Weighted blankets are used to provide sensory input, particularly for those with sensory processing difficulties, mental illness or autism. While occupational therapy suppliers offer weighted blankets, these can be expensive and may not be customizable to your needs in terms of size, warmth or weight. With just basic sewing skills, you can make weighted blankets suited to your needs using fabrics appropriate to your climate in sizes ranging from toddler to adult.
Hem one end of each 2-yard piece of fabric. Pin the hook side of sew-on Velcro to one hem and the loop side to the other and stitch into place using a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine.
Cut the 1-yard piece of fabric into 6 equal strips, 6 inches wide. Cut into equal rectangles to form weight pockets. Press a 1/2-inch hem under on all four sides of each pocket. Stitch Velcro into place along the top of each pocket, using the hook side of the Velcro tape.
Mark the position of each pocket on the wrong side of one of the larger pieces of fabric, paying special attention to the position of the Velcro tape. Pin and sew the loop side of the Velcro tape into place on the wrong side of the fabric.
Pin each pocket into position and sew into place on the wrong side of the fabric.
Lay the two large pieces of fabric with the right sides facing one another. Pin together, then sew around three sides, leaving the end with the Velcro open.
Measure out plastic pellets and divide between the total number of pockets in your blanket. Load the pellets into plastic zipper storage bags and place one bag into each pocket. Add or remove weight as necessary. Press the Velcro closed, then close the top of the blanket.
Things You Will Need
- 2 yards fabric for top
- 2 yards fabric for bottom
- 1 yard fabric for pockets
- Plastic zipper storage bags
- Plastic pellets for weight
- Sew on velcro
- Sewing machine
- Coordinating thread
- Ironing board
If plastic pellets are inaccessible, consider sand, polished river rocks, or flaxseed. Remove plastic bags and weight before laundering your blanket. Choose fleece or another warm weather for cold climates and cotton for warm ones. Your occupational therapist can help you determine how much weight is appropriate.
Speak to your therapist or health care provider about the appropriateness of a weighted blanket in your situation and how much weight is ideal.