
Also, the larger the difference between your the size of your two pieces, the larger the border will be. With the measurements in this tutorial, the border will be 1.5″. If you want a larger border, you can increase the amount of difference between the two flannel pieces that are cut (I recommend up to a 10″ difference).
One thing to keep in mind with a larger border is that the larger it gets, the smaller your finished size will be as well, which is one reason that I like to keep a 6″ or less difference between the two sizes.
How to Sew a Self Binding Baby Blanket
On each corner of blanket front fabric (smaller piece), mark 1/4″ in both directions by drawing a small square with chalk or a disappearing ink pen.
Fold each flannel piece in quarters and mark center of each edge with a pin. Open pieces up and pin, right sides together, starting at centers and working outwards. Each end will be left with excess backing fabric.
Each corner should look like this, and it’s what will help shape our mitered corners later on:
Time to get to your sewing machine!
Using the 1/4″ marks as your stopping and starting points, stitch along each side of pinned pieces using a 1/4″ seam allowance. If you’d like, you can start stitching at center of each side and work outward rather than stitching from end to end, but if you’ve pinned well you shouldn’t need to. A walking foot can also be helpful for this step, especially if you are using different fabric types for the front and back.
Leave a 6″ opening on the middle of one side to later turn the quilt right side out through.
Ready to make the mitered corners? Matching two adjacent raw edges, fold one corner of the blanket as pictured. The excess backing fabric should form a 45 degree angle, and raw edges should match up, with the blanket front fabric tucked inside.
The next step can be tricky to visualize, so just make sure to follow the illustrations and you’ll be fine! If you haven’t watched the video above, it will help as well. Align your ruler with the end of side seam stitching, forming a 90 degree angle with the folded edge.
Trim seam allowance to 1/4″, removing excess backing fabric. Repeat with remaining 3 corners.
Turn blanket right side out through opening.
Carefully press mitered corners in place. Press all four borders flat, being careful that they are evenly sized on all sides (it can help to put a couple of pins away from where your iron will be hitting to make sure everything will lay nice and flat). Where opening was left, turn raw edge under and press 1/4″ toward wrong side.
Topstitch close to seams on all four sides of blanket, and stitching closing opening. Add a second row of topstitching if you prefer or use decorative topstitching as another option!
Great job, I hope you enjoyed this self binding baby blanket tutorial! Now that you’ve learned how to make a receiving blanket, admire your blanket and make some more!