DIYdiy projects

diy wednesdays: double-sided picnic blanket

by Grace Bonney

now that the weather is warming up, we can’t wait to start spending more quality time out of doors. this double-sided blanket is perfect for entertaining (or being entertained) on your next picnic or camping trip. the vinyl side keeps your backside dry, and the soft and cozy flannel is great for stretching out on. flip over a corner and you’ve got the perfect spot for drinks and snacks. we’ve made a few of these over the years and they’ve always made “roughin’ it” a little less rough.

have fun!
derek & lauren

CLICK HERE for the full project after the jump!

here’s what you’ll need:
2 yards tablecloth vinyl (or any other water resistant fabric such as oilcloth will work)
2 yards flannel
sewing machine

1. cut the flannel so that it is 1” smaller than the vinyl on all sides.
2. lay the vinyl pattern side down and center the flannel on top of it.
3. starting with the long sides, fold over the raw edge of the vinly 1/2”, then fold it over another 1/2” (catching the edge of the flannel) and pin in place.
4. stitch down seam with sewing machine. repeat on short sides.


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  • Oh yeah I had picnic blankets like these when I was a kid! They’re awesome; great for watching fireworks at night when the temp drops and any moisture is a pain. Hmm, I wonder what ever happened to ours…

  • Ooo.. I’ve been wanting to do this with all the oilcloth I brought back from my days working at Cath Kidston in London. Maybe this is the inspiration I need to finally get it done!

  • how well would this work if you added some felt to the back of a vinyl table cloth? The sell the table cloths pretty cheap, especially the seasonal one.

  • I made a blanket like this as a gift for friends once and sewed a strip of ribbon folded in half on one edge. That way you could fold in thirds, roll the blanket and tie it up with the ribbon. Stays neat in the picnic basket!

  • While you’re at it, you can sew weights of any sort into the corners to keep it from flipping up in the wind.

  • Hoorah! I’ve been meaning to do this with a very retro shower curtain my boyfriend brought me from a yard sale. Perfect for our party plans this weekend.

  • I love this idea. I’ve wanted to start trying to sew and this seems like a great starter idea. And I love the idea of adding the ribbion so you can tie it shut!

  • Picnics are simply fun. Having such an economic crisis, everyone wants to save money for the things most likely needed. Picnics are one way to help you save a little bit of money while having fun.. Also, typically most kids love the outdoors, so picnics are a great match. Dont for get to bring your picnic baskets and enjoy.

  • I made this and thought that the directions were very straight forward. Especially being a new sewer! Thanks for the great idea. Can’t wait to use it! Also all my sisters will be getting one for Christmas!

  • So love this idea…I’m also gonna make smaller ones out of Shower curtains and cute washable area rugs and use them for reuseable puppy poddy pads!

  • I just made this and while the directions seemed simple my seeing machine struggled until I did the following:

    1. Use a tephlon or non stick foot
    2. Use a ball point needle size 90
    3. Use nylon thread
    4. Use much larger stitches than apparel
    5. Increase your bobbin tension

    Otherwise was easy!