Saturday, April 16, 2011

Weighted Blanket Tutorial

Finally! The long awaited weighted blanket tutorial.

Here are the materials needed for making your blanket. How much fabric and how many pounds of poly pellets depend on the size of your finished blanket. For this blanket I used:
2 1/2 yards of cotton fabric (top of blanket)
2 1/2 yards of muslin (inner fabric)
2 1/2 yards of flannel (back of blanket)
8 pounds of poly pellets
thread

Wash your fabric in hot water and dry in the dryer. Iron fabric after drying.

Figure out the size of the pockets that will hold your poly pellets. This blanket was for a twin sized bed, so my final measurements were 40"x72". I like to have 2" around the edge of the blanket for seam allowances and ease of sewing. This left the available area for the pockets at 36"x68". Each pocket will end up being 6"x6" except for the top and bottom rows. These pockets will be 6"x7". I am not great with math so here is the fantabulous way I use to figure out each blanket.
Draw your grid on the muslin.
Lay the top fabric right side down and then lay your muslin on top with your grid facing up. Smooth out the two fabrics and pin, pin, pin!
Sew across the bottom of your blanket and then sew the up the columns. I like to start from the bottom and sew my way to the top to help prevent puckers.
Calculate the weight of poly pellets required in each pocket. This blanket weighed 8 pounds. I have a digital scale that measures in ounces and grams. I usually measure in grams because the math is a lot easier! Eight pounds is 3,636 grams. Divide by 66 pockets and you come up with 55 grams of poly pellets per pocket.
Measure 55 grams of poly pellets and pour them into the first column. Do this 5 more times until all of your columns are full.
Sew across the row closing your poly pellets into the pocket. Be sure to push all the poly pellets away from your sewing foot and needle. It is not fun when your needle hits a poly pellet. Continue weighing, filling and sewing across the rows until you reach the top of the blanket.
Lay your flannel right side up and place the blanket top side down onto your flannel. Be sure to smooth out the flannel as your lay the top down. This will prevent puckers and wrinkles.
Pin around the edges of the blanket leaving about 9" open on the bottom. This will allow you to right side out the blanket after sewing. Sew around the entire blanket and don't forget to leave the opening!
Right side out the blanket paying special attention to the corners. Sometimes I use the back of a spoon to poke them out.
Pin or iron around the outer edge of the blanket.
Sew around the edge of the blanket making sure you close the opening at the bottom of the blanket.
Viola! Your weighted blanket is complete! Snuggle up and sleep well!
Feel free to e-mail me with any questions. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible!

Disclaimer: I am not an OT nor do I play one in the bloggy world. The standard formula for a weighted blanket is 10% of body weight plus 1 pound. Always check with your OT to determine the proper weight for your blanket.

57 comments:

MunyTree5 said...

I just wanted to thank you for having this tutorial posted. I am not new to the world of sewing and crafts but I am new to being a Memaw. My daughter-in-law mentioned to me about making this for Aiden and I said to myself What the heck is a weighted blanket. Well not only did you answer my question you have wonderful pictures and easy steps in order to make my grandson his very own special blanket. Thank you again. C.Green

Mama Pickles said...

I'm glad to have helped. I hope Aiden loves his new blanket!

Jen said...

I am new to sewing and I don't have all my materials yet so I can't envision this....so sorry for the stupid questions. I am with you until the part where the flannel gets attached. I am getting lost on photo 10 (the one that sows the gril w/ pins on top). Where am I sewing it together in photo 10... your finished blanket looks like its sewn together on the ends (obviously) but you also have a 1-2" border - that's what's messing me up - which gets done when. Told ya - dumb question but I don't sew (I just need to try since weighted blankets are too expensive).

Jen said...

opps... hard to type with kids... that should say "photo 10 (the one that shows the grid w/ pins on top)"

Mama Pickles said...

Jen- When I draw the grid I make the first column 2 inches, then I draw six columns that are 6 inches wide and then a final column that is 2 inches wide. I also do that with the rows- draw my top row 2 inches and then draw all the other rows at 6 inches. In the picture you are talking about there is only stitching on the left hand side of the border. If you have any other questions, feel free to e-mail me at 1squishypickle at gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Where did you find the pellets?

Mama Pickles said...

