How to Make A Weighted Blanket: Easy Steps For DIYers
Posted By Syju John on Dec 10, 2020
How to make a weighted blanket: We all love to have a security blanket. It can be the ‘blanky’ from our childhood or our comfortable fleece ones that instil a sense of warmth as we snuggle in it. However, the new and improved weighted blankets are the real ‘security blankets’ recommended by therapists and counsellors to help people sleep better.
With a recording-breaking number of Americans who have insomnia and other psychological issues, including children, families all across the country are looking for ways to get their hands on these weighted blankets.
For those who love to DIY their favorite things, here’s a way to make your own weighted blanket.
What are Weighted Blankets?
Weighted blankets are made from quality fabric and have fillers like glass beads sewn inside to add to the weight and distribute it all across the surface.
A weighted blanket works on a principle known as the Deep Touch Pressure (DTP) or Deep Touch Stimulus. Our body has DTP points all across our bodies, and their sole aim is to convey to the brain that it’s time to shut down and relax. This is a stimulus that leads to the production of serotonin, promoting a sense of calm.
Due to its affinity to DTP, weighted blankets are recommended for those suffering from anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, and Restless Leg Syndrome. It is also great for children who have autism – however, special care is required when tucking children in these weighted blankets.
Should you DIY your weighted blanket?
Making your weighted blanket is an excellent way of bringing the cost down. Additionally, it also helps you understand the materials that go into making them and how you can ensure that you use the best quality available without breaking your bank.
WARNING: A DIY weighted blanket involves small glass beads that are dangerous for children aged 5 years and below.
A DIY Weighted Blanket: Materials You’ll Need
To get started you will need:
- Durable fabric
- Plastic filler beads
Equipments/tools that you will require:
- A marking tool or a tailor chalk
- Sewing Machine
Step 1: Know Your Fabric
The first step to making your very own weighted blanket is to determine the type of fabric you will be using. Since most will be using this blanket for sensory purposes, how a fabric feels against your skin is an important consideration.
Before you settle on a particular fabric, determine the material and the weave (essential for making a blanket). For the inner lining, you can go for a simple duvet or a warm blanket, making it easier to wash and maintain than silk.
The table gives you a comprehensive overview of the materials that can be used.
|Cotton||Breathable. Is available in organic forms as well.||May not be warm enough during the cold and might feel uneasy to those with sensory problems.|
|Rayon (Made from bamboo)||Extremely natural. It is softer and more breathable than cotton.||May not work well with heavier fillers like metal beads.|
|Silk||Smooth to touch and breathable. It is great for those with sensory disorders.||It is very delicate and detaches easily. Can be hard to clean and is much better used as an inner lining of the blankets.|
|Polyester||Adjusts according to cold temperatures. Great for those with sensory disorders thanks to its soft and plush material.||Synthetic fibres don’t bode too well with many users and often tend to heat up during summers.|
Step 2: Know Your Fillers
We have already established that weighted blankets require fillers. These fillers can be of two kinds:
- Pillow style stuffing
- Beads or pellets to add to the weight
The most commonly used fillers used are plastic polycarbonate – they are inexpensive and readily available at standard craft stores and supermarkets. Though they are non-toxic, do not melt in hot water, and easily washable, they can be choking hazards for children and should be kept away from children aged 5 and younger.
If you are looking for ergonomic as well as natural options, you also go for organic fillers like beans or grains. However, these fillers are not ideal for weighted blankets as they will decay upon washing and eventually lead to bacterial infections. Some grains might also attract pests and rodents, thus rendering your precious blanket with gaping holes.
Step 3: Know Your Blanket Size
Weighted blankets are usually made as a throw over blanket for one person. It is recommended you don’t share a weighted blanket as the weight will be distributed, leading to compromised Deep Pressure Stimulus. Most prefer a blanket size that would cover their bodies and hang along the edges for that extra ‘hug.’
However, size and weight are closely connected and directly proportional to each other. It means that heavier blankets are more likely to be bigger than conventional blankets to ensure that the weight is spread out evenly instead of staying concentrated in one patch.
You can also look at the size of popular weighted blankets to give you an idea of the average industry size.
|Blanket Weight (lbs)||Finished Dimensions (inches)|
|3||30 x 40|
|7||40 x 50|
|10||40 x 70|
Step 4: Know Your Blanket Weight
A weighted blanket should be around 10% of the user’s body weight + 1-2 pounds for children or 2-3 pounds for adults. Since you are making this blanket, you are free to customize and play around with numbers to make a blanket that would suit you.
Here are a few factors to consider before you finalize the weight of the blanket.
- Does the user have physical ailments and concerns? Will they be able to bear the pressure all through the night? Children, the elderly, and people with low upper body strength should go for lighter blankets.
- Is the user claustrophobic? Would they mind the drooping pressure of the weighted blanket on their body?
