15-Minute $3 Scarves

Three color polar fleece scarf, 15 minutes to make


scarfWhat you’ll need:

  • 1 yard total of polar fleece (1/3 yard of 3 colors)
  • a working sewing machine with thread
  • the ability to sew in a relatively straight line
  • sharp scissors

Polar fleece is on sale pretty regularly for around $6/yard. You only need 1/3 yard each of three colors of polar fleece to make two scarves. This is beginning to sound like one of those dreaded story problems on my kids’ math homework.  Let me just translate it into Algebra for you: 1/3(A) + 1/3(B) +1/3(C) = 2 Scarves = $6.

A yard of fabric is 36 inches in length, by the width of the fabric (bolts are typically 44/45″ or 60″ wide). Polar fleece is 60″ wide, so these scarves will be 60″ long. Since we are using the 6 inch wide measurement, 1/3 yard = 12 inches, we will have enough fabric to make 2 identical scarves.

Okay, so now that you have your fabric, lay it out flat, neatly stack the three colors, and cut one layer at a time so that you have two 6 inch wide strips that are 60 inches long. You can measure your width as you go, or just “eyeball it” like I did.

Polar fleece comes folded, I squared up the fabric and cut on the fold, one piece at a time, using the previous piece as my guide.

Would you believe me if I told you that you are only ten minutes away from finishing your first scarf?

After cutting, I unfolded each piece, and stacked the three strips as neatly as possible. Don’t worry if they don’t all measure exactly 6 inches wide, you won’t notice in the finished project.

It’s time to sew that straight line. With the three strips stacked neatly, center your fabric under your needle. I used the left edge of the sewing machine as my guide, as my sewing platform extends only about three inches to the left of my presser foot (total luck there).

This photo was meant to show you how I centered the fabric under my presser foot. Don’t worry – I didn’t actually sew with my hand in such a dangerous position.

See how convenient the width was for using my machine as a guide to help me stay centered as I sewed?

Be sure to reinforce the first and last inch of your seam, by stitching forward and backward a few times as you start and finish your one long seam. Don’t worry too much if one of the three layers ends up longer than the others, you can easily trim off the excess, or just let it curl under and ignore it.

See how nicely the edges of the fabric curl? You may choose to leave them this way, or trim off.

On this scarf I trimmed off the ends of the longer layers. I was careful to leave some of the reinforced stitching so the scarf won’t start to unravel.

And now, you are on to the final step. Grab your scissors and start making cuts through all three layers at once, to create the fringed edges. I spaced each cut about as wide as my finger and stopped cutting about 1/4 inch from the seam. You can decide if you like a chunky or narrow fringe.

Use your sharp scissors to cut each side into fringe, stopping at least 1/4 inch from your center seam.

I prefer to cut the fringe strips approximately the width of my pointer finger. You can cut wider or more narrow to your liking.

When you’re done cutting, you’re done. Give your cutting hand a break before starting the second scarf. I like that this project has three distinct steps, and that between each step I could walk away and attend to more urgent matters, then pick up where I left off.

After making the first two, I went back to the store to buy more polar fleece in different colors, to make four more scarves. What easy and pleasing $3 gifts.

In the words of J.J. Fad: That’s it.

25 thoughts on “15-Minute $3 Scarves

  1. Hi Peggy, what a clever idea on the scarfs in school colors. love it. ty so much for sharing & details are loud & clear & so cute. I could just hear the sound of your voice. luv ya all.

  2. Love it for my Granddaughter, will use colours that go with her snowsuit. I love your tutorial, me thinks you have a good sense of humour.

  3. I love the idea, but I tried making one and its like the fleece still just lays flat to each other, what did I do wrong?

    • I too had trouble getting it to fluff up. Every time I put it on it would go flat again. I actually tied a knot in the upper layer(every other one) then the second layer(every other one) and it gave it the puffy look.

  4. What a great project and so simple (but I am in love with the background on this page!! I keep scrolling up and down to watch the fish ‘swim’) 🙂

  5. Thank you so much for this. Found this through Pinterest. Bought the fleece for $5.40 after taxes and my kids helped me make them in school colors for their teachers for Christmas gifts. My 6 year old and 4 year old helped cut and sew these. Will be so great to be able to tell their teacher they made them…and so affordable that we can throw in a small Target gift card too. Love this. Thanks for making it easy to follow and so easy to make!

    • Holly – I’m thrilled to hear this! My daughter loved giving these as teacher gifts, and decided to make herself one to match the teacher’s! Then we made another tiny version for her doll to wear. Good job encouraging your kids to take part in the joy of gift giving!

  6. I would think you would have 3 scarves. If you bought 1 yard of each of 3 fabrics (36 inches) and used 1/3 of a yard of each fabric (12 inches). 36/12 = 3. is there something I am missing?

  7. Thank you. I can’t wait to have my daughter make one of these for her teacher. I found fleece at Wal-Mart for $2.00 a yard. Super cheap and something her teacher can wear and think of her at the same time. I am going to use the scarf to tie a bow to a my daughter’s favorite book as an added gift

  8. Thanks for this tutorial. I bought the fleece on sale for 40% off at Hobby Lobby. My daughter and I are going to be making 6 of them for my gift exchange at work and for her female teachers. I wasn’t sure of the colors to use so I got Red, White and Green for Christmas. I just finished the 1st one and my daughter and husband love it.

  9. Thank you for this tutorial! It is totally awesome, I am going to try this one. I have one question for you, we only have two colors in our school colors so I was wondering if you or anyone has done it with two colors or if I just add white to our two colors?

    • Shannon – rather than using just two layers, I would attempt doubling up and doing four layers (two of each color) so that the scarf is fuller. Let me know if your machine can sew through 4 layers!

  10. Absolutely a great idea for crafts. I am planning to do these for the girls at my daughter’s frozen themed birthday party this month. Im thinking to have the girls cut their own layers into the width they want. This will be good for party activities and a favor all in one.

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