Make your own weighted blanket

by Jean
(Chicago)

I'm an adult with SPD (not diagnosed yet, but I'm sure I have it) and I recently made my own weighted blanket.


What a difference some weight can make, I sleep like a baby now!!! I have absolutely NO sewing abilities and I'm currently unemployed and short on cash. So I made my own weighted blanket out of a regular down alternative blanket I found on clearance. Here's what you do:

1. Buy a blanket that is a "down alternative," use regular down and you'll have feathers everywhere. Make sure it is sewn with squares, not the long channels. For example: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=108745

2. Count the number of squares. I left a 2 square border all the way around the blanket. For a twin sized blanket it was 48 squares.

3. Buy heavy duty ziploc bags.

4. Buy velcro and extra strength fabric glue.

5. Divide the weight you want the blanket to be by the number of squares. For example: a 15 pound blanket, divided by 48 squares= .3 lbs per square.

6. Put the appropriate amount (I used a food scale) of material in each ziploc bag. There are a lot of different materials you can use-poly pellets, beans, rice, popcorn or sand. I used sand because it was the cheapest. 25 pound bag for $1.50 at the hardware store.

7. Cut one side of the seam for each square on the blanket you will put a bag in. In my case 48.

8. Measure the opening and cut that length of velcro for each square. Again for me 48.

9. Glue the velcro strips to the top and bottom of the opening.

10. Put in a ziploc bag full of material and secure the square with the velcro.

Once I had all the stuff it took me about 3 hours to make it. When I need to wash the blanket I'll just loosen the velco, take all the bags out and toss it in the washing machine.

Materials:
Blanket sewn in a square pattern
Sand, poly pellets, beans, rice or popcorn
Heavy duty Ziploc bags
Velcro
Extra strength fabric glue


I hope this helps :)

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Dec 02, 2016
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patches
by: Anonymous

I was thinking of using pellets and iron on patches to cover the holes. I wonder if this would be durable though!

Aug 15, 2016
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thank you!
by: Anonymous

I'm about to make this and I was wondering- do you also need to put velcro on the sand bag to keep it in place within the fabric square? Doesn't it bunch up or doesn't that matter?

Jan 15, 2016
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alternatives :)
by: Anonymous

Another alternative filler is buckwheat. It is natural, breathable, can be warmed and then inserted if you'd like. It can also be scented with a soothing essential oil if your LO responds to that and isnt sensitive to scents. I have a warmable beck wrap made with buckwheat and lavender and plan on making my son a weighted blanket with those items. Thanks for the tips everyone! I like the idea of using mesh bags instead of plastic - less crinkly noise. :)

Jan 11, 2015
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weighted quilts
by: Anonymous

I sew and quilt but you post gave me some great ideas on how to make a weighted blanket for my grandson. I plan to experiment with it ... I have been looking for plastic beads ( safe for kids used in toys and stuffed animals) My latest quilt idea is a jean quilt made is folded squares. He out grew his first weighted blanket we bought ... so got to get sewing.

Aug 09, 2013
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washing?
by: Wendy

Does your washer and dryer need to be heavy duty to handle a 7-10 pound blanket?

Nov 15, 2012
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concern over heat retention
by: Anonymous

My only comment is about the plastic ziploc bags-because they are non-breathable and don't absorb heat/moisture, the person using the blanket is likely to become overheated-which creates its own set of problems. I use mesh or fabric bags from the craft store.

May 10, 2012
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Thank you!!!!!
by: Lauren

I want to thank you so much! My son has PDD, and the therapists would not lend us a blanket (as is required by the therapy program). We have a tight budget, and we both need sleep. This is a Godsent. Thanks again!!!

Oct 15, 2011
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Thank yoU!
by: Anonymous

Oh my goodness. Such a huge help! Thank you for taking the time to write down the instructions. I do not sew either, so velcro sounds great. Someone advised against sand...saying its harmful to breathe in. Is that true? Kids play in sand all day long...but i suppose sleeping with sand in a blanket every night causes much more exposure. Thank you for all your help!!!!!
My 4 yr old son is not diagnosed with anything, but he has mild sensory issues. If a tiny drop of water gets on him he hates it and has to change all his clothes, tags on clothes, denim pants, etc. He is completely "normal" other than those sensory issues. I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier...he only slept when swaddled as a baby. Thanks so much!!!

