A Warm Night In – The DIY Guide to a Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets have a great deal of benefits, not only for people on the autism spectrum, but for anyone with restless muscles, insomnia, ADHD, or a number of other sensory disorders. In fact, the top 8 uses for a weighted blanket is still one of my most popular posts! Weighted blankets can be made from a variety of materials to suit the individual, depending on the tactile sensitivity of the user or how it is being used. There are plenty of options for fabric I have heard about, felt and seen, but cotton and flannel seem to be the most popular choices. You can do one on each side if you want!
Weighted blankets may take some time to make, but they are definitely worth it! Since purchasing a weighted blanket can be expensive, you can save quite a bit of money making your own and you have the added benefit of customizing it. Like many of our crafts, this is a fun family project, since you have to go shopping for the fabric, weigh out the pellets, do some sewing, and assemble it all. Set aside some time together over a weekend to do this fun activity. Here’s how to get started.
Weighted blanket materials:
- 1 pound of white or clear smooth Quality Plastic Pellets per 10 pounds of weight for the user, plus one extra pound
- Fabric of your choice
- 2.5 yds. of fabric for the top of the blanket
- 2.5 yds. of fabric for the bottom of the blanket
- Measuring Tape
- A small scale
- Sewing machine
Assembling your Weighted Blanket:
- Determine the size. If your blanket is going to be portable, you will want to make it smaller than the one that goes on your bed. The materials above will make a blanket to fit a twin bed (40” x 76”). If you’re using a heftier fabric, you may wish to weigh it before beginning and add this weight into the total of your blanket.
- After you have your blanket size ready, place the fabrics right sides together.
- Measure two inches in on two of the long sides and one of the short sides, leaving one side open for adding your pellets.
- Sew on the lines, then turn the fabric inside out. Iron the edges so they are nice and crisp!
- Prepare for adding the plastic pellets.
- Measure out a grid for the remaining area of the blanket. Since we are taking off 4” from each side for an edge, we will have a weighted area of 36” x 72”.
- Divide the area into even squares, making as neat a grid as you can. If making 6” by 6” square, we will have a perfect six squares across and twelve squares up!
- Divide out all of the pellets into the right sized portions. To do that, just follow this handy formula:
Blanket weight in ounces/number of squares you have = number of ounces per square. Remember that 16 US oz. = 1 lb. You can have someone help you measure them out for you as you go!
- Sew along the vertical lines to make channels six inches apart from each other. This is where you are going to pour the pellets.
- Once all of the channels are ready, pour the proper amount of fill for each square into each of the six channels. Shake them a little so they settle to the bottom.
- Measure six inches from the bottom seam and sew a straight line across the fabric, sealing up that line of weighted squares.
- Repeat steps seven and eight until you have finished the last row of squares at the top.
- Fold in the two inches of fabric that are left over, then stitch that shut. This will seal up the top row of weighted squares, and you now have a personal, homemade blanket!
You can find full care instructions for your finished weighted blanket here.
We invite you to take a picture of your weighted blanket and share it with us on Facebook. There are dozens of other ways to do this project, some by using existing blankets, or purchasing inexpensive new ones. I suggest our pellets for weight so you can wash the blanket from time to time without worrying about mold or decay that comes from things like corn and beans. Let’s get started by ordering your pellets!
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