In recent years, weighted blankets have become increasingly popular as people discover their many potential benefits. Not only can they feel warm and cozy, but they’re also thought to relieve stress, calm the nervous system, and promote quality sleep. Purchasing a quality weighted blanket is quick and convenient. However, making your own increases your customization options and may save you money.
We’ll cover the materials and steps necessary to craft a DIY weighted blanket. We’ll also help you decide if crafting a custom weighted blanket is right for you.
What Is a Weighted Blanket?
Duvet-style weighted blankets are most common. They contain fill designed to increase the weight by several pounds. Weighted blanket filling consists of beads or pellets distributed evenly throughout pockets or channels sewn into the blanket’s interior. Alternatively, knit weighted blankets typically get their heft from dense yarn.
Various blanket sizes and weights are available to accommodate different sleepers. Most individuals do well with a blanket that weighs approximately 10% of their body weight. This creates gentle pressure intended to promote feelings of calm. Many compare it to a hug.
While research is limited on the potential therapeutic benefits of weighted blankets, they’re frequently recommended for individuals with anxiety, depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or autism spectrum disorder. Some experts claim that weighted blankets support quality sleep by promoting the production of beneficial hormones, including serotonin and melatonin.
What Do You Need to Know About Making a Weighted Blanket?
While making your own weighted blanket prevents the need for purchasing a pre-made option, you need the right materials and know-how. This project is best suited to intermediate-level sewers and above. However, a beginner can also craft a weighted blanket if they’re prepared to put in the time and effort.
Commercially produced models come in a wide array of colors, patterns, sizes, materials, and weights. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to find the exact combination you want. Making your own weighted blanket gives you the freedom to design the exact blanket you envision.
Keep in mind that weighted blankets may not be safe for small children and individuals without the strength to remove the blanket themselves. If you’re unsure, check with a doctor.
What You'll Need
To make a weighted blanket, you will need the right materials and tools:
- Fabric of your choice
- Weighted filling of your choice
- Batting for cushioning between layers
- Scale for weighing filling
- Sewing machine
- Measuring tape
- Fabric pencil or chalk
- Fabric scissors
- Sturdy needle
While this may seem like a long list, many of these items can be found in a sewing kit.
The blanket fabric you choose is crucial to the comfort and durability of your DIY weighted blanket. Cotton is a popular fabric choice because it is breathable and widely available in different weaves, colors, and patterns. On its own, cotton fabric is also usually easy to wash. For those who live in cold climates, a polyester minky or fleece fabric can provide added warmth and fuzziness. Regardless of what type of fabric you select, prioritize durability to ensure that the fabric can hold the weighted fill.
When choosing a blanket fill, consider something non-toxic and washable, such as glass beads or poly pellets. Some people like to incorporate natural materials, like buckwheat hulls or lavender, but these cannot be washed. Use batting between the inner fill and the outer fabric so that you don’t feel the texture of the weighted material.Shop the Best Weighted Blankets
Step-by-Step: How to Make a Weighted Blanket
1. Select the Dimensions and Weight
The first step in making a weighted blanket is to determine its dimensions and weight.
Most sleepers prefer a weighted blanket that’s slightly longer and wider than they are. However, some like a smaller option that they can use as a throw or a bigger blanket to share with a partner.
A weighted blanket should generally be around 10% of the primary user’s body weight. If you’re crafting a larger blanket, you might make it slightly heavier since the weight is distributed over a wider area. Meanwhile, sleepers concerned they might feel constricted often prefer a lower weight.
2. Prepare Your Materials
Wash your fabric before constructing the blanket. This will clean the material, preshrink it, and help eliminate chemicals and color bleeding.
Then, calculate the exact dimensions of fabric you’ll need. Your weighted blanket should consist of several 3- to 5-inch square pouches that hold the filling. Determine dimensions that are divisible by the pouch size. Then, add 4 inches to account for edges.
For instance, if you want a queen size blanket with 3-inch pouches, you might select initial dimensions of 60 by 81 because these numbers are easily divisible by 3. Once you add the extra 4 inches for edges, your total dimensions would be 64 by 85.
Lay out your fabric. Use a measuring tape to measure the correct dimensions for two identical pieces. Mark off those dimensions with a fabric pencil or chalk. Then, carefully cut the two pieces using fabric scissors. Cut batting to match.
3. Sew the Blanket
With your fabric ready, it’s time to begin sewing. It’s best to use a heavy-duty needle that will not break easily. Consider using a needle made for denim.
- Using your fabric pencil or chalk, mark two inches around the edges on the side of the fabric that will be inside the finished blanket.
- Place the two identical pieces of fabric together inside out. That means the sides of the fabric you want exposed when the blanket is complete should face each other. The edges should all line up perfectly. Then, pin along the corners.
- Place batting on either side. Pin around the edges, securing the two layers of fabric and two layers of batting.
- Sew the two long sides and one short side. Follow your edge markings. Then, turn the blanket right side out.
- Using a measuring tape and a fabric pencil or chalk, make an even grid using horizontal and vertical lines in 3- to 5-inch squares. These indicate your fill pouches.
- Carefully sew across each vertical line to create channels for the fill.
4. Place the Fill and Finish Sewing
Distributing the weight is one of the trickiest parts of the process. Careful planning and placement are essential to ensuring the fill is spread evenly throughout.
- Calculate how much fill material needs to go into each pouch. To do this, divide the ounces by the number of pouches. A pound is 16 ounces, so a 15-pound blanket contains 240 ounces of fill. That means if you have 208 square pouches, each needs approximately 1.15 ounces of fill.
- Use a kitchen scale to measure your fill material for each pouch.
- Use a funnel to pour one pocket’s worth of weighted fill into each vertical channel.
- Hold the blanket up and shake it a bit so that the weight falls to the bottom.
- Pin along the bottom row of the grid pattern, then sew it to close the pockets.
- Repeat the process of weighing the material, pouring it into the vertical channels, allowing the weight to drop, and then sewing the rows off until all your pockets are complete.
- Once you reach the top of your blanket, sew the final row of squares. This closes the open edge.
- Fold the top edge of the fabric .5 inches inward and topstitch .25 inches from the edge. This creates a more finished look.
Keep in mind that this craft can become more difficult as you progress due to the increasing weight. Consider placing your sewing machine towards the middle of the table and take advantage of the added support.
Should You Make Your Own Weighted Blanket?
Making your own weighted blanket can be fun and reward your efforts with a custom blanket built to your specifications. If you have sewing experience and an eye for crafts, you may enjoy creating your DIY weighted blanket. It can also save you money. While the average weighted blanket costs between $100 and $300, some luxury models cost over $400. A DIY blanket typically costs much less.
However, a store-bought weighted blanket is still the best option for some people. Those with limited time or sewing skills may prefer to purchase a weighted blanket. Additionally, individuals looking for a durable option may find that commercially available models hold up better in the long run.