Blankets are often described as something ‘comfortable’. But did you know that there really is a kind of blanket that is backed by science for its ability to bring comfort? In this How to Make A Weighted Blanket Tutorial, we will teach you how to make this!
How to Make A Weighted Blanket Tutorial
WHAT IS A WEIGHTED BLANKET?
From the word itself, a weighted blanket is simply a heavy blanket. The blanket is filled with weighted materials, like pellets and plastic. The weight of these materials brings a deep touch pressure (DTP) effect or a deep pressure stimulation (DPS) that can result in a serene and calming effect.
Insomnia and anxiety are illnesses that would often require medications to regulate. For a more natural alternative, one could try using a weighted blanket. You might think, “Huh?! How could a simple blanket help with these when it even needs years of therapies to alleviate?”
Well, the science behind this is the idea of being “held”. This basic human behavior is supported by clinical studies which says that touch stimulates points in the body that directs the brain to produce serotonin. Serotonin regulates the different brain functions. The more serotonin you have, the better your sleep and mood is!
Ready to start this stress relieving blanket? Continue below for instructions to make it!
LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE IN SEWING
Even though you will only be sewing simple straight lines for this project, it is still best suited for intermediate sewers because the weight of the blanket will need significant attention.
MATERIALS IN MAKING THE WEIGHTED BLANKET
Stuffing beads for the weight – Make sure to use plastic filler beads for this project in order for the blanket to be washable
Marking tool or tailor’s chalk
Sewing machine – Use a thick needle and make sure that your sewing space has extra space to help support the blanket’s weight as you make it.
MEASUREMENT OF THE BLANKET
Before you start doing the blanket, think about who will use it first – this will be the basis of your blanket’s size. Your weighted blanket doesn’t have to be quilt or comforter size… The main purpose of this blanket is to cover the person who will be using it.
Next step, decide and determine the sizing of the squares that are to be filled with the weighted stuffing. The approximate sizes for this are around 3 to 5 inches.
The cuts measurements have to be a multiple of the size of the squares, then add 4 inches. If you have decided make a 29 inches wide by 54 inches high blanket using 5 inch squares, use this formula 5 x 5 = 25 +4 for the width and this one for the height 5 x 10 = 50 + 4.
WEIGHT OF THE BLANKET
Usually, weighted blankets have to be about 10% of the weight of the user’s body. Though it depends on the preference of some; others might like it to be a little heavier. But, ideally, if you’re making it for a child with special needs, you need an approval to his/her occupational therapist to ascertain the best weight for their treatment. Same thing goes with adult patients, to defeat uncertainty, consult their therapist.
Once you’re certain about the absolute weight of the blanket, convert the weight to ounces then subtract the weight of the fabric. Finally, divide the result by the decided number of squares in the blanket. This is how we determine how much weight goes in each of the squares.
[Weight of the whole blanket (oz) – Weight of the fabric ONLY (oz)]/Number of squares
For the measurement of the weighted pellets to be accurate, make use of a kitchen scale to figure out the volume of the pellets needed in each square. One ounce is approximately 1/4 of a cup.
How To Make a Weighted Blanket Step by Step Instructions
Once decided on the material, measurement and weight of the blanket, it’s now time to start making your very own weighted blanket.
Step 1: Sew both the front and the back of the blanket together
Start with making 2″ marks from all sides of the project. Pick a side then measure and mark the square sizes you chose, starting from the 2″ mark.
Allow a 3/8 inch seam allowance as you sew the front and back pieces of the fabric with the right sides together. Sew the long sides first before the shorter side. Don’t forget to not sew the top!
Turn the blanket with the right side out. Open the seams. Do a topstitch 1/4 inches from the end, starting and ending near the open side. Then starting 2″ from the same open side, sew from one end to the other on the 2″ mark you made earlier from the fabric edge.
Lastly, sew along the long sides and the bottom. At the beginning and the end, do a backstitch. The grid of the weighted squares will be included in the inner topstitching.
Step 2: Sew the vertical channels in the blanket
On the lines that you’ve marked, start sewing all the vertical channels. Start at the closed bottom edge. Do a backstitch. Just over the line of the stitching that is around 2″ from the inner top stitch, start stitching. End it just a little above the top 2″ mark. Do a backstitch.
Step 3: Start filling the channels with the weighted beads
Weight the filler beads according to your earlier calculations. Fill each vertical channel with the beds then shake to bring down the beads to the bottom. Flannel fabrics tend to make this harder. No worries in having some beads sticking to the channels!
Step 4: Horizontally sew across the channels that are filled
Once most of the fillers are at the bottom, do a second check. Feel the fabric for stray beads and push them down too. Keep the beads in place and at a distance from the marked line by using pins to create a line of basting. This will help you avoid accidentally breaking your needle by sewing over one of the fillers.
On the marked line, sew a horizontal line. Just on top of the line of the stitching that is almost 2 inches from the inner start topstitching, start stitching. End it just over the inner topstitching on the other side. Don’t forget to do a backstitch at the beginning and the end too!
While sewing the blanket, make sure that you are supporting the weight. Not doing so will pull the blanket.
As you work your way through, always fondle along the marked line for any stray beads. Push them out of the way. If it seems to be stuck, pause your work. Continue only after you have removed the bead from under the presser foot.
Do this over and over until you have filled every vertical channel. Close the vertical channels by sewing horizontally.
Step 5: Make a topstitch on the open part of the blanket
When you finally reach the peak, sew close the last row of squares. In doing so, you would meet the inner topstitching line – overlapping even.
On the open side, fold the edges around 1/2 inches. On the part where the topstitch ended on the sides, start and end a topstitch 1/4 inches from the edge.
Making a weighted blanket from scratch may consume your time and effort… but think about those good night sleep that you’ll be having after! Also, think about your loved ones if you give this to them as a gift. A weighted blanket will play a big role in the daily lives of those people who needs it. These includes people who are having trouble sleeping. As well as kids or adults who require special needs and attention.
A blanket such as this is not only for snuggling and keeping you comfortable all night long. In the long run, it will help with autism, sensory processing disorder, anxiety and even depression symptoms. If you’re feeling these symptoms or know someone who suffers from these, make sure to recommend a weighted blanket for them. Better yet, make them one yourself.
Start waking up from a nice and comfortable sleep – create your own weighted blanket now!