This easy, low-sew men’s DIY flannel scarf – an Old Navy knockoff – uses only a straight stitch and comes in at under $1.50 each!
So, you know how hard it is to figure out a handmade gift for boys and men that they will actually use? It’s an ongoing issue with me, which is why I’m happy to be able to share this easy scarf tutorial with you today that the guys in your family will really like!
There are so many options, it seems, for girls (boot toppers, clip photo boards, thrifted burlap jewelry boards, etc.) with just a few for guys (flax seed warmers, bulletin boards) that I find myself falling back to the gift card for the males in our family.
There are two problems with this for me:
- Inequality – I don’t want to always make the girls feel like I’m shortchanging them (though it’s really the kids and teens that I think care about this)
- It’s hard to save money on gift cards like you can on homemade gifts. You might save a bit by buying a group of gift cards, but basically a $10-15 card will cost you just that.
And that’s where this easy, low-sew diy flannel scarf comes in – it looks like it cost more, and it’s very similar to what stores like Old Navy and Gap are selling for men, but it costs less than – are you ready for this? – $1.50 to make. Honest – mine cost $1.44 each (and I didn’t even get the best deal) and didn’t take much time at all (especially because I did most of it while watching a movie)! And everyone loved them. And that’s the best deal of all.
I was inspired after seeing this article about making blanket scarves (which I did make for myself and a few other girls) and seeing the scarves Old Navy offered in their men’s section, which were narrower at 12 inches wide.
However, what I found with the true ‘no-sew’ scarves, though, is that they did ravel at the ends after washing and it did not look good. At least the flannel I bought did. Since I knew men were not going to do more than just throw them in the wash, I wanted them to be as easy-care as possible, so I ran a simple straight stitch all around the edges before fraying them. This ensures that the fringe will remain the same through washing and drying. So you do need a machine to do the stitch, but it’s super easy -especially because the plaid has built-in lines you follow.
How to make a low-sew Men’s DIY Flannel Scarf
Materials (will make 3 scarves)
- 2 yards of 44″ wide plaid flannel shirting, pre-washed (I purchased mine at JoAnn’s at 30% off)
- thread & sewing machine
- seam reaper or large needle
1. Cut the pre-washed 2-yd. piece of flannel into three long strips about 14″ wide. Tip: find a plaid line to cut on and follow it the whole way to create even widths. (You can cut them to be 12″ like the Old Navy inspiration scarves, but you’ll have extra strips left and I think the extra couple inches actually makes a nicer end-product.)
2. Take one of the strips, measure 1 to 1-1/2 inches in from the edge, choose one of the colored plaid lines and sew a simple straight stitch all the way around, measuring and re-choosing your plaid lines as needed on each edge. Tip: use a looser stitch for the smoothest outcome – about 3 on a scale of 0-5 – and lock the stitch at the beginning and ends by reversing a couple times.
3. After all your edges have a straight stitch, it’s time to create the frayed edges. Use the seam ripper – or a needle or something – to find the first threads on the edges to pull and start pulling them out. You’ll find that you’ll only be able to pull a few threads at a time and they may break – just keep at it and pull them out until you’ve got the fringe you want (either all the way to the straight stitch or just before it).
Tip: It’s easiest to do this while watching a TV show or something – then you don’t really think about it and it seems to go pretty fast.
Note: you may notice the scarf in the photo has long edges that are rolled-hemmed. I did this with the first scarf I made, but it made the edges bunch more and when I frayed all the edges I liked it better, which was easier anyway. If you are a seamstress, you can hem the long edges, if you prefer.
And that’s it. See? Really easy, even with a bit of sewing.
There are so many great plaid shirting color options, too, that’s it’s fun to pick the styles according to who you’re giving them too. I really like the way the tan plaid in the scarf pictured plays off my son’s hair and works as a neutral to go with so many of his clothes. Though I can bet you he’s not thinking about how the plaid coordinates with his hair, ha!
I hope this DIY flannel scarf gives you another do-able option for the men on your list!
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