- Will these blankets be used for the complete body, or will they be used as lap blankets? This is an important consideration as lap blankets tend to be heavier.
Constructing a Weighted Blanket
1- Before you get started, it is crucial to determine the size of your blanket. Since we are not looking for a bed cover or quilt, it is safe to cut out the cloth for a blanket used to cover one person.
2- The next step is to sew in squares to create pockets that will hold your filler. These pockets may range from 3 square inches to 5 square inches. As a result, your overall fabric will be a multiple of 4 square inches + 4 inches considering the edges.
Note: A regular full-sized weighted full-sized blanket measures upto 50-56 inches wide and 72 inches long. If you are confused about the right cloth measure, you can also work your way back and cut the cloth to accommodate this average-sized-weighted blanket.
3- Now that we have tackled the size, it is time to move on to the weight.
- Use a weighing scale to determine the user’s weight.
- Calculate the 10% of the user’s weight, which is the overall blanket’s ideal weight.
- Divide the answer by the number of squares in the blanket.
- The result will be the weight of filler you should use for each square compartment.
Ideal Weight of Filler in Each Square = 10% of the User’s Weight / Number of Square Patches
Weigh out the fillers are per the above calculations and fill each square pocket to distribute the weight equally.
4- Once you have filled out each square patch, triple stitch the open-ended and shut off any access to prevent any spillage. If you are confused about fillers’ weight in each square compartment, you can go for a temporary measure.
Place known weights in cloth bags in each of the patches and close them using pins to avoid spilling. This step can be a trial run to understand whether the final weight works for the user. If not, then the weight in each patch can be recalibrated and checked for perfection.
5- If you are satisfied with the final weight, you can fill these patches with fillers and sew each section to complete the blanket.
6 -Lay out the blanket and examine it for any openings or loose ends. Trim off the edges if required and double-check for any spillage might be a choking hazard, especially for children and the elderly.
Helpful Tips to Make Your Weighted Blanket
- Chalk out the squares on the fabric and sew them up with small yet strong stitches to keep the filler and avoid spillage.
- Try to keep your weighted blanket as stationary as possible while sewing it. Support it with a weight and allow the machine to do its magic of pulling in the cloth while stitching. The back and forth in the movement might displace the fillers and cause uneven distribution across the surface.
- Use a strong needle, the ones used to sew a denim fabric for your weighted mattress.
- Secure the edges with pins to keep the fabric in place and keep in mind to take them out while stitching it on the machine.
- You can also cover the weighted surface with an extra blanket to keep the surface clean and add an extra layer for the cold winter days.
Caring for Your DIY Weighted Blanket
Making a weighted blanket is a laborious process, and you want to ensure that our hard work remains in pristine condition for as long as possible. Here are a few steps to help you care for your weighted blanket.
- Make a separate blanket cover to keep your body and blanket away from each other. This reduces the number of times you will have to put it for a wash.
- You will have to wash your blanket at least a couple of times. Based on the fillers and the fabric you have used, you can either hand wash them or wash them in a machine. Usually, cotton weighted blankets (not more than 12-15lbs) with glass beads or metal/plastic pellets can be washed in a washing machine. Ensure that you use lukewarm water, mild soap/detergent, and set the machine to a gentle cycle.
- Try not to move around with your blanket as it will displace the fillers within.
- Keep checking for loose ends and gaps to avoid spillage and further tearing.
- Try to air-dry your weighted blanket by placing it on a large table or a chair outdoors. However, do not dry it under direct sun. You can also tumble dry your weighted blanket, but only those with stones or non-absorbent beads as filler materials.
Why Buy BlanQuil™ Instead of Making One?
It is no secret that DIY weighted blankets are more appealing to those looking to save money while enjoying the benefits.
However, DIY projects are no cakewalk. Don’t be surprised if you end up putting in more money and time than you anticipated to develop an efficient and foolproof weighted blanket for you and your loved ones.
Considering the time and effort put in, it is a good idea to consider Dreamcloud’s BlanQuil weighted blanket. A product of stringent trial and testing, this weighted blanket is well-loved by its customers.
With Dreamcloud’s BlanQuil weighted blanket, you are eligible for the following benefits:
- Pillowy soft textured that are specially designed to counter stress and help you relax.
- It comes with a removable cover that reduces the hassle of multiple cleaning trips.
- It is part weighted blanket and part quilt, which adds to the comfort factor and contributes to a restful night’s sleep.
- They are made from micro-fiber and comprise eco-friendly glass beads filler, making the product all the more natural and comfortable for those with sensory disorders.
- You are eligible for a 50-day final sale period.
A weighted blanket is often recommended and certified by sleep and mattress experts to help users, especially those with psychological and sleep disorders, get a goodnight’s sleep.
Instead of investing your time in making a weighted blanket, we recommend you go for Dreamcloud’s BlanQuil weighted blankets to help you receive the rest you deserve and spend your hours doing things that you love.