You can find them at Michael's or Hobby Lobby. They come in a 2 pound bag. I usually bought those with the 40% off coupon they have in the Sunday paper. I bet Joann Fabrics would have them as well. Once I started sewing blankets for people it was easier to buy them online in bulk quantities. Now I usually buy mine from www dot craftpellets dot com

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to have found your instruction; I am about to undertake making several for children in our early intervention program. I am concerned about making them so that they are easily laundered. Can this blanket be washed and dried? does the extra weight cause any additional problems? Many thanks,

Mama Pickles said...

My son's original blanket is over 2.5 years old and has been washed and dried countless times and has held up wonderfully. It was only 4 pounds. The fabric has faded a bit from being washed and loved so much. His current blanket is 8 pounds and the only problem I have when I wash it is it bunching up on one side of the drum when it spins. I have a top loader so then the machine knocks and shakes. I just readjust the blanket inside and turn the washer back on. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Emily said...

I thought I read that you make these for other people. Do you sell them yourself? I want to try a weighted blanket for my son that has sensory issues (he needs deep pressure and responds well to being tightly held) and I know I just do not have time to make one myself, anyway back to the point, how much do you charge for the blankets you make, that is if you sell them. Thanks!

Mama Pickles said...

Yes I do sew weighted blankets. Please email me at 1squishypickle @ gmail.com and I can give you all the details. I am working on opening an Etsy shop but it's not quite ready yet.

julielyn714 said...

Does the 2 1/2 yards of fabric take into consideration any shrinkage after it's washed in hot water? Or are your measurements done post-shrinkage?

Just curious if I might need to buy a little more than 2 1/2 yards.

Thanks!!

Mama Pickles said...

Yes, I do take shrinking into consideration. The 2 1/2 yards is my measurement before washing. Let me know if you have any other questions and happy sewing! :)

Anonymous said...

I am going to try to make this for my son this weekend, how long did it take you? Thank you so much for the tutorial!

Mama Pickles said...

I can get a twin sized blanket done in about 5 or 6 hours.

Anonymous said...

Do you have any Etzy shop open yet? I'd love to purchase a weighted blanket made with TLC. Thx- Jes in CA

Mama Pickles said...

No Etsy shop yet, but I am more than happy to sew one for you. All of the information can be found here http://thesquishypickles.blogspot.com/2012/01/still-no-etsy-shop-yet.html or email me at 1squishypickle at gmail.com

candle_link said...

My son's OT recommended that I make one a weighted blanket and use aquarium pebbles as the weight. What is your thought on using the aquarium pebbles vs. poly pellets?

Mama Pickles said...

I personally don't care for using aquarium gravel. I know it is cheaper than poly pellets, but then how do you wash it? I guess you could just make a duvet cover for the blanket and take the cover off and wash as needed. My son is still young and has accidents on occasion. I like to have the option of tossing the whole thing in the washing machine if necessary.

I have heard of people using popcorn or kidney beans, but again, kinda hard to put in the wash. I'd worry about bugs too. A blog I read the other day (sorry I can't recall where) used glass pebbles from a dollar store. Not sure how that would hold up in the wash either, but if my only options were gravel and glass pebbles, I think I would take the glass pebbles. The gravel might break down into dust over time.

I buy my poly pellets in bulk online, but if you have a Michaels or a Hobby Lobby by you, you can use a 40% off coupon to bring the price down to about $5.50 for a 2 pound bag. Hope I have helped you. Let me know if you have any other questions.

I love a child with autism. said...

Hello, My g'ma is making a blanket for my son and has measured everything out, but now after only two rows the thing weighs almost 5 lbs already and it should only weigh 4.8. She is wondering, do you have to factor in the weight of the material/fabric?

Mama Pickles said...

You can account for the weight of the fabric if you want, but I'm really not sure that the weight of the fabric would make the blanket 5 pounds after only two rows. Did you weigh it to know that it already is 5 pounds? It does feel heavier when it's all bunched up. How big is the finished blanket? How many squares will you be filling? What are you using to weight the blanket?

I love a child with autism. said...

He only needs 4.8 lbs. of polly filler pellets. His blanket is 36in by 42in, and the pattern she started with says to multiply that and then divide that # by 4 to get 108 squares in his blanket and he needs 72 ounces of pellets, which makes it .6 of an ounce per square. She weighed it and it already weighs like 5 lbs with two rows done. She double checked all the measurements.

