I am not quite sure what it is about weighted blankets but the calming and relaxing affect is amazing. Studies show they are beneficial for sleep disorders, ADHD, restless leg syndrome, anxiety and autism, to name a few. I have seen these around…mostly on Pinterest and was intrigued. So when a sweet friend asked me to make one for her son, I gladly accepted the challenge.
I wanted to share the process of making this blanket, tutorial style. But let me preface this by saying that I am still a brand-new baby sewer. I was not following a set of instructions, but rather, random instructions I found online and on YouTube (which, there aren’t enough for this style of blanket, by the way). My measurements, formulas and methods are probably not conventional or an exact science but merely what was working for me. Well…now that I come to think of it, that describes most of my life…not just the construction of this blanket lol. Ok…now on to the tutorial.
I was asked to make either a throw or twin sized blanket. According to research, the blanket should be 10% of the recipient’s body weight, plus a pound or two. This blanket is for a little boy who is 46 pounds, so I rounded up to 50. I was shooting for between 6-7 pounds, since it would be a larger blanket.
I started by cutting the fabric out around 43″ by 76″. With right sides facing, I sewed three edges together, with a quarter inch seam (and again with a half inch seam, for good measure).
Then I flipped it right side out. I knew I wanted 3″ squares. So I sewed three inch columns that I could fill with the beads that would give the blanket weight. These beads are called Poly Pellets. They are non-toxic and machine washable! I picked these up at Joanne’s.
Whoever said you don’t need math after high school clearly wasn’t a crafter lol. Since I knew I wanted 3″ squares, that meant I would have fourteen columns and 25 rows. This equals 350 pockets to fill with these beads!
I borrowed my dad’s scale and it only used whole numbers. So even though I estimated 7.77 grams per pocket, I had to guess where that was on the scale…somewhere heavier than 7 grams but lighter than 8 grams. Since I had 14 columns, I used 14 bathroom cups to divide up that rows amount of beads. Then I could easily pour the beads into each column, the cups acting as a funnel.
After I emptied all 14 cups of beads into the columns, I laid the blanket on the floor and raked the beads to the bottom of the blanket. They were pretty stubborn and got stuck all along the inside of the blanket. Using my ruler to rake the beads into their pocket was helpful.
Since I didn’t have a proper marking utensil meant for sewing so that I could mark straight sewing lines, I used this doohickey that came with my machine to sew in a straight (ish) line. After looking at my sewing machine manual, I see that it is called a quilting guide. And after looking at my sewing lines, I see that it (ie, me) doesn’t work so well.
Even though this isn’t that heavy of a blanket, lifting and pulling it for a few days definitely left my arms feeling sore a few times. After hours of Netflix marathons of Criminal Minds and a string of thriller action movies and what seemed like a never-ending series of measuring, pouring, raking and sewing…it is complete!
The finishing measurements are 42″ x 75″ and it weighs 6 pounds 15 ounces.
I had my friend write a message to her young son and added it to his blanket using vinyl, as well, so that her words could be with him always.
As with most projects, there are things I love about it, they are things I dislike, things I hope the new owners will overlook and most of all, a sense of pride for lessons learned and challenges tackled.