Oct 15, 2011
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saved $
by: Anonymous

thanks for the good idea. helped us a lot and saves money when you have some of the materials around home. thanks again!

Oct 03, 2011
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cost?
by: Anonymous

Thank you for this site! How much would you say it costs to make a child size blanket?

Apr 05, 2011
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Use poly pellets for your blanket
by: Kathleen

Hi, I'm a big supporter of the use of weighted blankets for so many reasons. It's great to see people figuring out how to make their own blankets.

I have a recommendation however. If you use poly pellets for weight you will have a washable blanket and can skip the necessity of putting the material for weighting in zip lock bags. You don't need to buy velcro (which is expensive) because you won't need to remove the weight when you need to clean it.

I sell the poly pellets at a bulk rate on my site: www.craftpellets.com. This will be much less expensive than most other places. They are made in the USA and are FDA certified to be free of any hazardous chemicals. Check it out. I think you'll be pleased with the results.

Jan 23, 2011
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never use sand
by: shirley

Never use sand in your weighted blankets.
Sand contains silica and is very harmful when breathed in. Use only pellets or a cotton battings as these are breathable.

I made mine with cotton for the top and a snuggles fabric for the back along with 2 or 3 layers of batting. The snuggles fabric is similar to the minkie but more manageable as it slides less. The soft touch is so calming to these little people.

Jan 19, 2011
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Many thanks
by: Evolvingmom

I've been wanting to try this but haven't felt confident enough to start. Now I know just what I'll need and how to engineer it. THANKS for taking the time to share this post and for helping other families who want to do all they can for their ASD kids/family members.

Apr 05, 2010
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Be Careful on Pellets You Use
by: Anonymous

Be careful on the pellets you buy, some are recycled from things like old milk jugs and car batteries. We found that out the hard way. Make sure they have a high heat degree rating so they don't melt and are new and not recycled. After we made a blanket that turned out to be a disaster after we washed it, we bought one from DreamCatchers in Montana. It was the best thing we ever did for our daughter.

Apr 01, 2010
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Great online tutorial
by: Bob

There's a great tutorial on making a weighted blanket over at craft nectar http://craftnectar.com/2009/09/03/calming-the-senses-with-weighted-blankets

Mar 23, 2010
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Donna
by: Anonymous

Jean,
Finally someone with some great advice. I have been discouraged by the cost of a weighted blanket. I can't wait to make one for my son. Good old common sense doesn't have to cost a fortune. Thank you so much for sharing. It is very much appreciated.

Mar 18, 2010
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Craft Pellets to Make your Weighted Blanket Washable.
by: Anonymous

With other forms of filling, your weighted blanket may not be machine wash dry. Use craft pellets, which are cheap at www.craftpellets.com which will make your blanket machine wash and dry.

Jan 30, 2010
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Took your advise, blanket turned out GREAT!
by: Tracy S

My husband and I have been so discouraged about the costs of weighted blankets - then I came across Jean's advise on making our own blanket. We used a down-alternative blanket we already had, used ziploc freezer bags filled with salt and iron-on Velcro strips. Aside from going to the store for the Velcro ($14) and salt ($3) it only took my husband and I about an hour and a half to make the blanket. Our 5-year-old Christopher loves it! Now I'm going to look for something smaller to make a weighted lap blanket for him for school. Thanks so much for sharing your idea!

Apr 29, 2009
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Weighted Blanket Pattern
by: Anonymous

Sand seems to be a terrible thing to weight a blanket with from what I've read. I want to wash my blanket and have found through research that the best weighted blankets are made with multiple fabrics and weighted with high grade poly pellets. I would make one if I thought it would be cost effective, but after researching will leave it to the experts.

Nov 18, 2008
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Great!
by: Anonymous

Thank you!!! This is so simple, easy and I love that it is washable.

I made my son a blanket several years ago. Unfortunately it was devoured by RATS!! I made the mistake of filling it with corn feed. I will make him a new one for the holidays using your idea...and of course..SAND!


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