How to Make a Flannel Swaddling Blanket

Written by contributing writer, Trina Holden.

Swaddling has been the secret to many babies sleeping well, but most blankets are too small once the baby grows past the infant stage. This blanket is made from a 45in. square of cloth – a generous size for swaddling, draping a car seat, or even a play blanket when the baby is older.

You can often find cute coordinating nursery prints on sale so the total cost of a blanket can be as little as $6.  I love to make them for new moms because I think no one should have a baby without one of these great blankets!

What you need:

1 yard, 10 in. of 45 in. wide flannel fabric

1 yard, 10 in. of 45 in. cotton fabric in a complimentary print or pattern

Matching thread


Iron and Ironing board

Sewing machine


Step One: Trim and Pin

Lay both squares of fabric on top of each other, right sides together. Trim edges to a tidy square. Smooth wrinkles and pin all the way around the four sides.

Step Two: Sew

Sew all around the blanket with a straight stitch, using a ¾ in. seam allowance, and leaving a 6 in. opening for turning.

Step Three: Trim Corners

Clip excess fabric from the four corners of the blanket so the corners will be able to turn nicely.

Step Four: Turn and Press

Turn the blanket right-side out, using a blunt pencil or knitting needle to poke corners out neatly. Iron the blanket, pressing the seam allowances inward at the turning hole – you will be top stitching this closed.

Step Five: Finishing

Set your machine to a decorative stitch if you have one, or just use a zig-zag stitch. Choose a thread that will stand out against your fabric to add to the decorative effect. Sew all around the outside of the blanket at a ¼ in. seam allowance. This will close the opening you used to turn it and keep the blanket from rolling and wrinkling along the edges.

Now go wrap up the nearest baby in your lovely new blanket!

About Trina Holden

Trina enjoys offering hospitality from their 1800’s farm house in Upstate New York. She loves to encourage women to nourish their families, celebrate the journey, and choose to thrive at

23 Responses to How to Make a Flannel Swaddling Blanket

  1. Katie May 20, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    I was so excited to try this. I ordered this fabric:
    When I go to true up my fabric, I’m finding that the design is not printed straight. Does anyone have any suggestions? I tried tearing to true up.

  2. Monica July 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    These blankets are my favorite! My mom had a tradition of making one of these for each of us 6 kids, and now she is continuing with the grandkids:) they are just the right weight for nearly all year, and so soft and cute!

  3. Stefanie February 20, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    Thankyou for such a straightforward tutorial! I just started sewing since grade 8 home ec, and wanted to make something for my brand new niece – and thankfully stumbled across this! Here is a bit of the process I went through while making it:

  4. Shannon July 11, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    This was an easy, fun tutorial for a great project! I’m still learning and getting used to my new sewing machine, and this made for a wonderful gift that I can’t wait to give my expecting sister! I plan on making many more of these flannel receiving blankets. Thank you so much for the tutorial.

  5. Ellie June 4, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    Trina, I loved this project! I actually wrote a little about my experience (a little rough as it was my first time back at a sewing machine in years), but the blanket itself is amazing and I’m already dreaming about giving it a second try before baby #4 comes in the Fall. Thank you!
    Here’s my swaddling blanket experience:

  6. victoria May 24, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

    This would be a good project to practice your hand stitching on too!

  7. lyss May 24, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    Great tutorial! If you have a baby in the summer, you can always just hem the edges of a single layer of fabric. But the double layer would be useful, too. I have to say that I absolutely loved my Swaddle Me that I received as a gift. Not quite as frugal, I suppose, but it was so much easier to wrap him up tight. Of course, regular blankets like these have so many other uses than just swaddling! :)

  8. Joyfull May 24, 2011 at 9:11 am #

    I LOVE large receiving blankets like this, but instead of using double flannel, I use yarn dyed flannel shirting material, so the print is already on both sides. I live in a hot climate, so I like the thinner material. I also use my large receiving blankets as my nursing covers. I wear a camisol under my shirt, pull up the shirt and pull down the camisol. Almost no skin shows, especially once baby is attached. Then, throw the large receiving blanket over the shoulder, and it just looks like you are snuggling the baby. Works great.

  9. Sara May 24, 2011 at 6:25 am #

    I love these blankets! I had bought a bunch of flannel on sale with the intent of making the blankets, but I never got around to them. You’ve inspired me to pull out my fabrics and finally make them!

  10. Gabrielle May 23, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    How long do your babies like to be swaddled? I only swaddled my first baby for about two months, if that, but my second baby is different. He NEEDS to be swaddled still, and he’s nearly four months. He sleeps much better in a nice tight swaddle. Anyone else have this experience?

    • Kendra B. May 25, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

      We swaddled my daughter until she was almost five months, she definitely needed it. Near the end we had to use those swaddles with the velcro tabs on them because she’d break out of blankets. It took a couple days to wean her off of it, but she sleeps without it now. Swaddling is soooo worth it! Yay sleep!

  11. Paula May 23, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    I love this! Thank you for sharing! Nice and easy but will be a nice homemade gift.

  12. Tiffany Longo May 23, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    i love this!! and i LOOVE pictures to show me what to do! but i don’t think i will be happy with my homemade version unless i have that EACT fabric combo cuz it is sooo cute! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Jackie May 23, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing this & the nursing cover patterns! I am a beginner sewer with my 3rd baby on the way & am so happy to see you post these. How helpful! I can’t wait to make both of them! Thanks again!

  14. terri May 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    I have been making these blankets for years… Love them!!

  15. Kristel May 23, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    Thank you so much for this! I am a beginning sewer and I find so many “beginner” tutorials confusing with too many steps and fancy terms. I might just make one tonight!!

    • Trina May 23, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

      Kristel – I’m so glad you found the instructions easy to follow. The blanket really is a great beginner project – go for it!

  16. Jess May 23, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    YAY Trina! I love it! How do you fold it though to swaddle the baby in it?

    • Trina May 23, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

      Hi, Jess! To use the blanket for swaddling, I fold one corner down, set baby with her shoulders below the fold, and snugly wrap both corners of the blanket down over baby’s arms. You can find lots of swaddling videos on youtube – Here’s one I liked…

  17. Courtney May 23, 2011 at 6:23 am #

    These are everyone’s favorite baby gift. I keep my measurements even simpler I buy 1 and 1/4 yard of each fabric, or 2 1/2 yards of one fabric. These are so large that my toddlers love them. they are great for the floor, fit well in a stroller. So much bigger than what you can buy in the store. All four of my kids love them.

  18. Jamie May 23, 2011 at 5:14 am #

    This is such a simple project-and the result is so lovely!

    I do have a question…Do you prewash the fabrics? I would think uneven shrinking might occur since two different fabrics are being used.

    • Trina May 23, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

      Jamie- great question! I prewash the fabric in with a hot rinse and then dry it on the highest setting to shrink it as much as possible.

  19. Narelle May 23, 2011 at 1:35 am #

    Love this, need one and it’s easy enough that I reckon I can even make one!
    Thank you :)