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Weighted Blanket

A blanket that's this soft and soothing is perfect for sleepless nights.

weighted blanket

Photography: Anusha Rajeswaran

Source: Martha Stewart

Introduction

This idea comes from our friend Anusha Rajeswaran of Fish and Bull. Weighted blankets can be therapeutic for adults and children with sensory conditions, relieve stress, and even help you get more beauty sleep. The weight of the blanket, which is carefully measured to suit the person using it, has a calming effect much like a hug. These homemade blankets and quilts have many benefits, but we suggest that you consult with your doctor before using this for a child.

 

While weighted blankets found in stores are normally filled with plastic pellets, we opted for an eco-friendly and natural version, filling each quilted pocket with uncooked rice. For this project, you will need a sewing machine with the proper machine needle. Choose the right type of thread and notions from your sewing kit depending on the fabric. Before you begin, calculate how much rice you will need by body weight. The formula to follow is 1 pound per 10 pounds of body weight plus one extra pound. For example, an adult weighted blanket: 120 pounds of body weight equals 12 pounds plus 1 pound, which equals a total of 13 pounds of rice. If you're using a heavy fabric, consider subtracting the weight of the fabric from the total weight. (Note: Children under the age of 3 or under 50 pounds should not use a weighted blanket.) You can remove and machine wash the blanket cover. Keep in mind, however, that the inner blanket with rice should not be machine washed.

 

For more ideas, scroll through our entire collection of sewing projects and tutorials.

materials

  • Cotton fabric, at least 5 yards

  • Fabric scissors

  • Sewing machine and supplies

  • Straight pins

  • Quilter's ruler

  • Tailor's chalk

  • Kitchen scale (or measuring cup)

  • Rice

  • Ribbons

steps

  1. Determine the size of your blanket. Measure and cut four pieces of fabric that each measure at least 2 1/2 yards. (Note: This is enough fabric to produce a twin-size blanket.) Layer two pieces of cotton fabric for the inner blanket, right sides together; secure with pins. Stitch the fabric along three sides, leaving the top open; trim any excess fabric. Turn the fabric inside out. (Tip: Iron the fabric so that the seams are even and smooth.)

    weighted blanket
  2. Using tailor's chalk, mark a grid of squares onto the fabric based on the total blanket size (for example, a twin size blanket is 66 by 90 inches: If you mark a grid of squares measuring 6 by 6 inches each, you will need 6 columns and 15 rows resulting in a total of 90 squares.) To calculate how much rice will fill each square, divide 13 pounds (or the total rice requirement) by 90 squares. Measure rice using a kitchen scale (in ounces) or a measuring cup (in cups). Remember that there are 16 ounces in each pound, so 13 pounds would equal 208 ounces. If using ounces, you will be adding about 2.3 ounces of rice to each square pocket.

    weighted blanket
  3. To produce the columns, pin columns that measure 6 inches in width and machine stitch. Pour 2.3 ounces of rice into each column; shake the rice all the way to the bottom of the blanket.

    weighted blanket
  4. To produce the first row of squares, measure a 6-inch row and pin along the width of the entire blanket; sew horizontally. Pour another 2.3 ounces of rice into each column. Repeat until you reach the top of the blanket and all of the rice has been dispensed.

    weighted blanket
  5. To sew a blanket cover, layer two soft pieces of fabric right sides together and pin to secure. Sew the fabric on three sides, leaving the bottom open. 

    weighted blanket
  6. Machine stitch several pairs of ribbon (measuring at least 6 inches each) to the bottom open edge of the blanket so that the blanket can be tied closed.

    weighted blanket
  7. Insert the inner quilted blanket into the cover; tie together with ribbons.

    weighted blanket

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