Weighted blankets can really come in handy for those of us that need a hugging feeling when we lie down at night. They can be very beneficial for both children and adults, and can help manage anxiety and promote better sleep habits. Furthermore, a weighted blanket is ideal for keeping you warm during chilly nights – and it’s also a great way to wrap up warm when you’re relaxing outdoors in the evening and the temperature starts to drop.
If you don’t want to buy a weighted blanket, and would rather make one yourself, it’s a relatively simple DIY sewing project. Follow this guide and you’ll be able to make a weighted blanket UK.
Tools you will need to make a weighted blanket
To make your own weighted blanket, here’s what you’ll need:
- Fabric – front and back panels
- Filler material
- Ruler or tape measure
- Tailor’s chalk
- Sewing machine (you can hand-sew your weighted blanket, but it will take longer!)
Steps for making a weighted blanket
To make your weighted blanket, follow each step in this process in order.
Find the right filler material
For your filler material, you could go for an inexpensive option such as rice, beans or regular grains. This will cut down your costs, but bear in mind you’ll also be sacrificing quality. Rice and beans are significantly lighter than plastic or steel filler beads, so you’ll need more volume if you go for this option. Furthermore, these fillings aren’t as practical. They’re natural, so they’ll eventually decay, and you won’t be able to wash your blanket either because they can’t come into contact with water.
Your best option for filler material is to buy steel, glass or plastic beads – bear in mind plastic is the least eco-friendly choice. Any of these options will last longer, you’ll be able to wash the blanket, and you’ll need less of them to reach the desired weight.
Know your weighted blanket’s size and weight
With a weighted blanket, you don’t have to go as large as your bed or your comforter. It can be just big enough to cover the person using it. The weighted fillers are usually sewn in pockets that are 3-5 square inches, and you need to add an extra 4 inches to your fabric measurement for the edges.
As far as weight is concerned, ideally you want your weighted blanket to be about 10% of your bodyweight, unless the weight has already been determined by a medical professional or a therapist. Calculate the final weight, factor in the weight of the fabric, and divide the answer by the number of filler squares, so that you can equally distribute the weight.
Assemble the front and back panels
First, cut your front and back fabric panels. Mark 2 inches from each edge of the fabric, plus your grid of squares where you’ll put the fillers, on the outer side of one panel. Once this is done, place the two panels on top of each other, so that the inner side of the fabric is on the outside for both panels (i.e. the whole thing is inside out).
Sew the two panels together along three sides, with a 3/8 seam allowance. Leave one side open.
Once you’ve sewn three sides, turn the fabric the right side out. From there, topstitch the blanket on the three closed sides, following the lines you marked around the edge.
Sew the vertical parts of the blanket
Sew all of the vertical edges on the marked lines next. Start and finish slightly over the 2 inch line at the top and bottom edge, backstitching at the beginning and end each time.
Starting in the centre and stitching your way out is a good way to stitch these lines. Working in this manner helps to stop the cloth from bunching, and limits stitching errors.
Add your filler beads
Now it’s time to fill the weighted pockets with your preferred filling. Using a measuring scoop or a scale to equally distribute your fillings is very important; divide the number of squares by the total weight of fillings. Once you’ve done this, pour the desired number of beads into each vertical section.
Once you’ve poured the fillings in, give them a shake to make sure they are evenly distributed and don’t stick to the fabric.
You’ll need pins at this point, to keep the beads in place and to make sure you follow the markings correctly. Sew according to the marked horizontal line. Start and finish slightly over the 2 inch line at each side, backstitching at the beginning and end each time.
You will need to support the fabric as you sew, so it doesn’t pull your stitches and distort the shape of your finished blanket.
Repeat this process of adding fillings to the next set of pockets and sewing horizontally until you reach the top.
Topstitch the open end
Once all your pockets are filled, close the open end of the blanket. Sew along the 2 inch line to match this edge with the other three, then fold the open seam in and topstitch along the edge.
Your weighted blanket is now finished!