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Pioneer Momma
Pioneer Momma

Weighted Blanket Tutorial (How to make a weighted blanket)

Weighted Blanket Tutorial (how to make a weighted blanket) by PioneerMomma.comIf you have a child on the autism spectrum, one who has sensory issues, or maybe someone who has anxiety, a weighted blanket may have come up in your thoughts once or twice.  I had seen them around, and never really thought about how it could help Bubba, until relatively recently.

I started to realize that a weighted blanket might work when I saw that although he doesn’t like to wear clothes at home, he will sweat his face off using two or three blankets at night.  At first I didn’t understand, but it started to click after a while.  He says it “feels nice” and he feels “safe”.  Ok, so now I have to experiment.  After all, these things are running a couple hundred dollars online nowadays!

I tried laying something on him during a meltdown, or holding him with even pressure.  You know what?  Most of the time, it worked!  He was able to calm down so much faster, and for a longer amount of time.  It seems only rational to get him his very own weighted blanket!  Of course, by trying to get our family into being more self sufficient (and saving the hundreds in cost), I knew that I could figure out how to make one without too much trouble.

If you aren’t familiar with weighted blankets, here’s how they work:  the size and weight of the blanket and filling depend on the size and weight of your child.  The general rule is 8% of body weight, plus 1 or 2 pounds, to grow.  Remember, adults are different, so double check with your doctor before you go throwing the weight of 5 watermelons on your lap.  Your doctor or therapist should be able to give you a straight answer on the correct weight.

The blankets are generally filled with poly pellets, or those little plastic balls they use in stuffed toys.  The weight is evenly distributed via “pockets” throughout the blanket, providing a calming pressure effect.  It took a while to find some around here (and we haven’t even moved to the boonies, yet!), but I did manage exactly the right number of bags at Jo-Ann Fabrics.  This was helpful because I let Bubba pick out his fabric while we were already there.  I wanted to guide him toward relaxing or engaging patterns and colors, and at the same time, have him be a part of the process.  Now he will be that much more likely to use it!  He chose a fun cotton pattern, and I helped him pick out a nice flannel for the other side.  The whole sha-bang cost me about $60.  Which, in my opinion, is WAY more affordable than $200!

After you figure out the size blanket you need, you will want to grid out a pattern.  I did this on a simple sheet of paper, and it worked out to be six 6 inch columns by ten 5 inch rows.  Pretty simple, and I was able to grid it out with a pencil onto the fabric pieces, using a yardstick.

Turn the pieces wrong side out and sew three sides together.  Turn the whole thing right side out and secure the edges by sewing around them about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch from the edge.

Weighted Blanket Tutorial (how to make a weighted blanket) by

Following your grid lines, sew up the columns.  Fill each column with an equal amount of poly pellets, and fold the open edge over twice, ironing and sewing it into place.

Weighted Blanket Tutorial (how to make a weighted blanket) by

Oh, look! My ironing board matches the fabric!

Weighted Blanket Tutorial (how to make a weighted blanket) by

Little hands were helping to measure out the equal amounts of poly pellets in the columns. Plus he was just amazed and excited!

Lay out your blanket so you can gauge how much filling is going to be in each “pocket”.  Then sew along your row grid lines, securing the poly pellets into the separate sections.

Weighted Blanket Tutorial (how to make a weighted blanket) by

That’s it!  Bubba loves his, and I hope to make another one for a little boy we know.  I hope this tutorial helps you and wish you the best of luck making your own!  I’d love to see pictures of your final products on Instagram! :-)

**Disclaimer:  I do have to add that I am providing this tutorial based off of what I did for my son’s blanket.  I am in no way giving medical advice, and should you choose to follow any methods listed, you do so of your own accord and risk.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding the use of weighted blankets or anything else discussed, please feel free to ask your doctor or therapist.  Thank you!

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13 Responses to Weighted Blanket Tutorial (How to make a weighted blanket)

  • Thanks for the tutorial! I’ve been looking into them as well but just couldn’t make myself spend $250 on something that wouldn’t last verylong in the hands of a toddler :)

    • That’s what my problem was! Well mine isn’t a toddler, but he grows like superman, and I doubt any one size blanket would do much good for very long. Glad I could help! :-)

  • I went with a heavier quilt because I didn’t want to spend the money to try something that may or may not work for my little guy. I predict a trip to Jo-Anne’s in my near future!

    Found you through Wine’d Down Wednesday.

    • Using alternates first is a good idea to make sure that it would be useful in the first place. Considering it does take a little bit of money, it’s best to test first! Thanks for stopping by! :-)

  • I stopped by from Tuesday’s Table because I was fascinated by your project. I have a brother with autism and a son with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (which has many similar qualities as autism) so I was interested in seeing what you have done. I don’t sew, but my mother does, so maybe she and I can put together this project. Thanks so much for sharing this great idea to help people and save some money in the process! HUGS

    • So glad I could help! This would be an excellent project for y’all to work together on. And by having them pick out their fabrics, it makes it fun for everyone :-)

  • great tutorial my friend. Thank you for linking and sharing your sweet blog at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop ♥

  • Awesome! My son deals with sensory issues as well and I love this idea! I’ll be featuring you on Take It On Tuesday tomorrow! ~Kelly @ Eyes On The Source

  • I’ve been looking at websites that are selling lap blankets for $500 Australian plus postage, but it looks like my daughter would need one that would cost more like $750, and then there’s just a small chance this would make a difference for her. I would much rather try this out. Thanks for sharing. I think the flannel will make a difference too.

I love your comments! I read and appreciate every one!



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