How to make an Easy Weighted Blanket

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In the process of formal therapy, weighted blankets have been used to calm anxiety, promote a feeling of calm and stimulate serotonin and dopamine. While weighted blankets haven’t been proven by the science community to help with disorders like ADHD or autism, many people that use them swear by their relaxing results. Lately, weighted blankets have grown in popularity, helping people sleep swaddled in a heavy hug. While they can be expensive to buy, weighted blankets are fun and fairly easy to make.

Supplies Needed:

  • 2 pieces of fabric, each enough for the size blanket you plan to make. While cotton and flannel are great choices and easy to manage, many people use Minky for the softness.
  • Washable, non-toxic poly pellets
  • Poly-Fil stuffing
  • Quilt binding to finish the edges
  • Clear ruler
  • Washable fabric pen
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread

Instructions:

Start by washing your fabric to prevent pulling and gathering from shrinkage.

Who will use the quilt?

There are some decisions to make before you even gather the needed parts. First, each weighted quilt is designed for a particular person. The materials used are based on the child or adult’s weight. There are so many different ways to weight a blanket, but to be able to wash and dry the quilt, it seems the best choice is virgin plastic pellets. To calculate how many pellets are needed to fill the blanket, you take 10-15% of the body weight of the person who will be using the quilt. For this project, I took 10% of a 60 pound child.

Pick the size of the quilt.

A homemade quilt can come in so many different sizes. A weighted blanket can cover a whole bed or be as simple as a lap quilt. There isn’t any right or wrong — just a little math involved to calculate how to spread your poly pellets evenly through the blanket. I used a pretty standard throw size — 50" x 65".

Math. Yes, I said Math.

I have to be honest. I don’t ‘math’. This wasn’t as scary as it seemed when I first sat down to figure out how to make a weighted blanket.

With a throw-sized quilt, I divided my area into 5" x 5" squares. That size allowed me to put the stuffing in with my hand where I wanted it and it divided evenly, which helped with the — you guessed it — math.

That resulted in 130, 5" x 5" squares on the area of the quilt.

Based on my child’s weight, I purchased 6 lb. of poly pellets. Three cups of poly pellets weighs one pound. All in all, I had 18 cups of poly pellets to divide into my squares.

I then converted to ounces. 18 x 16 = 288 ounces. I took 288 and divided my number of quilt squares (288 divided by 130). If I divided the pellets evenly through all the squares, I should have 2.21 ounces per square. If you can get a small-sized digital scale or one that is used for mail, they will have the capability to measure ounces. As you can see from the pictures, I may have done the ‘math’ a bit wrong the first time. However, a small scale can stop you from making this error!

That wasn’t so hard, was it?

Time to sew

Sew the quilt pieces together with the wrong sides facing, leaving one side open. The edges will be finished with the binding after the pellets and stuffing are added.

Measure and mark lines horizontally and vertically, making 5 inch squares across the quilt.

Sew the set of vertical lines. Start at the open end and sew down the marked line to the bottom. Do this for all of the lines in that vertical direction.

Time to stuff

Take enough poly pellets for one square. Pour it down the channel that was made by sewing the lines. Do that for each channel.

Then, add a handful of stuffing to the bottom of each of these channels. Shake the quilt to make sure that the poly pellets have settled to the bottom and sew the first horizontal line.

Repeat the process for the next set of squares, adding poly pellets to each of the vertical channels and stuffing with the Poly-Fil. Finish another row by sewing the horizontal line. Do this until all marked lines are stuffed and filled.

Finish it off

Now, the quilt can be closed and bound by whichever method you desire. The finished product will be snuggly and heavy, a comforting addition to any household.