Picnic Blanket Tutorial – 4th of July

how to make a waterproof picnic blanket

Hi Ribbon Retreat Readers!! It’s me again, Ashley, from Sweet Mama J’s Boutique.

With summer picnics and fireworks just around the corner, I have been thinking a lot about making a waterproof blanket that will be stylish and fun, and protect from wet grass at the same time!!

waterproof picnic blanket

Let’s gather our supplies and get started.

– 4th of July Picnic Blanket Tutorial –

picnic blanket tutorial supplies

1 yard Red Words fabric –Stars and Stripes by My Mind’s Eye for Riley Blake
3/4 yard Blue Dots fabric – Stars and Stripes by My Mind’s Eye for Riley Blake
3/4 yard Blue Plaid fabric – Stars and Stripes by My Mind’s Eye for Riley Blake
Fat Quarter Red Stars fabric – Stars and Stripes by My Mind’s Eye for Riley Blake
1 spool So Fine! thread – Midnight Harbor
4 feet – 7/8″ Stars Ribbon – Royal with White
1 Vinyl Tablecloth – 52″ X 70″
Fusible Web

Most of your supplies can be purchased at The Ribbon Retreat.
Make sure to check out our great selection! 🙂

1. Iron all fabric and cut the following measurements:

3 strips – Red Words – 9″ X width of fabric
2 strips – Blue Dots – 9″ X width of fabric
2 strips – Blue Plaid – 9″ X width of fabric
2 strips – Blue Dots – 2.5″ X width of fabric
4 strips – Blue Plaid – 2.5″ X width of fabric
4 – Red Stars – 5″ stars
8 – Red Stars – 3″ stars

Make sure to cut off the white selvage before sewing a seam so it doesn’t show.

2. Lay out your vinyl tablecloth.

Lay out the fabric cuts on top of the tablecloth to make sure that you have everything in the right order, and you are not missing any pieces. Remember to lay the pieces slightly overlapping to account for seam allowances. The tablecloth will be slightly larger than your finished quilted center.

lay out your pieces on the tablecloth

3. Apply fusible web to stars and attach to quilt pieces at your desired locations by following package directions.

applique your stars

4. It’s time to sew around all the attached appliques. I like to sew a straight line close to the edge, because I feel that as the edges come up and fray a little, it gives my stars a vintage appeal. If you would rather zig-zag stitch around your stars, that is fine too.

stitch around your star

5. Starting with 2 strips of your 9″ wide fabric strips, place them right sides together
and pin the side you would like the seam on (long edge.)

Sew along side using a 1/4″ seam. Remember to back-stitch on both ends.

place strips right sides together and sew

6. Iron seam open.

iron seam open

7. Take your next 9″ strip and pin it, right sides together, to the Red Words side of the panel you just made. Sew along edge using a 1/4″ seam. Iron seam open.

Sew on the next strip the same way

Repeat these steps until all 7 of your 9″ length strips are used.

You should end up with something like this.

Continue sewing until you've used all your strips

8. Take one of your 2.5″ strips of Blue Dots and pin, right sides together, to the Blue Plaid strip. Sew along edge using 1/4″ seam. Iron seam open.

Repeat for other 2.5″ strip of Blue Dots on the other 9″ Blue Plaid strip.

pin the edge fabric to the strips and sew.

9. Take 2 of your 2.5″ Blue Plaid strips and pin the short edges, right sides together. Sew along short edge using a 1/4″ seam. Iron seam open.

sew strips together

Repeat steps with other 2 of 2.5″ Blue Plaid strips.

You should now have 2 very long strips of 2.5″ Blue Plaid.

10. Mark the middle of the long edge of your big panel on both sides. I did this by folding my panel in half and using a chalk pencil to mark my fabric.

fold your top and mark the middle

11. Line up the seam of your 2.5″ Blue Plaid strip with the mark you just made along one side of the panel. Pin the strip in place along the side. Sew along edge using a 1/4″ seam. Trim excess blue plaid off each end lining up with the edge of the panel. Iron seam open.

Repeat steps on other side of the panel.

pin and sew the edge onto the main fabric

Enjoy what you have so far!! So cute!!

what it should look like so far

12. On a large flat surface, lay out your tablecloth, vinyl side facing up. Lay your panel so all edges are inside the tablecloth. You will have excess tablecloth at this point.

When you make sure everything is lined up and flat, pin your panel to the tablecloth, right sides together.

place table cloth and fabric right sides together

13. Along one of the short sides, mark the center of your panel.

14. Take your 4 feet of ribbon and cut in half, so you have 2 ribbons, 2 feet each. Seal all ends using your preferred method.

15. Line the ribbons up together and slide them in between your panel and tablecloth. Line them up with the center mark you just made and pin in place with just a little end sticking out. This will end up being your tie.

add ribbon tie

16. Using a 1/4″ seam, sew around the outside of the panel. MAKE SURE to leave an 8-10 inch section along one of the long sides. This will be the hole to turn your blanket inside out.

Also, when sewing, be mindful of the ribbon inside the blanket,
and make sure that it doesn’t accidentally get sewn into the side.

17. Trim the tablecloth to the same size as the panel.

sew together leaving hole to turn right side out

18. Being very careful, turn blanket right side out using the hole you left un-sewn.

19. Straighten out your fabric and tablecloth so that it lays flat with no big wrinkles.This took some time for me, as my panel kept sticking to the padding of the tablecloth. Just keep working with it and it will work.

smooth out wrinkles

20. Sew around the edge of the entire blanket. Remember when you get to the hole, to tuck edges in to make everything uniform.

Ta Da!

4th of july picnic blanket tutorial

As a bonus feature, when you are done with your day at the park or watching your fireworks, this blanket can just be rolled up, tied and set to go!

how to roll it up

roll it up when you're done

I absolutely LOVE the 4th of July, and this blanket has me all ready to go!
I’m so excited!!

picnic blanket rolled up

Thanks to The Ribbon Retreat for letting me share this fun post with you today.

Thank you Ashley!

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays too, and this tutorial has me almost giddy for it!

This blanket is perfect and couldn’t be any cuter!

Make sure to check out Sweet Mama J’s Boutique for lots of amazing bows.

If you loved the fabric, Stars and Stripes by My Mind’s Eye for Riley Blake,
check out more on The Ribbon Retreat.

If you have great tutorials and a fun idea you would like to share on The Ribbon Retreat Blog,
please submit a project.

Have a wonderful day!

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This entry was posted in 4th of July, Cozy Quilts & Blankets, Holiday & Seasonal. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.


  1. Posted May 8, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    What a great tutorial! Good job Ashley, this blanket is really cute!

  2. Posted May 8, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Great tutorial! And GREAT blanket—I love this idea for a bridal shower gift:)

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