I love a child with autism. said...

I'm back. :) She finished his blanket using the 5 pounds of poly pellets. Weighed it and it weighs almost 13 pounds. It was a soft flannel material.

Mama Pickles said...

I was just thinking of you today when I was sewing a blanket since I hadn't heard back from you. Then I realized that my last comment to you never posted. I apologize.

If you started with 5 pounds of poly pellets I am really stumped on how a blanket that small can end up at 13 pounds. The one I sewed today was filled with 8 pounds of poly pellets and weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces. It was a twin sized blanket made with 2 1/4 yard each of quilting cotton, flannel and muslin. Can you send me the link to the directions she used?

Sqpk2110 said...

Thank you for posting this. I'm using batting instead of muslin so the blanket will be a little cozier ;)

My question is about sewing up the final edge after turning the blanket right side out....what type of stitch do you recommend?

Mama Pickles said...

I just use a regular straigt stitch when sewing arou d the edges, but you could use a zig zig or a more decorative stitch if you'd like.

Anonymous said...

I love this tutorial... I have a son with autism and have been trying to find some things to make for him, and this would be great for him as he loves weighted things. thanks for posting. I can't wait to see more of what you have.

BigMomma said...

Thank you so much! I finished my little man's blanket this afternoon! It was my first independent sewing project...ever. It is not beautiful but it works. :-)

Elaine Beaumont said...

I am trying to ask a question, but cannot get my comment to post. Before typing it for a 3rd time, I am "testing" first to hopefully figure this out!!

Elaine Beaumont said...

Ok, my test worked so here I go!! My daughter-in-law sent me your blog on weighted blankets and thinks I can make one for my grandson. I have ready your instructions and need clarification before I can continue. I understand the muslin part and drawing the squares. I understand you need another fabric to sew the columns to fill. This is where I am confused. Do you use the solid flannel for that? So the are the sewn squares stitching just showing on the flannel and the muslin? Then the patterned fabric is only attached and sewn along the the edges? Hopefully you can understand what I am trying to say!!
Thanks, Grammy

Brian Petro said...

I am working with a website, and we would love to share your tutorial on our Facebook page about poly pellets. This is the link to our Facebook page, and this is the link to our <a href="http://www.qualitypolypellets.com/>website</a>. We sell poly pellets at a very good price, and are looking to spread the word.

Thank you for your help.

Mama Pickles said...

Sorry for the delay in getting back to everyone's comments. We were enjoying the peace and quiet in the middle of no where before school starts again!

Mama Pickles said...

BigMomma- I'm glad you were successful and I hope it helps your son!

Mama Pickles said...

Elaine- I sew the muslin to the cotton front of the blanket. The squares are visible on the cotton front. I attach the flannel to the back and no squares are visible. The only visible stitching is around the edges. I hope that helps you out. If not, you can email me at 1squishypickle @ gmail.com and I can help you out more.

Mama Pickles said...

Brian- I would love for you to share my tutorial on your Facebook page. Thanks for asking!

Reagan King said...

Thank you so much for posting this!! I just made my Aiden (8 years) one! He has sensory processing issues and is always seeking sensory input! He loves the blanket!!

Kathleen said...

My son loves his. He is still very little so I halfed the pattern to make him a small 4 pounds blanket. It was so easy. I had not sewed in years but this was so simple. Plus the cost was only 40.00 for the fabric and the polyfill pellets. Weight blankets are hard to buy for that price. My son got to pick the fabric which made it even more special. Thank you so much

Mama Pickles said...

Glad to hear it Kathleen! The prices in catalogs are outrageous, aren't they?

Jamie said...

I am so excited about making one of these blankets for my son who is 5 years old but I am thinking about adding a satin trim. Can you give advice on how you would do that? I have never actually used a sewing machine but am pretty crafty and think I could manage, it's just new to me.

Dani said...

I just wanted to say thank you for this tutorial. My husband bought me the materials for a weighted blanket for Christmas (I'm on the autism spectrum), and so far I've found your instructions easy to follow and quite useful.

I modified my blanket a bit; because I need sixteen pounds total, I'm making two eight-pound blankets out of muslin and putting them in a duvet cover. Still, this is an easier project than I expected. Thanks!

Susan Tucker said...

