Weighted blankets are all the rage these days because of the clear health benefits. From the calming effects, to reducing pain, to helping you get a better night's sleep, there are a million reasons to get a weighted blanket. But what's even better than investing in a weighted blanket? Making one with your own hands. If you've ever wondered how to make a weighted blanket, look no further.
What Is a Weighted Blanket?
A weighted blanket is very much like it sounds. It's a blanket that, instead of being made only of fabric, is created to be very heavy. A weighted blanket allows for compression of the individual beneath the blanket, leading to many health benefits. And, learning how to make a weighted blanket is probably much easier than you think!
Benefits of a Weighted Blanket
Before learning how to make a weighted blanket, understanding the benefits of these blankets is essential.
Autism and Weighted Blankets
Weighted blankets were originally created for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder but have since been gaining popularity among other populations. One of the hallmark symptoms of Autism is difficult emotional outbursts in response to sensory overstimulation. Individuals with Autism often feel like all their senses have been "turned up" so to speak. Sounds seem louder, and lights seem brighter. This makes it very difficult to deal with stimulation that neurotypical individuals would find "normal."
The compression afforded by weighted blankets forces the brain to release serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are used in the brain and nervous system to produce a calming effect. The deep pressure allows the body to release the tension it has been holding on to.
Weighted Blankets for Kids
While individuals who have Autism Spectrum Disorder may have more of a need for a weighted blanket, the benefits are much more far-reaching than the Autism community. Anyone who uses a weighted blanket will benefit from the release of serotonin and dopamine.
Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) are just as likely to have significant benefits. Children with ADHD often have an extremely hard time focusing or sitting still. Implementing a weighted blanket into their daily resting routine can have huge effects on their behavior. Allowing your hyperactive child to take a timeout with a weighted blanket ensures that they will be calmer afterward. Furthermore, children with ADHD often have a difficult time getting restful sleep. Letting your child sleep with a weighted blanket will help them have a deeper, more restful sleep.
Perhaps you don't have a child with diagnosable conditions. But all children experience tantrums, anxiety, nightmares, and other conditions that can be greatly improved with a weighted blanket. Incorporating a weighted blanket into their daily routine will allow your children to reap the great health benefits.
Weighted Blankets for Adults
Do you ever wake up feeling like you didn't get much rest? Or perhaps you experience anxiety and have difficulty calming yourself down. Or maybe back pain has become a normal part of your daily life.
Just as the release of serotonin and dopamine helps your mind relax, it helps your body relax as well, making weighted blankets one of the most effective non-substance treatments for pain. Getting beneath a weighted blanket feels like being wrapped up in a big hug; you can feel each part of your body sigh with gratitude.
How to Make a Weighted Blanket
It's clear that there are great benefits to using a weighted blanket for both adults and children. But there is one big hindrance: weighted blankets tend to be very expensive. Don't let that deter you! Learning how to make a weighted blanket is easier than it sounds.
How Much Should My Weighted Blanket Weigh?
It's suggested that a weighted blanket be 10% of the individual's weight, plus two pounds.
How Long Will Making My Blanket Take?
Making a weighted blanket can take an average of 5-10 hours. This time may be shorter if you already know how to make a weighted blanket, have the supplies on hand, or order them beforehand. Whether or not you have a sewing machine will also make a big difference. But, don't fret! You certainly don't need a sewing machine to make a weighted blanket. However, it will considerably shorten your time.
- 1Determine the size. You'll want to make a blanket big enough for the bed it's intended for. The materials listed are intended for use on a twin size bed. If you intend to utilize your blanket on a larger bed, you'll want to adjust the amount of fabric used. Also, keep in mind that fabric can be heavy! If you chose a particularly heavy fabric for your blanket, you might want to calculate the weight of the fabric into the amount of plastic pellets used. Also, be mindful of the types of pellets you use when learning how to make a weighted blanket. While you don't need to use the type of pellets we listed, avoid using other materials like rice or beans which can mold or decay with use.
- 2After you've measured and cut your fabric, place the right sides of the fabric next to each other.
- 3Measure in about two inches on each side, and draw yourself a line on each side of each fabric panel to sew on.
- 4Sew together the two long sides and one of the short sides. Leaving one side of your blanket open will give you enough room to fit the plastic pellets in.
- 5Since you've been sewing on the inside of your blanket, turn it inside out, so the outside is actually on the outside.
- 6Next, you'll want to divide up the plastic pellets you've weighed out. To keep your pellets in place and ensure that the weight is evenly spread across the blanket, divide the remaining space into 12 squares (or a number that works for the size of your blanket), remembering that you've cut 2 inches off of each side.
- 7Draw four horizontal and three vertical lines on your blanket to divide it into 12 squares.
- 8Divide your pellets into 12 piles, for each of the 12 squares.
- 9Begin by sewing the longer, vertical lines so pellets can fall to the bottom of the blanket without mixing horizontally.
- 10Fill the bottom three squares with their divided pellets, then sew the horizontal seam to keep them in place.
- 11Continue filling and sewing the squares until you've used all the pellets.
- 12Fold the top of the blanket in by the two inches you've measured, and sew it shut.
Remember! You can wash this blanket, but only dry it on a "no heat" setting or hand dry. You don't need to use the brand of pellets we mentioned, but stay away from using biodegradable fillers. People sometimes use dry rice or beans to fill blankets, but over time, these break down and can grow mold, especially if your blanket is ever exposed to liquids.
Taking on big projects, like learning how to make a weighted blanket, can be overwhelming. Especially if you're learning how to make a weighted blanket that's on the larger side. But, don't fret! If you're well prepared and ready to learn, it's not nearly as difficult as you might think.
If you're in between purchasing a weighted blanket and learning how to make a weighted blanket, there are several points you may want to consider. How much of a learning curve will there be? If you already know how to sew, it will be significantly easier to get this project done. Also, take into consideration whether or not you have access to a sewing machine. This project can be daunting no matter what, but doing it by hand will absolutely be more difficult.
You'll also want to think about if it is worth it to invest your time learning how to make a weighted blanket. You might want to calculate how much the materials would cost, versus how much buying a weighted blanket would cost. In this equation, think about the time you'll spend making your weighted blanket. It's difficult to determine how much your time is worth. It may be helpful to try to calculate how much you would make in the hours it will take you to create your blanket. You may decide that it's simply not worth the time and effort and opt to just buy a weighted blanket.
Still, despite the lengthiness of this project, it always feels good to create something; especially something you can use in your day-to-day life. And if you're making a weighted blanket for a child or a friend, they'll appreciate it all the more if its handcrafted by someone they love!
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