Eighteen blankets have been increasingly fashionable over the past year. The relaxing properties of weighted blankets, which include better sleep and reduced blood pressure, are maintaining their popularity high and dominating store sales.
Weighted blankets can be quite helpful, but they can also be rather pricey, costing anywhere from $100 to $400.
Insomnia affects a record number of Americans, and 1 in 59 children exhibit autistic spectrum disorder symptoms; consequently, many families would like to purchase a weighted blanket but cannot due to financial constraints.
In this article, we will provide a detailed instruction on how to make your own weighted blanket, but first, let’s discuss the benefits of doing so.
Numerous studies have shown that using a weighted blanket can help with a variety of issues (for example, insomnia and anxiety) (source: Forbes), but these advantages can be traced back to the blanket’s Deep Touch Pressure (DTP). In order to signal the brain that it’s time to relax, the nervous system provides a number of Deep Touch Pressure points all throughout the body. Any kind of touch, even the lightest, can have a calming effect on the nervous system. Better sleep and an overall sense of relaxation are the results of increased production of serotonin, which is facilitated by this calming impact.
Creating your own weighted blanket at home is a great way to save money, as well as learn more about the product.
What are Weighted Blankets?
A weighted blanket is a blanket with added weight, as the name implies. The best weighted blankets feature little weighted objects sewed into the inside lining to spread the weight uniformly.
Glass beads and steel shot beads are the most frequent types of weighted blanket filler. Rice, lentils, and even dried pasta are also viable alternatives. The filler is placed in pockets sewn into the blanket to ensure even weight distribution.
How to Make a Weighted Blanket – DIY Style?
Everyone with the necessary materials and some time may construct their own weighted blanket by following the procedures outlined below; there is no need for any specialized knowledge or training.
The next stage, if a weighted blanket is the best option for helping to treat insomnia due to any of the aforementioned difficulties, is to figure out what kind of materials are needed and how big the blanket has to be.
Before deciding on blanket dimensions, it’s important to think about who will be using them.
Making a blanket to fit a specific bed size is not something we suggest doing. An 8-year-old autistic child sleeping in a twin-sized bed would not necessarily benefit from a weighted blanket designed for a twin bed; what’s important is that the blanket be the right size for the youngster.
As a general rule, a blanket should cover a person from the chin to the bottom of their feet. Extra blankets dangling down the ends of the bed are not only wasteful, but can also be uncomfortable and hard to readjust for sleeping children and adults.
When trying to get some shut-eye, a blanket that reaches from your chin to your heels is ideal. This way, the weighted blanket may apply pressure to all of the body’s Deep Touch Pressure points (save for the face) without obstructing the user’s view.
Covering simply the upper or lower body may alleviate additional symptoms, such as those associated with ADHD or Restless Leg Syndrome. The length from your chin to your heel will give you the appropriate width for these throws. You can fold it in half and use it as a blanket to throw over your shoulders or to cover your legs when you need to become a little chilly.
Once the length has been established, the required mass may be calculated. Ten percent of body weight plus one or two pounds is a fair ballpark figure to use.
It cannot be emphasized enough that this is only a suggestion, and that the actual usefulness of the weights will depend on the specific requirements of the individual. After all, a weighted blanket’s intended purpose is to promote soothing ease, so if it causes discomfort, it defeats the purpose.
Consider how a person reacts to varying degrees of pressure, not just touch. Ten percent of body weight plus one or two pounds may be a decent starting point for someone who finds compression clothes comforting or who frequently holds the body with the arms to self-soothe in overstimulating settings.
Selecting Weighted Blanket Materials
Many different materials can be used to create high-quality weighted blankets. Finding the perfect fabric and filler for a new blanket is easy because of the wide selection of supplies available at any craft or fabric store.
Since many people with autism use weighted blankets to help with their sensory issues, it’s important to pick the right material. A weighted blanket made of fleece, for instance, would be ineffective in soothing someone who has a sensory sensitivity to the material.
Check out our article on the top cooling blankets if you need some ideas for year-round comfort.
Plastic Poly Pellets and Other Fillers
There are a few different choices available when deciding on the best filler.
First, consider weight per unit and price per unit. Organic material, like rice or beans, will be very cheap, but much lighter, thus more of it will be needed to achieve the appropriate weight.
Think about the unit weight and cost first. Organic material, like rice or beans, will be very cheap, but it will also be much lighter, therefore more of it will be required to achieve the target weight.
How to Sew a Weighted Blanket
It’s time to start manufacturing the weighted blanket once the desired dimensions, total weight, and fabric have all been selected. The cloth should be washed and dried before any measuring or cutting is done.
There is no way to get an accurate measurement before laundering if the fabric will shrink after being washed and dried.
Step by Step Instructions For Creating your Own DIY Weighted Blanket
Step 1: Gather the Materials
You will need:
- The filler could be poly pellets or something else.
