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How to Make a Weighted Blanket

One of the trends in gift-giving this season is a weighted blanket. Not only do these blankets give the cuddly sensation of a hug, but they've proven to help with sleep. Initially, weighted blankets were for special needs children with sensory-processing disorders. The weight adds just a bit of relieving pressure. Then the weighted blanket trend blew up as people suffering from insomnia, or those wanted a little extra comfort in bed snatched them up as well! 

The great thing is that this how-to for a weighted blanket isn't just useful; it's straightforward. You can rely on a few straight lines, and you're set to go. 

Materials 

This blanket is quick and to the point:

  • Kitchen scale
  • Weighted stuffing – plastic polypropylene pellets, micro glass beads, dried beans, aquarium stones, or even grains. 
  • Chalk, marker, or other fabric marking tool
  • Ruler
  • Fabric scissors 
  • Pins – Sorry, no clips in this project 
  • Sewing machine
  • High-quality thread
  • Durable fabric 

Measurement and Planning Specifics 

Most measurements aren't the standard that you would find for a blanket. If you've done blanket projects before, expect to break a number of your habits on this one. A weighted blanket only needs to be large enough to cover the person that's using it. The larger blankets can run in the hundreds of dollars, primarily because you don't need a large size very often. 

Now, if you want to keep the blanket in your closet, break it out for guests, or to use throughout the home, then go ahead and use standard measurements or the exact measurements of your mattress. But, if you're making it for someone specifically, you might want to make it the size of a twin size comforter. 

How Much Should the Blanket Weigh? 

Outside of the blanket size, you'll need to measure out the weight. A weighted blanket shouldn't be more than 10% of your body weight. If the blanket is for a special needs child, then you need to speak with their occupational therapist to ensure that the weight is right for your child. 

It's always safest to put the weight cap on blankets at 10% of the user's body weight. It's not always wise experimenting with heavier blankets. 

To manage your blanket's weight, you'll need to weigh yourself or the person the blanket is for, and then find 10% of that weight. Then you should use a kitchen scale to determine how much to insert into each square of the blanket. 

For example, if an adult weighed 160-lbs and wanted a 16-lb blanket, you would divide your blanket into squares four wide and four across with each square holding 1-lb of filling. 

Steps for Making Your Weighted Blanket 

Finally, ready to get to sewing? Get the sewing machines ready and follow these very simple steps for creating a weighted blanket! There are options for using this same method with a patchwork quilt. Start by sewing the rows together as you develop squares of weighted beads. It’s up to you to decide which option you’re most comfortable with. 

Step One: Sew the Front and Backs Together

For the traditional method of creating a weighted blanket, you'll sew the front and back fabrics together around the edges. But, be sure to mark on your fabric 2-inches in from the sides and then mark out the squares that you'll create to hold the weighted beads. 

Sew these pieces with the right sides together using a 3/8-inch seam allowance leaving the top open. Then turn the blanket and topstitch along the three edges. Afterward, sew along your line marked at 2-inches from the ends. 

Step Two: Create Your Channels 

Starting from the closed bottom edge, you'll want to create the vertical channels. Essentially, you're creating "lanes" on your blanket highway. Sew vertically to create the beginnings of your different squares and the end the stitching just above the mark for the 2-inch marker for the open section of your blanket. 

Be careful not to allow your fabric to bunch during this step! 

Step Three: Fill with Weighted Beads

Scoop your weighed out stuffing beads and pour them into each channel. The scoops must be carefully weighed out, or you take the risk of making the blanket itself unsafe. Your scoops will be for the weight that should be in each square, not for the entire horizontal channel. Shake all the beads down to the bottom. 

Pin across your first row of successful squares and then complete this process until all of your squares are present with the correct weight in each square. The pins will act as your guide for your horizontal stitches. 

Step Four: Sew Horizontally 

When sewing across your channels horizontally, you want to make sure that you're not sewing over beads or pins! A bead, plastic or glass, can easily break a needle. When sewing, carefully feel ahead and push any beads out of the way. Finally, end your stitching when you hit the top-stitching that you did around the sides. 

During this step, you'll need to handle the blanket carefully, so it doesn’t pull while feeding through your sewing machine. 

Step Five: Top Stitch to Close Your Blanket

The most important aspect of this blanket is durable stitching to keep all those beads in the blanket where they belong. When sewing the last row of squares, you'll want to make sure that it meets the top-stitching you did around the sides, and it's best to overlap it a bit. 

Then, fold the edges of your open side inward by about 1/2-inch and then top-stitch to close with a 1/4-inch seam allowance from the edge. 

Keep These Tips in Mind

When you're to get working on your project, you might want to keep a few of these other tips in mind. First, it's probably best to use reliable and thick needles; ideally, one made for denim. Then you will want to ensure that there's no pulling on the sewing machine. Finally, it is vital to top-stitch throughout this project rather than just at the end because of the weight of the materials. 

Once you’re ready to create your first weighted blanket, be sure to check out the products at GoldStar Tool to get all the tools you need to get started. If you can’t find what you are looking for, give us a call at 1-800-868-4419 and we will help you get it.