Friday, April 26, 2013

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Weighted Blanket Tutorial!!

Hi, all!

Hard to believe another week has passed already, but it's Friday again - and time to get our whoop whoop on!!  Are you ready?


Today I'm going to share a tutorial I wrote for a friend.  She needed to make a weighted blanket for her daughter, who teaches in a special ed class.  For those of you who don't know, a weighted blanket is sometimes used to help children with sensory issues, such as autism, to help calm them or help them sleep.  It's a pretty simple idea - a blanket that is a bit heavier increases the body's production of serotonin and melatonin, which helps encourage sleep.  This makes sense to me, because I always sleep better in the winter when I've got a big heavy pile of quilts on my bed!  

Well, anyway, she had looked on line and couldn't find a tutorial that made sense to her.  She brought one of the tutorials to me to see if I could help her and I found it didn't make much sense to me either!  So I started looking for a good one, and couldn't find what I was looking for - a simple, economical tutorial for a completely adjustable weighted blanket.  So I wrote one.  And in the spirit of sharing, I'm posting it here for those of you out there who need one too!


Adjustable Weighted Blanket Tutorial

Finished size:  30” x 48”, using a 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!)
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.  

(Please note - I don't always look this scary!)

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!!!


So that's my whoop whoop for the week!  And now it's your turn - - - 

What have you been whooping about this week?

What's made you dance the happy dance?

Share!  We want to dance along with you!!

The linky will remain open until Sunday midnight-

Be there or be square!



PS - This tutorial will be posted as a Page at the top of my blog to make it easier for folks to find in the future...


  1. Whoop whoop on your tutorial :) I know how much work this means. Thanks!

  2. Wonderful tutorial and thank you for sharing.

  3. Neat! I know two little boys who would love these in star wars and batman fabric!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Doesn't this sound like a possible solution for insomnia?

  5. Great tutorial! What an excellent idea... Although my youngest son has mild Autism, he does love to go to sleep under lots of blankets and quilts... Now I know why! Thanks! Whoop Whoop!

  6. what a great friend you are . .thanks for sharing

  7. what a great friend you are . .thanks for sharing

  8. Whoops to you! Thanks for a great tutorial :) I am working on a whoop... just started quilting the blanket for my daughter... just starting so I will whoop my progress quietly and be ready for a big reveal in the end! Yay! She hasn't seen it yet! I am quilting only when she is not around :D Kathi

  9. Thanks for the weighted blanket tutorial. I passed it along to my (adult) son's girlfriend who works as an in-home autistic therapist, so she can refer her families to your site.

  10. Great tutorial! Whoop! Whoop!

  11. Well, aren't you just smart! What a great tutorial. I can see that it would be a good thing.

  12. Wonderful tutorial Sarah. This may be weird, but you know when you have x-rays at the dentist and they put that heavy blanket on you to shield you from the radiation? Well, I find that to be very calming and relaxing and I am bummed when they take it off! Oh and I love the picture of you sucking out the air!!

  13. Wonderful tutorial. I didn't know what a weighted quilt was until your post and tutorial. Thank you for sharing.

  14. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing the tutorial with us.

  15. Oh, thank you for this tutorial! I have a friend whose son could benefit from one.

  16. This is so wonderful. Thank you so much for figuring out how to make one and then sharing. I know I'll be using this in the future.

  17. Very well done! Absolutely brilliant information.

    I used the weighted blanket and its really helpful to relieve the anxiety problem and help to sleep better. I bought my Weighted Blanket from calming moments australia. There are awesome and fast service provider. Very cooperative on phone calls.

  18. Thank you for sharing this article because I am looking for a weighted blanket from long time. Your blog will help me out to gather information about weighted blankets production. Read more here about Quility blankets and benefits of weighted blankets.


Comments make me smile!! If you want a PDF of a pattern, PLEASE leave your email address in your comment, or email me directly at salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com!