Monday, August 31, 2015

How to make your own weighted blanket (or not).

After taking my first two Sensory Integration Certification courses, I decided that I wanted to own a weighted blanket. They provide deep tactile input which has been shown to help auto-regulate the sensory systems, specially the tactile system. I made a quick search and found out that a 10 pound blanket ranged from $70-$100+, so I decided to make my own. After reading how “easy” it was to make and how you can do it all in just one day, I got the materials for about $40 and started the project.

 I ordered 10 pounds of weighted plastic beads on ebay for less than $30. 

 The beads looked something like this:

After that, I made a sack of the size I wanted my blanket to be. I made this a while ago and I don’t remember de actual measurements, I ended up making my blanket smaller than planned because it was taking too long and I wanted to finish already. 

This is how the original sack looked:

This bed is a little smaller than Full size. For making the sack I just folded the fabric and sew in the bottom and left side. 

Next you have to do some math. You have to decide the size of the squares you want in your blanket and calculate how many squares you need to cover the whole area. The bigger the squares the easier it would be to fill them with beads and to close them without the beads falling or spreading and making your machine needle crack when accidentally touching a bead (happened to me many many times). After you do your math, you have to sew all the vertical lines in the fabric like this (or maybe straighter).

I am not an avid sewer, and it was extremely difficult for me to make the lines straight. If you have sewing skills similar to mine, I recommend buying a fabric that already has a square design, or be more patient, measure carefully and draw the whole lines with a pencil before sewing. 

Next some more math! Depending on the amount of squares and beads, you have to calculate the amount of beads you have to put in each square to be able to have the desired weight on the blanket. The weight recommended per person is the 10% of their weight plus one. So if you are making a blanket for a kid that weighs 60 pounds, you will want to make a 7 pound blanket. 

I used an old gift wrap paper tube and a funnel to put the beads through the vertical lines that I had sewn:

After you finish each section, it's time to sew the first horizontal line. Before I started sewing I marked the corners to know where I should start for each horizontal line.

This was the hardest part for me. My squares where too full of beads and when I put them horizontally they spread all over the place, causing many broken needles. Also, it was very hard for me to maintain a straight line while sewing. Another problem here is that when you have many rows done, it becomes very uncomfortable to manage because of the added weight. 

I did this process 10 more times (It did NOT take me a day, more like weeks!). That's when I got tired, stopped the process and closed the blanket before I got to make all the squares that I had originally calculated. Be sure to left at the end enough space to bend your end and sew it nicely. 

So here is my final blanket:

It measures roughly 35 by 42 inches. Each square was supposed to measure about 4 by 4 inches, but you know, I decided to be creative in that aspect. It weights about 7 pounds. 

Even though other bloggers made it look so easy to make this blanket, it was very difficult for me. Besides the problem with the broken needles I also had a problem with spilled beads all over my floor and difficulties with measurements. It made me wish I had just spent the extra money and buy a commercial one. But, I wouldn't have this great post to share with you, so #NoRegrets. 

Have you done a weighted blanket before? Share any tips or experiences in the comment section!


  1. No he hecho una, antes de leer este post reconozco que mis habilidades para coser no existen y que debo buscar una comercial :-)
    Pero la tuya quedó FENOMENAL!

    1. jajaja, la verdad que no es fácil! Si ves la mía en persona te reirás!