Love this blog. Like many, I'm a first time Grammie sewing a blanket for my darling grand-girl who has SID. Prices for buying readymade are AWFUL. Here's where I'm confused. After sewing the columns, isn't it easier to fill one row's worth, then sew the row closed? It would seem that if you fully fill each column then sew the rows closed it would be hard manage getting the pellets evenly distributed. Maybe I just misunderstood.

Mama Pickles said...

You are correct Susan. I fill the columns across and then sew one row shut. I continue on across the blanket until I come to the top. I would be rather tricky if you filled an entire column and then tried to make it into rows. :)

Anonymous said...

I am making a twin weighted blanket for my 5 year old Granddaughter. According to the formula the blanket should weigh 6 lbs. I just finished sewing the flannel and muslin and weighed before starting to add the poly pellets - it alone weighs 1 lb. and the blender fleece that I will use for the topper also weighs 1 lb. Should I decrease the pellets to 4 lbs so the total weight is 6 lbs? My fear is that since she is little, most of the weighted area will be on the bed, not on her, so should I make a crib size blanket that weighs 6 lbs? Sorry, this is all new to me, Grammiekayky

Mama Pickles said...

You could make a smaller blanket if you'd like. It all depends on how much pressure your granddaughter needs. If she is just using the blanket for sleeping I would leave it at 6 pounds or even more. Does she have an occupational therapist? My son's occupational therapist said it was ok for his blanket to weigh 8 pounds since like you said, a lot of it would be laying on the bed and not on top of him. If she is using the blanket to lay under to help her calm down when she is upset or overstimulated, then I would make a smaller blanket that weighs 6 pounds.

Jolene ! said...

i followed your tutorial and shortly after the blanket started being used, the whole grid system in the middle ripped out so when you pick up the blanket, all of the poly pellets fall to the bottom. any suggestions on fixing this?!

Jolene ! said...

nevermind, i figured out my problem! :)

gaidheallass said...

It is like a "thunder suit" that older children wear. It helps them feel safe and not so easily distracted or overwhelmed.

Kimberly Wiepz said...

Thank you soooooo much for this!!! I am an Early Childhood Special Education teacher and after I showed this tutorial to my mother-in-law, she was able to make 2 for my classroom as well as 2 personal ones for a couple of my students. There's no way we would've figured this out on our own and we saved so much money by making it ourselves. This tutorial is a life-saver! Thanks again!!!

Denis Skatkov said...

So today our son Mark had his first visit from him OT, and she suggested a weighted blanket, of course we didn't know what the heck it was, so we started googling, and finally landed here... Well we would like to thank you sooooooooooo much for your tutorial, am currently waiting for a sewing machine to arrive so we can make it and our little boy can finally get a nights sleep, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!

stefanie perez said...

I love this one of the best ones I have come across! I am a first time sewer and this is the very first thing EVER I am trying to do where I am lost are the pockets to be filled!! Do I fill them one at a time and close it up or do I make long colums and then go back and separate them HELP LOL THANKS!

Mama Pickles said...

I sew long columns from the top to the bottom of the blanket. Then I sew a line across the bottom of the blanket.Once that line is there, I go to the top of the blanket and pour how many ever ounces I calculated out for each square. Once I have filled each row, I sew across. Go back to the top, refill each column again and then sew it shut. Keep doing that until you get to the top of the blanket.

Teresa Link said...

How do you get the columns and rows so straight?

Crys Tyler said...

Hello,

Can't you just use a twin comforter and fill it with pellets? Would that work?

Caitlin said...

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. This tutorial was so simple... I made a poly pellet filled blanket for my niece with autism and I'm making a denim filled blanket (my son isn't keen on the feel of the pellets) for my little guy with sensory issues. <3

Anonymous said...

You are AWESOME!. My grandson needs one and sew my grandchildren a lot of blankets, now I can make one he and his brother really need. THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS.

Virginia Cashion said...

Just saw this tutorial -- any allergy issues with the poly pellets?

Lonna Speer said...

Other tips:
1. The post office has scales handy to get an exact weight. The fabric I use is very heavy, 2.5 pounds for a small blanket so I have to subtract for that.
2. I lay down one row of stitched across the columns, in the middle of the fabric, fill the columns on one side then the other. This cuts the amount of fabric bunched up in the sewing machine "throat" in half.
3. Use staples instead of pins; no more pokes.