A couple weeks ago one of my sisters mentioned that she wanted a weighted blanket for her son, who has some sensory issues. Weighted blankets are pretty expensive, so I said I would look into making one. I slept on it for a couple nights, and came up with this very effective method. I was surprised at how nice the weight of this blanket felt – I definitely see how it can be soothing and comforting. My nephew adores his, and – after playing with this one before we shipped it off to my sister – my kids want me to make them one, too!
Weighted Sensory Blanket Tutorial
- 100% Cotton fabric – enough to make whatever size blanket you want, times two.
- Poly-Pellets Weighted Stuffing Beads – Amazon is an expensive place to buy these, but the link will give you an idea of what to look for. We got ours from a highly rated eBay seller. If you can find them locally, that’s probably the most cost-effective solution – they are heavy, so shipping can get expensive quickly.
STEP 1: Stitch your fabric together on three sides:
STEP 2: Stitch vertical columns. Mine were about four inches apart.
This process is much easier if one of your fabrics has a pattern you can use as a guide; otherwise I recommend measuring out and drawing on your stitching lines with a washable marker or disappearing ink marker (you can buy these at the fabric store; the Crayola kids washable markers also work). I was having camera issues and this photo isn’t very good, but if you look closely you can see how I used the pattern as a stitching guide. You could stitch directly on the printed lines; I found it easier to line up my presser foot with them:
STEP 3: Add your poly pellets. This is what they look like – and I think it’s cool that they accidentally formed a heart-like shape.
STEP 4: Fill each column with however many pellets you want per space. I used about 1/4 cup of pellets for each roughly 4×4 inch compartment.
STEP 5: Once all of the columns have been filled, stitch across that row. Then repeat until you have filled up to the top of your blanket. I made the top row about 6 inches tall instead of 4, because that made it easier to stitch the blanket shut.
Here you can see the filled, stitched pouches. Orange is my nephew’s favorite color, and I’m showing the plain side so that you can see the stitching:
STEP 6: Finish the edges. You can bind them, but I took the easy route and serged them.
How do you help your kids calm down? I’ve written before about how sensory play helps my kids break out of grumpy moods, and you can find all sorts of sensory play ideas at my collaborative sensory activities for kids board on Pinterest.