Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tutorial- Curtain Upcycled to Waterproof Picnic Blanket

Using an old blackout curtain, you can make a picnic blanket that is sturdy and water resistant.  The blackout material inside of curtains is water proof, making it a good filler material in a portable picnic blanket.  This blanket folds up and clips together at the bottom edge, allowing you to carry it around easily by the shoulder strap.  Put some sunscreen in the pocket and enjoy a summer picnic.

To make this blanket, you need:
-One large (floor length) blackout curtain made of sturdy material.  Don't choose a silk curtain, of course.
-1 inch webbing- a few yards
-2 buckles
-Matching top material- fleece is a good choice.  I used lightweight corduroy in this example.

Begin by ripping the seams and separating the blackout material from the curtain material.  Undo all the seams.  This is a good project to do while watching a tv show as it takes some time.  I washed all the fabric to make sure it is all pre-shrunk.  Picnic blankets get dirty and will be washed a lot.  You may want to double check that your blackout material is waterproof by running it under some water.

Then lay out your materials on a large space.  The light blue material was my curtain, the white is the blackout fabric, and the green is the corduroy that I had purchased for the top layer of the blanket.  I had to sew two pieces of the green material together to make it large enough, but I think the seam is hardly noticeable with the busy pattern.  You may be able to find a wider fabric that you won't need to sew.  Ah how I wish we had a fabric store in our town besides Walmart...
Cut the blackout material and the top material to the same size.  Cut the bottom layer 2-3 inches larger all the way around.  The extra inches will become the edge of the blanket.

Then fold the material in quarters until you've reached the size you want it to be when it will be carried.  Remember that 2-3 inches of two of the sides are going to become the binding of the blanket, so place your pocket (made from extra material if you have any) slightly off center.  Pin it to the blue material only.
Unfold the blanket once and position the webbing (with buckles pre-sewn to the ends).  Pin in place to the outer material only.
Unfold the blanket entirely, and remove the outer (blue) material.  Sew the pocket and straps to it.  It will be in one corner like this.  I added the shoulder strap which isn't in the picture above, but you would place it vertically in the center (to the right of the pocket in the above pic).
Turn the outer material over so the buckles are facing the floor.  Center your blackout fabric on the blanket and center your top fabric on that.  Fold over the edge of the outer material twice all the way around to make a 1-1.5 inch binding.  Pin it in place and press.  Then sew all the way around the edge. 
Now you can fold the blanket in quarters and buckle the straps you have attached to keep it in place while you carry it.
Lay it out on the grass to put kids on or keep it in the car for when you go to a park and the grass is a little damp.  It's also nice for watching fireworks on the 4th of July, my favorite holiday!
I didn't take as many pictures as I should have for this tutorial.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

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