- Dressmaker’s chalk
- Roll of measuring tape
- Scales, cups, and spoons are all useful tools in the kitchen.
- The Sewing Machine
Our blanket is made of plastic poly pellets, which are both long-lasting and inexpensive. You can buy a 14-pound bag from Amazon or another online retailer.
We bought a 14-pound bag to make a 13-pound blanket for a 130-pound adult. Since creating weighted blankets can be messy, and some of the filler is bound to get spilled and lost in the process, we advise purchasing at least one pound of filler in excess.
Step 2: Measure the Fabric
In order to cover a person from head to toe, our blanket will need to be 58 inches in length. To adequately wrap around the body, the width needs to be 26 inches.
Allow one inch of extra fabric on all sides for sewing the binding on. There will be plenty of material for this blanket because we bought 5 yards of this cute Heavenly Plush Owl fleece. Simply stack two identically sized fabric squares together to create the desired effect.
Step 3: Make a Grid with Chalk
Each column throughout the length of the blanket will be marked every four inches with tailor’s chalk and a measuring tape (after allowing for the one-inch margin).
Then, draw lines every four inches across the vertical rows to indicate the horizontal rows (still allowing for the one-inch margin). A grid of four-inch squares should cover the entire fabric after you’ve completed marking the rows. The pellets will be stored here in these compartments.
Step 4: Start Stitching
As soon as the grid is complete, the sides and bottom of the blanket should be stitched together. After that, begin stitching along the designated vertical lines running the length of the blanket.
When you’re done sewing up the vertical columns and the remaining three sides, you should be left with lengthy rows of open pockets. Time to start stuffing things in.
Step 5: Fill the Blanket with Weight
The hardest aspect may be evenly dispersing the weight while stuffing the blanket. Put those math abilities you learned in fourth grade to good use. We anticipated having two squares of four inches each when we were done crocheting our blanket. Similarly, we were aware that a 13-pound blanket would be necessary.
To accomplish this, we divided the total number of pounds by the total number of squares. About 10.4 ounces per square yard.
If you don’t have a kitchen scale, you can convert pounds to ounces and use a spoon or measuring cup to get the proper amount of filler.
One pound is equal to sixteen ounces. Multiply the number of pounds by 16 to get the number of ounces per square foot (1316=208), then divide by the number of squares (20208=10.4).
After spooning the filler into the rows, make sure it reaches the blanket’s hem.
Next, on that first horizontal row of the grid, stitch across the blanket. The first row of squares will be sealed off, preventing the pellets from shifting about.
Once a row is closed, repeat this process until the entire blanket is made up of equal squares.
The DIY weighted blanket you just made is complete.
How to Make a Washable Weighted Blanket?
At some point, the need to clean up will become apparent. Depending on the weight and the type of filler used, many weighted blankets can be washed and dried.
Fillers like rice, beans, and grains won’t last long in water, so keep that in mind. They can become swollen, moldy, and unusable if exposed to moisture. Alternatively, glass beads and plastic pellets can be safely washed and dried.
However, if the blanket is very large, you may want to consider washing it at a laundromat with machines that can handle heavier loads.
A blanket should not weigh more than 20 pounds because it could damage a standard washing machine.
It’s best to spot clean the blanket as needed to get rid of stains and let it dry naturally if feasible. At least four times a year, the entire blanket will require a thorough washing (more if it is used more than a few times a week).
Also, take advantage of bright days to let it air out. The sun’s ultraviolet rays eliminate germs naturally, and a blanket dried in the sun won’t go stale or lose its shape.
Here you can find a comprehensive guide to the care and cleaning of weighted blankets.
Other Considerations for your Handmade Weighted Blanket
Although weighted blankets have been shown to be effective in treating several medical conditions, including sleeplessness, they should not be used on infants. A weighted blanket should never be used on a child under the age of 2.
Some parents or caregivers may consider using a tiny weighted blanket to soothe a fussy baby to sleep if they find that swaddling and snuggling are ineffective. Because infants’ bodies are not yet mature enough to tolerate sustained pressure, this poses a serious risk of injury or even death.
Keep in mind that custom-made weighted blankets have the greatest impact. Therefore, unless members of the same household are quite similar in size, it is not recommended that they share a weighted blanket.
There is no one in the family who would benefit from using a 15-pound weighted blanket. The effectiveness of a weighted blanket depends on the person using it and their size and weight.
The ease with which one can create a weighted blanket, we hope, will now be apparent to anyone wondering about this.
In this day and age of do-it-yourself crafts inspired by Pinterest, a homemade weighted blanket can be an affordable way to get the therapeutic advantages of Deep Touch Pressure. Find the correct stuffing and cloth by doing some research. Wrap yourself in your new weighted blanket made from the highest quality materials possible.