Monday, January 7, 2013

Sensory - making a weighted blanket

SO I left you all hanging with Cav's issues - we have implemented (have been for about a month now) new things that seem to be helping.  At this point I am all about trying anything.  It's almost like a language I don't speak - which is hysterical since I have the cutest baby who speaks Chinese sitting next to me and we communicate perfectly together LOL!  

I will do a series of posts on the things I have learned so hopefully it will give others ideas on things to try before things get bad.

SO I heard of the weighted blankets a ton but they can cost close to $100 - which I would be willing to pay if I had any true idea the thing would work.  It does - infact, it works so well I am making 2 more for a couple of other kids in our family.  Cav NEEDS one, but doing my research I noticed a couple things that clued me into my other kids.

Brahm (aka the evil genius) - he has a hard time shutting down his brain to go to bed.

Morgan - she will find every blanket in the house to cuddle with to watch tv

SO I made Cav's and had them try it out - they instantly wanted theirs!

Before we begin some hints.

You can order poly pellets online - unless like us we wanted it now
 I got mine from Michael's in the foam and fluff section.
*I used a coupon (on my phone) and went back several times LOL!
*THey are currently $8.99 for a 2 lb bag and I wanted to make a 4 lb blanket for Cav.  Weight directions are below.

THe blanket fabric is flannel.  I got this from Joann's because they have the best sales as in frequently 60% off on flannel.  And don't think ugly shirt stuff they have great coordinates.

The words also give me lines
When I made Cav's (monkey's) I luckily had grabbed one that already had lines in the pattern.  You could easily measure and chalk lines for your rows but you know we would all die of old age if we waited for me to do that.

THe flannel comes about 41 inches wide
A yard of fabric is 36 inches so I chose to have cav's cut to 1 1/8 yard at the store (both pieces)  Brahm's is 1 1/4 and Morgan's is 1 1/2 yards.  ( I also ended up going back for fabric that had lines for Morgan and Brahm's blanket so I didn't have to measure)

So Although this is dots, it gives me lines to work with

From the little research I did it seems the conscensus is the blanket weight should be about 10% of the child's weight - I rounded up and didn't bother to take into account the weight of the flannel etc.

You want even squares throughout the blanket AND they should be about 3 or 4 inches square but not more than 8x8 inches, with the weight distributed evenly.

Because of the design on the fabric I chose to use every other "square".

I ran a basic stitch around 3 edges (fabric was inside out or face to face)

TURN THE FABRIC RIGHT SIDE OUT for the rest of the sewing.

Because I had an even number of "boxes" on the pattern I sewed a channel from my open side all the way down (or top to bottom)  I created channels all the way across (2 blocks wide).

**Don't sew your channels all the way to the top of the open channel - leave room to fold in each side when you go to sew the top closed.

So I ended p with 7 channels AND I knew (because I had the squares to work off of I would have a total of 49 total squares when I was done.)

I poured the bags of pellets into a measuring cup and divided the number of cups by the total number of squares.)

You then just fill each channel with the amount (I think I used about 1/4 cup in each channel).
Shake the beads down and sew across at the predetermined spot creating your first enclosed square filled with your 1/4 cup (whatever amount) of pellets.

Fill AND Sew until you get to the top.

Fold the top over and sew across.

You are all done, the blanket is machine washeable and the kids LOVE THEM!


  1. Great post! So helpful! We've been thinking this would be good for our daughter and now you've given us the impetus to make one ourselves!

  2. This is awesome! I think I might want one for ME! I love the weight of several blankets on me.

  3. Thanks for letting us know that the blankets work. I have wondered if it was worth the work but it sounds like I better get sewing!

  4. I love this! I'm a beginning sewer.. but even I might be able to figure this out! :) Great tutorial! I'm actually thinking of making one for my husband- goodness, how much fill I would need!!!

  5. So glad you are finding things that are working.

  6. We also deal with a lot of sensory issues at house house. I have made a couple of small lap style weight blanket but have everything to tackle a larger one for Nate. I make mine very similar. I need to get rolling! We have found that weighting helps him, I am excited because we have a weighted "lap pet"coming for him. I found a lady before Christmas who makes custom ones (I think I could do it but right now didn't have a lot of time and wanted to actually see one first.) We are going to use it for Nate during school to have sitting on his lap- we'll see how it goes! It should be here in a day or two I hope!

  7. elijah loves his!!!! He usually carries it in his backpack to school but at bed time gets it out and returns it in the morning! has been a life saver!!!

  8. This intrigues me. Not for Isabel. She sleeps like a champ, but for our 3 yr old, Dan. He has major sleep issues. I may have to pull out the ol' sewing machine. I'll let you know how it goes!

    So glad to hear that it is working out for Cav!

  9. So what do you think it cost you to make this blanket in time and materials?

  10. If I pay you, can you QUICKLY make two blue ones for our kiddos? Otherwise, I'll order them online and wait the 3-5 weeks. I need them 7 lbs. and I'll pay the $100 each. Email me directly at

  11. Thanks for this! I'm now talking to my mom (quilter extraordinaire) about helping me to make one for our youngest, who has spent much of the last week on his head, while reading, while listening, during school time, having so much trouble paying attention! I think this might really help. I'm grateful to you for bringing this idea to my attention again, and telling me how to do it.

  12. My sis in law made one for Dane and we even took it to China. I love it!!

  13. I love this post! My friend and I are making a Craft for a Cause on-line magazine. We would love to include your post. Please send me an email if you are interested. I'll send you the details :)