Sunday, January 27, 2013

D.I.Y. Weighted Blanket

Last week while talking with the boys pt (physical therapist) about a few of David's random behaviors and lack of sleeping at night she mentioned perhaps he might need a weighted blanket.  Which seemed like a brilliant idea and totally easy to try.  I headed to Google to see about ordering one and about gagged when I saw the prices.  Which lead me (after a couple people mentioned it) to make it myself.  After doing some research it didn't look to hard to make, so I decide to give it a try.  

A quick trip to the fabric store and Michael's on Friday, and by Sunday evening we had a weighted blanket for probably 1/3 the price, or less.  And the fabric is yummy lovie soft minkyness.  Umm yes please.   

Of course, if you decide you want a weighted blanket I photo documented the whole process for you . . . your welcome.  

The first step was to determine the size.  Since my guys are little, their blanket is pretty small. 

I cut my two fabrics (front and back) in a 35 inch square, which after seam allowances the weighted area ended up to be a 30 inch square. 

Then I sewed it together inside out on three sides, like a pillow case. 

 Turn it right side out

After turning it right side out, I sewed an inch border around the three sides sewn together just to give it a little something.  (you can see the border in the picture above in the lower left hand corner).

Next, I sewed vertical tubes using a special foot on my machine that helps sew straight accurately spaced lines or you can draw the lines on to follow.  My tubes were 2 inch but you could go all the way to 5 inch tubes.  (the vertical tubes are on right hand side of the picture)

For weights you can use anything: popcorn, rice, beans, etc.  I heard mold can grow in blankets made with "organic" weighting material and I wanted the ability to machine wash the blanket so I decided to use plastic "polly-pellets" for weight (see picture below)

Using a food scale I measured out the amount of polly-pellets for the weight I needed for each square; it happened to be exactly 3 teaspoons per 2 inch square. Using a funnel we poured 3 teaspoons into each channel.   To determine weight:  the total weight should be 10% of the persons body + 1 lb.  Divide the weight of the blanket by the number of squares to get the weight for each square.

After pouring enough polly-pellets for one row of squares in each vertical tube I would then sew horizontally to seal it.  For my blanket I did this process 15 times.

After filling and sewing all 15 of the horizontal rows I top stitched the open end and boom......

We have a 4.5 lb weighted blanket.   

As I neared the 2 lb mark of the blanket it did get rather cumbersome for the machine to sew but we made it through.  When looking into making it, I read a couple places to prepare myself to break a lot of needles.  I am proud to say we didn't break one needle and we didn't end up with polly-pellets all over the floor!  

And of course what blog post is complete with out a picture of this kid!! Oh my goodness the cuteness.


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