Weighted Blanket Tutorial!




Hi, all!

I wrote this tutorial to fill a gap I found on line - no matter where I looked, I could not find a simple-to-understand tutorial for an economical, completely adjustable weighted blanket for children with sensory issues such as autism.  So I decided to write one.  This tutorial is the result.  I think it is simple enough for even a beginning sewer, can be made very inexpensively, and is completely adjustable in weight, so it can grow with the child.  I would welcome your feedback if you use the tutorial - please let me know of any changes or corrections you would make, and I'd love to see pictures!!


Adjustable Weighted Blanket Tutorial

Finished size:  30” x 48”, six inch grid with 40 pockets

Materials Requirements:  
1 queen size flat sheet or 6 yards 44-45” wide fabric for 
weighted blanket
3 yards fabric for the “duvet” cover for the weighted blanket
80 sandwich size zip bags (do not use quart storage bags - they are too big!)
Thread
Frixion pen or other water soluble fabric marking pen
(Frixion pens are sold in office supply stores; they are
marketed as erasable pens, but when you iron over 
the marks on fabric, they disappear.  Excellent for 
marking fabric, and they come in many colors!)
Poly beads (sold in craft stores for making stuffed animals)
Food or postage scale
Drinking straw

Cut from flat sheet or fabric:
8 strips 32” x 7”
16 strips 32” x 9”
1 piece 32” x 49”

Cut from cover fabric:
1 piece 32” x 50”
1 piece 32” x 56”

Step 1:  Fold the 9” strips in half lengthwise and press.  You will now have 16 strips 31” x 4 1/2”.


Step 2:  Make a “sandwich” of one 32” x 7” strip, two of the folded strips, and one 32” x 7” strip.  Stitch the long raw edge side using a 1/2” seam.  Make 4 sets.  Press the seam open, with one 7” strip and one folded strip to each side.  You should now have 4 sets and 8 folded strips.


Step 3:  Repeat the process using two of the units you just created .  Make 2 sets.  Press seams open in the same manner.

Step 4:  Repeat the process using the two units you just created.  Press the seam open in the same manner.  You should now have one piece measuring approximately 32” x 49”, and two folded strips.  Sew one folded strip to the top by laying it against the top edge with the folded edge facing toward the bottom of the blanket.  Repeat on the bottom of the blanket, folded edge facing up.


Step 5:  Layer the folded pieces in pairs, with the upper one over the lower one on each row.  This will create an envelope closure for the weights.  Pin along the outside edge, securing each flap overlap and the open seams. Stitch 1/4” from the edge on each side to secure the flaps and seams. 

Step 6:  Take the 32” x 49” piece and lay it on the pocket side of the blanket, matching corners and raw edges.  Pin and stitch around the blanket, leaving an 8” opening in the center of the bottom for turning.  Clip corners.  Turn and press.  Stitch as close to the edge as possible all the way around the blanket, securing the opening left for turning and stabilizing the edges.

Step 7:  Lay the blanket strip side up on a flat, hard surface.  Using your Frixion pen or water soluble marker, measure 6” in from the long edges of the blanket.  Draw a line from top to bottom of your blanket.  Repeat the process 6” from each of the lines you just drew.  You should now have four lines running lengthwise of your blanket.  Pin across each of the overlaps on each line.  These are your stitching lines for the weight pockets.  Be sure your flaps are well pinned, then stitch on those lines.


Step 8:  To remove the marking lines on your blanket, either spritz with water (for water soluble markers) or press with a hot iron if you used a Frixion marker.

Step 9:  Determine the weight needed for your blanket.  The formula is body weight x 10% plus 1 pound.  So for a 40 pound child:  40 x 10% = 4 +1 = 5 pounds.  Convert 5 pounds to ounces:  5 x 16 = 80 ounces.  Divide by 40 pockets:  80 / 40 = 2 ounces per pocket.

Step 10:  Measure out your poly beads into sandwich bags.  A postage scale or food weight scale is great for this.  Remove the air from the bags as much as possible with a drinking straw (be sure not to suck up a bead!!), close up the bag and spread the beads out as evenly as possible.  


video


(Please note - I'm not always this scary looking!)

Double bag the weight, removing the air from the second bag as well.  Place one weight in each pocket, fitting it into the corners of the pocket.


Making the Cover:

Step 1:  Take one of the two cover pieces, and turn 1/2” on one end.  Press.  Turn down another 1/2”, making an enclosed hem.  Press.  Stitch close to the rolled edge to secure the hem.  Repeat on the other cover piece.  Each piece will now have one hemmed end.



Step 2:  On the longer of the two pieces, take the hemmed end and fold a 6” flap down to the right side.  You will see the wrong side of the fabric on the flap, over the right side below it.  Press. 


Lay the shorter piece of fabric face on the flapped piece, right sides together.  Leaving the flapped end open, stitch the other three sides using a 1/2” seam.  Turn and press.


Step 3:  Slip the weighted blanket inside the cover.  Be sure to work the corners of the blanket down to the bottom corners of the cover.  You may have to work it up like a pillowcase, but it is designed to fit snugly so that the blanket doesn’t slip around.  Once the weighted blanket is in place, flip the flap over the open end, covering the top of the blanket.  


You’re done!!!

10 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for making this blanket for my classroom! My students asked to use the blanket. While we were using it, I noticed that there needs to be a way to attach the cover to the weighted part of the blanket. Like maybe a snap or a ribbon to tie the two together. Again Thank you SO much! I love it!

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  2. fascinating idea. Can you tell me the purpose of a weighted blanket? And is the "sandwich baggie" durable enough? does it ever come apart?

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  3. I wonder if a food vacuum seal with some freezer grade plastic might be a good alternative to the sandwich bags for durability. Thanks for the tutorial!!

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  4. I've made these for our GGD. She has sensory problem not related to autism. The Birth to 3 organization loaned me one so I could make our own. I made long sleeves, filled 1 section, stitched over to close then did this for a total of 6 times. I have a button at the top of the section, button hole in the pellet sleeve. This way the sleeve stays in place and the pellets don't shift. To wash remove the sleeve and throw the outside piece in the washer. I closed each section with Velcro. It's suppose to weigh 10% of the childs weight. She's almost 3 and uses one at daycare and home. They are wonderful for those with sensory issues.

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  5. Aqua #33 is my fave!! And I'd love the pdf of your Tennessee plate. My email is spetzie at att dot net

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  6. Sarah this is AMAZING! Thank you for putting in the work to teach us how to make weighted blankets! There are people without sensory problems who enjoy feeling bundled up too and would like this.

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  7. My 33 year old son copes with these sensory issues (high functioning but still sometimes disabling). This tutorial is excellent . . . he's been wanting something like this.

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  8. HI! I'm a novice at sewing. I am confused about the steps 3 and 4. Do you sandwich the 4.5 between two 7 in strips? and if so, do you sew the folds closed? is that what makes the bottom of the pockets? any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, you sandwich two of the 4.5" folded strips between two of the 7" strips. All of your raw edges should be on the same side, and caught in the seam allowance. You make four sets like that. What you will end up with is two 7" strips seamed together, with two of the folded 4.5" strips in between, like pages of a book. You sew those four sets together with more 4.5" strips in between, then fold the strips toward each other over the 7" strips to create the pockets. They will overlap slightly, like an envelope closure on the back of a pillow cover.

      I hope this helps! Looks like I may need to put more pictures or a video with this tutorial…. Let me know if you have any more questions - I'll be glad to help! (PS email me directly at salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com - you are a no-reply blogger so I can't email you directly!

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