The Snuggie: it could be yours for $19.95 (plus $7.95 shipping and handling), or you could make your own, customize it and spend considerably less.

Demand for a blanket with arms will undoubtedly increase as the weather get colder, the days get shorter and the heating bill gets larger, but if you’re prone to spending money on infomercial products then you should consider a DIY version. If you’re even a little bit crafty, you’ll find it’s ridiculously easy.

There are several patterns on the Internet that you can use to create your very own blanket with arms at a fraction of the price. The Sisson Family has an easy to follow PDF guide to creating your own “Snuglet.” Their pattern calls for three yards of polar fleece, which, depending on your fabric choice, will cost you anywhere from $3 to $6 a yard. Stay on the lookout for coupons and seasonal sales (a common occurrence at DIY stores). Bottom line: You can make your own Snuggie for less than half the price of purchasing one.

The added plus of making your own version of the Snuggie is that you can personalize it. While the brand name Snuggie comes in a limited assortment of colors, your local fabric store’s selection is the only limit to your creativity. Here are some ways to think outside of the Snuggie:

    Cheer on your favorite sports team. The school year is drawing nearer, so  it’s time for fall sports to rear their bitingly frigid head. Of course you want your team to make it all the way to the playoffs, but that means sitting outside for long hours (sometimes at night) in the freezing cold. You can do that in style by picking up appliqués of your team logo at their official merchandise Web site that can be ironed on to your blanket, or you can order generic ones here. You could even try finding a patterned fleece that has your team’s colors in it.

    Opt for a different fabric. Fleece is probably your best bet if you’re going for maximum warmth, but you can stand out from the crowd by using a flannel or a jersey as the main fabric or by using them as additional layers. Multi-layer blankets are also great because they can be used it for dual purposes: Celebrate the Steelers on one side and your alma mater on the other. An added note: A towel material would allow you to extend your outdoor pool time into early fall (if you're brave enough to try).

    Add pockets. Keep track of your remote control, your wallet and or even your keys by making a simple pocket on the front of your blanket or inside the sleeve. The easiest way to make a pocket? Cut a piece of fabric that has one inch added to every dimension of your desired pocket size. Next, sew the bottom of the pocket onto the blanket, leaving an inch of fabric on each end. Then, fold the pocket over and sew up the sides. Easy and practical.

    Choose colorful thread. Add a little personality to your Snuggie (and make the sewing job a bit easier) by using a colorful thread that compliments your fabric color. This way, the thread is meant to be seen and you won’t have to worry about hiding your work. Also remember that any mistakes you make in the sewing process just add personality to your blanket.

    If you’re not that into the Snuggie fad, consider the blanket with arms as an easy DIY present for your soccer-playing son or your college-bound daughter; it will be a heart- and body-warming gift.

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