DIY – Thinning Down A Poofy Scarf


Last fall I fell so in love with this scarf, I picked it up in both colors (off-white & navy). It’s a super soft, gauzy, 100% wool in a simple check print that goes with everything. Sold! There was just one problem…it was too wide, so that no matter how much I folded, twisted or wrapped, it always looked too poofy on my petite frame (I don’t look good in an oversized blanket scarf unfortunately, even though I love them, like this one…but I just have to tell myself, “no!”). There was just too much fabric, and it quickly overwhelmed me anytime I tried to wear it. The obvious solution was to cut out some of the width, and it took this long for me to grow the nerve to actually take a pair of scissors to these beautiful scarves.


The weave is loose and gauzy, so I didn’t want to sew a hem (seemed like a difficult job), so I picked up a bottle of Fray Check to protect the cut end from unraveling. Fray Check is a launder and dry clean safe fabric glue specifically marketed to prevent fraying and unraveling, which seemed like the perfect and easy solution for this project.


This turned out to be a pretty easy DIY:

  • I folded the scarf in half length-wise to identify the center.
  • I took a sharp pair of fabric scissors and carefully snipped the scarf in half.
  • I ran a light layer of Fray Check along the freshly cut edge and let it dry fully.



I placed plastic bags beneath the scarf for applying the Fray Check so nothing would accidentally stick. The dried Fray Check feels a little crunchy until you scrunch it up a bit. I just twisted and scrunched the scarf in my hands a few times, which helped get rid of some of the crunch.

Much better!



Pretty easy, right? And now I have a second set of scarves to share with a friend. ;)

Anyone know of any other good uses/projects for Fray Check (this is my first time using it)? I’d love to hear them!


items in this post // Banana Republic scarf (old) (similar & similar) // Banana Republic shirt // iNDI denim jeans (old) // J.Crew shoes (old) // Linea Pelle belt (c/o)

Join the Conversation


  1. says: Kathryn T

    I’m definitely going to try this — I’ve got a couple of scarves I just about gave up on wearing!

  2. says: Susan M

    I feel in love with blanket scarves over the winter and although I purchased a couple, I found that I never wore them, due to the volume overwhelming my smaller frame. I finally bit the bullet and cut the scarves in half and removed a few rows of the yarn/thread along the cut edge to fray the edge (the same as the original edge). It ended up working out perfectly for me and found that I wore the scarves all of the time after eliminating all of the bulkiness!
    I’m definitely going to have to try your method with the thinner scarves that I have (and haven’t worn).

    1. says: Alterations Needed

      I’m right there with ya with the love for blanket scarves! Wish I could pull them off! Glad you were able to cut your scarves down and actually get some wear out of them! I’m looking forward to finally wearing mine now that I actually got brave enough to do something about them. =)

  3. says: Cher

    I love the “poofy” scarf look, but maybe this more has to do with the fact that I come from a much cooler climate, poofy=warm. The thinning out is a great idea though, but I don’t think I’d have the courage to cut! Even when I’m sewing something together or just simple hemming, I dread using the scissors, probably due to fear of regret. Great post, Kelly!

    1. says: Alterations Needed

      Thanks Cher! I love the poofy scarf look too, it looks so cozy! I’ve just resigned myself to the fact I can’t pull it off. I have a theory it might have something to do with having a small face and really thin hair, because I’ve definitely seen petites pull it off flawlessly! Oh well…thinner scarves for me… =P

      And I know just what you mean! It took me all fall/winter of sadly watching these scarves go unworn to finally get brave enough to chop them up. So scary!

  4. says: Karen

    I own this exact same scarf and haven’t been wearing it because it’s too bulky. I haven’t cut it for fear of failure. But I’m not wearing it now, so what do I have to lose? Thanks for the article. You have encouraged me.

  5. says: Pam

    Great idea. This is the easiest alteration ever and it’s no-sew. I never thought of using Fray Check on the edges of scarves. Thanks for this post.

  6. says: Cindy

    Cool! What would be the ideal width for a scarf for a petite? Some scarves are wider, some are narrower. It would be nice if you can share the maximum and the minimum width of a scarf that works for you so far. Thanks.

    1. Hi Cindy! That’s kinda hard to say because I know petites who can rock oversized styles and others who look overwhelmed. There’s really no rules, just a personal preference. That said, I’ve observed having average to wide shoulders and long, thick hair helps a wider/oversized scarf look good on a small frame, while narrow shoulders and shorter/thinner hair can make them harder to wear. I’m of the latter, so I prefer a thinner scarf on my frame. Best of luck!

  7. says: Chris

    I’m 5’, petite and just cut my 16” wide x 65” flannel plaid scarf, gift from dear daughter. Wore it once last year and felt smothered. It’s now 8” wide which is perfect for me. I didn’t cut the length and once doubled, the 65” length is fine. I will re-gift the other half to daughter, also petite. I have two blanket scarves that are not square, but a wider and I think they will still be too wide cut in half. Maybe cut into three sections. Just not sure and hesitate to make the cut on them.

  8. says: Olga Lentine

    This is amazing. Are there any maeials his wouldn’t work with? Looking for a pencil thin plaid flannel for my daughter and hav only found very wide patterns.

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