Have you heard about weighted blankets? You probably have. They are all over the internet. They are very popular it seems and very helpful to many people.
I first heard about them a few years ago when asking for advice with my son’s sleeping habits. He would wake up almost every night. Some suggested a weighted blanket, but I decided it wasn’t for us. I didn’t quite believe that could solve the problem.
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Now, a couple years later, my four year old has been waking up every night and getting in bed with us. I am very frustrated because I don’t know why she’s waking up, so I don’t know how to fix it. Part of it I think is that she’s used to doing it, and part of it I think is because she likes the comfort of sleeping with someone.
But, last month, I decided I have had it. Something needs to change. She flails around all night, so I decided to make a weighted blanket so see if that would help her stay in her own bed and sleep through the night.
I want to share with you how I made my weighted blanket, so you can make your own. They are quite expensive if you buy them online, so this will save you some money. My total cost was about $50 for a toddler sized blanket.
Supplies you will need
Tools you’ll need
PVC pipe or dowel to push down the Poly Fil
Before buying the pellets, I had to figure out how much weight I needed. Everything I read online said they should be 10% the person’s weight, plus 1-2lbs. My daughter is about 40lbs, so I bought 5lbs of pellets, and then the fabric and poly fil would add a little more. The final weight for this blankets is about 6lbs.
Weighted Blanket step by step tutorial
Step 1. Determine the size of your blanket. My daughter is 4 and I wanted it to last her a couple years, so I measured her 6 year old brother and made it big enough for him. So my fabric is cut to 44” x 33”.
Step 2. Determine how big you want your squares. I made mine 3” x 3”. I wouldn’t go any smaller than that. Otherwise they will be too hard to fill. And figure out how many squares there will be in total. I took 42”(44”-2” for seam allowance) divided by 3” for the width of the square to get 14 across. Then 31” (33” – 2” for seam allowance) divided by 3” equals 11 squares. Then calculate 14 x 11 = 154 squares total.
Step 3. Determine how much weight you’re going to put in each square. To do that, turn your pounds into ounces. 5lbs divided by 16oz equals 80oz. So now I take the weight of the beads, which is 80oz, and divide that by the number of squares, 154, and I got .5 oz per square.
Step 4. We are ready to start our project now. Cut your fabric to the size you determined.
Step 5. Place your fabric pieces right sides together and pin them together.
Step 6. Sew 2 long sides and 1 short side shut with a ⅜” seam allowance, leaving the fourth side open.
Step 7. Trim the corners, turn the blanket right side out, and iron the edges. Also, on the open end, fold the ends of the fabric inside a ½” and press. This will make it easier at the end to sew the blanket shut.
Step 8. Top stitch the edges of the three sides you sewed shut.
Step 9. Now we need to sew columns in the width of the squares you decided on. In my case, I’m going to sew straight lines that are three inches apart. And I will sew 13 lines to make 14 columns. Start your line at the bottom of the blanket where you have it sewn shut and sew up to the top of the blanket, where it’s open. Don’t sew all the way to the end. Stop sewing 1 ½ ” from the folded edge of your fabric. This will allow you to fold in the edge at the end and top stitch it shut.
Side note: I created a little tool that would make it easy to sew 3” apart all the way down the blanket. On the back of my sewing foot post, there is this little hole that fits a bar. I didn’t have a bar that came with my sewing machine, so I made one with a wire hanger. I cut a piece off that measured 6 ½”. From one end, I measured 3 ½ ” and bent it at a 90 degree angle. Then from that bent edge, I measured another 2” and bent that til it looked like a hook. Afterwards, I stuck the long end in the hole behind my post so the bent part sits flat on my project. I made sure the bar sat 3” from my needle. This made sewing 3” from the last stitch very easy.
Step 10. Now that you have your columns sewn, you want to mark your rows ahead of time. Use a ruler and fabric marker. In my case, I measured 3” above the bottom seam and marked in each column a little mark I can use as a guide when sewing it shut later. Then measure 3” from that marking and make the next set of marks. Continue up the whole blanket til you have made all your marks.
Step 11. Now we are going to start adding beads and poly-fil. Measure your beads and pour them into each column and make sure they all go down to the bottom. In my case, I measured .5 oz (or 16g) for each column. I chose to measure in grams to get a little more precise.
Step 12. Determine how much poly-fil you want for each square and add it. I used a palm sized amount. I then took a piece of pvc pipe that was long enough to fit all the way down my blanket, and I partly stuffed the poly-fil into one end. Then stick that end all the way down a column, pinch the poly-fil through the fabric to get a hold of the Poly-fil and pull the pvc pipe out. Here are some pictures to help illustrate.
Step 13. Once you have all the beads and poly-fil in each column, put a pin in the middle of each column, below the line you are going to sew, to hold everything in place while you sew.
Step 14. Sew all the way across to close each of those squares you just filled. Sew along the markings you made earlier (the blue lines in the picture above). Take out all the pins you used to hold the beads out of the way.
Step 15. Repeat steps 11-14 for each row you fill, except for the very last row.
Step 16. For the last row, fill each square with the beads and poly-fill. Before sewing it shut, you need to fold the open end of the blanket inside a ½” inch where you pressed it earlier, and pin or clip it all in place.
Step 17. Now sew the very edge shut. Don’t take the pins out quite yet. Remember when we sewed the column lines, we didn’t sew them all the way to the top of the blanket?
Step 18. Close each of those gaps by sewing them all the way to the end now. And you’re done making your very own weighted blanket!
Great Job! Your weighted blanket is all done! I know that took a long time. It’s a little tedious to fill all those columns and sew them shut one by one. I did a few each day, to space it out a little. Now give it to your child who has been watching you sew it and can’t wait to try it out. I hope it will be beneficial to them.