Tutorials

The fact that I put a "s" on the end of "Tutorial" suggests that there will be more than one - we'll see about that!

Let's just start with one for now!

Weighted Blanket

Materials:

  • 6 lbs plastic craft beads - like the kind used in stuffed animals.
  • 2 yards of "inside" fabric 
  • 1.5 yards each of patterned fabric for the cover
  • 6 buttons
  • sewable velcro strips
  • coordinating thread
 

Secondary materials:

  • scale or measuring cups for weighing/measuring beads
  • yard stick
  • pencil/pen for marking fabric

Steps

Insert:

  1. Cut the inside fabric (I used a white cotton) in half, so you have two, one yard pieces.
  2. Mark about an inch up and in on one of the inside pieces for the velcro strips.
  3. Cut four pieces of the velcro to a length of about 2 inches each, and stitch them to the corners, where you marked on the inside fabric.

4. Pin the inside fabric right sides together and stitch along three sides, with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
5. Turn right side out and top stitch along the seams to add strength.

6. Lay out the inside of the blanket and measure out a grid for the beads. On Abby's blanket the squares ended up measuring about 3" by 4". Draw the grid using the yard stick and a pen.

7. From here on out I will refer to the open end of the inside of the blanket as the "top". Sew along the vertical lines of the grid, so that you create columns where you can pour your beads. To add strength I sewed double seams on each of the lines.


8. Divide the number of ounces of beads you bought (96 oz) by the number of squares you have on your grid. Mine worked out to about 3 oz. of beads per square. Measure out enough for one square and pour that into each of the columns.


9. Push beads down toward the end of the row and pin along the horizontal line. Make sure you get all of the little beads out of the sewing line.


10. Sew another set of double seams along that line. Continue filling up the blanket in this way, until all of the squares have been filled with beads.


11. Close and double seam the top.

Cover:

  1. Cut the patterned pieces of fabric as you did for the insert, but make it about 4 1/2 inches longer.
  2. Lay one of the patterned pieces of fabric on top of the insert, with the 4 1/2 inches of extra fabric at one end (top), and mark where the velcro pieces are. 
  3. Sew the corresponding velcro pieces to the patterned piece of fabric.
  4. Fold the extra fabric down about a 1/2 inch and then another 2 inches, press and stitch along this hem.

5. Do the same to the other piece of patterned fabric.
6. On one of the pieces measure to space the 6 buttons evenly along the top. Create the button holes where you marked.

7. Fold the hems on both patterned fabrics down another two inches and press. The velcro will be partially covered. Top stitch along the line where you pressed it.
8. Mark where the buttons should go on the other patterned fabric and sew them on, making sure that the buttons are on the wrong side of the cover. 

9. Sew along the bottom of the button band.



10. Pin the patterned fabric, right sides together, and sew along three sides - leaving the top with the button holes open.



11. Press seams and top stitch along the edge of the cover - just to add strength.

You're Done!

Put the insert in, velcro the corners, and button up the top. You should have a wonderful weighted blanket.


Notes:

  • This is my very first "tutorial", therefore if it is terribly confusing I'm sorry. You can help me out though, by posting questions if you have them. If I've been unclear, please let me know so that I can fix it.
  • You could do a simpler blanket by using a stronger "inside" fabric (like fleece) and not doing a cover. I chose to do a cover because I was thinking about washability. I figured that it would be easier to throw the cover in the wash more often than the whole blanket.
  • You can use rice, beans, or any other "dry" something instead of the plastic beads - they can be a bit pricy, but then you can't throw the blanket in the washer. I figured if I was going to go to all the trouble of making a blanket I might as well get the beads. The whole blanket cost me about $40, which is still a much better deal than the $80+ that the catalogues charge.
  • I would also recommend talking to a physical therapist to ask about the weight the blanket should be for your child, as well as if there is a limit to how long they should have it on, especially if your child has been diagnosed with Sensory Integration Disorder.

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