Choosing the right materials is an important part of sewing a weighted blanket. This post on what weighted therapy blankets are made out of has everything you need to know.
Here’s everything you need to make weighted therapy blankets, such as those that are popular with people looking for coping tools for autism, anxiety, Parkinson’s Disease, and more.
Ready to Start Sewing?
Looking for a ready-made Weighted Blanket?
If you decide to look for a ready-made weighted blanket, I recently discovered these for sale on Amazon. There are also several sellers on Etsy. This tutorial can be used to make weighted blankets to sell, but please give credit to my site in your listing.
Drop by this post if you are looking for more resources for dealing with sensory issues. You may also find these sensory activities to help kids calm down and stay calm helpful. How to Tell a Tantrum from a Meltdown is a valuable parenting resource.
A Note on Sewing Machines
I sometimes get questions about sewing machines on this post. I have been using the Janome HD1000 for several of years now, and I like it! It is extremely sturdy; the only quirk I have noticed is that getting the bobbin in correctly can be tricky at first. My first sewing machine was an older-generation version of the Brother XL2600I. It was very easy to use, but couldn’t always handle thicker fabrics.
Materials for Sewing Weighted Therapy Blankets:
- 100% Cotton fabric – enough to make whatever size blanket you want, times two. If you are making a full-size blanket, you may find it easier to start with a comforter cover. You will either want to trim the edges or leave the edges un-filled, since you only need pellets in the sections that cover your body. If you pick one with a zipper, your final seam is done for you!
- Minky or fleece fabric are popular alternatives to Cotton for weighted therapy blankets. SEe below for tips for sewing with these fabrics.
- Fairfield 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. If you can find them locally, that’s probably the most cost-effective solution – they are heavy, so shipping can add expense.
- If you have a walking foot it will make this project much easier – eliminates puckering and the fabric glides through. Thanks Anniebananie for this tip!
- Kitchen scale for weighing pellets for each section.
- Optional PVC piping to pour the pellets down to the bottom of the blanket. A vacuum tube or gift paper cardboard roll can work too.
- A funnel so that the pellets go where you want them to.
Poly pellets for filling weighted blankets and non plastic fillings for washable weighted blankets:
I know that poly pellets are expensive. The best alternative I have seen in reader comments (thus far – January 2014) is Anita’s suggestion to use denim as the fabric with no special filling. It will naturally make a heavy blanket, but it will not dry as easily as one filled with pellets. I’ve stopped recommending cherry pits as a natural filling, because they contain cyanide. You have to eat them for them to be dangerous, but children may do that, and possibly even some adults. Read through the comments for more suggestions and helpful comments. Other alternative fillings that I have seen used include small metal washers and aquarium gravel. Remember that these alternative fillings will get hot in the dryer. They will also wear out your fabric more quickly.
Rice is heavy, but it isn’t washable. This is why I don’t recommend rice as a filling for weighted blankets.
Tips for making weighted therapy blankets with fleece or minky fabric:
Several readers want fleece or minky blankets, but have struggled with the beads catching on fabric and then being in the way when stitching. Reader Anniebananie wrote in with the tip of adding an extra layer of cotton against the fleece. Reader Cicely commented on Facebook that you can also line with broadcloth or sheer slippery fabric. Other readers have solved this problem by sewing the actual blanket out of cotton and then stitching a fleece or minky cover. Always make sure that you include the weight of ALL of your fabric (including covers) when calculating the weight of your weighted blanket.
How are you using weighted blankets? What are your favorite materials for sewing weighted therapy blankets? Share on my Facebook page, or tag me on Instagram. Sign up for my newsletter to receive book recommendations, crafts, activities, and parenting tips in your inbox every week.