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Wellness

How to make your own weighted blanket

Save yourself a few hundred bucks and make your own weighted blanket.

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Many people use weighted blankets like this one from YnM to help themselves fall asleep faster and reduce anxiety.

YnM

If you have trouble sleeping, I'd be surprised if you haven't looked into weighted blankets yet. They've been used to soothe children with autism, treat ADHD, ease anxiety and mitigate insomnia due to a technique called deep pressure touch or deep pressure stimulation, similar to what happens during massage therapy. 

There are tons of these heavy blankets on the market and a handful of intriguing research studies showing that they really do work: People have reported feeling less anxious when using a weighted blanket, and others have reported getting better sleep

Too bad weighted blankets can cost you upward of $100. 

If you don't want to hand over that much cash for a blanket, you can try a budget-friendlier option that's tried and true for everything from birdhouses to blackout curtains: Make your own. 

Ready to snuggle up? Here are four creative ways to make your own weighted blanket.

Not into DIY? Learn how to choose the best ready-made weighted blanket for you. 

Before you start

Regardless of which tutorial you choose for your DIY weighted blanket, keep a few general guidelines in mind: 

  • Make sure you have all your materials at hand before beginning. The last thing you want is to run to the store while your kitchen table is full of poly-fil beads. 
  • On that note, if you're worried about using the poly pellets that most tutorials recommend, check out this post from Mama Smiles that details a bunch of different weighted blanket filling options. 
  • Pay attention to the numbers. While it may be tempting to stuff as much filling into your blanket as possible, you only want it to be 10-15% of your body weight. 
  • Speaking of numbers, decide what size you want your blanket to be. It doesn't have to be as large as a comforter; it just needs to cover you or whoever will be using it. 
  • Practice safe sewing: Check out these safe sewing guidelines

1. Make a weighted blanket quilt

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Most weighted blankets use polyester, plastic or glass beads to produce the heaviness. 

Mollie Johanson/The Spruce

Of all the weighted blanket possibilities, a quilt-like version is probably the most popular. It seems to be the easiest way, so it's become a sort of standard in the weighted blanket world. Seriously, if you search for weighted blanket tutorials or just weighted blankets in general, they'll almost all look like quilts. 

This tutorial from The Spruce is very thorough, complete with photos for every step. It's not hard -- the lines on the quilt are already "drawn" for you. If you can operate a sewing machine, you can complete this weighted quilt tutorial. 

2. Make a weighted fleece tie-blanket

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This mom presewed tiny bean bags of poly-fil beads to put inside her daughter's fleece weighted blanket. 

Parenting Chaos

Not a fan of quilts? No problem. Parenting Chaos blogged a tutorial for a weighted fleece tie-blanket: You know, the colorful kind with frayed edges that everyone loved as kids. Bonus points if yours was embroidered with your initials. 

This blanket looks nothing like the quilt version -- it has no visible pockets -- and uses tiny presewed bean bags of poly-fil beads instead of pouring the beads openly into pockets. 

The best part? If you have kids, this weighted blanket can grow with them because it's relatively easy to do a little blanket surgery and add more bean bags. 

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Making a duvet cover for your weighted blanket can help you avoid having to throw a 15-pound blanket in the washing machine.

Cutesy Crafts

3. Make a weighted blanket with a duvet cover

I don't have a weighted blanket, but I hear it's notoriously difficult to wash and dry them. Many people seem to get around that hurdle by purchasing weighted blankets that come with duvet covers, so they can just take the blanket out of the cover when the cover needs a wash. 

This tutorial from Cutesy Crafts takes you through a basic weighted quilt tutorial followed by a relatively simple tutorial for a large fleece cover. 

4. Make a travel-size weighted blanket 

Fraser, a nonprofit for children with special needs, posted this tutorial for a travel-size weighted blanket as an idea to help parents soothe anxious kids. It uses standard-size pillowcases to make a sort of lap pad that children can carry.

However, anyone can benefit from a weighted blanket and you could easily add more pillowcases to make a travel-size weighted blanket suitable for an adult. A smaller version of a weighted blanket would be great for long car rides, flights, train commutes or, honestly, any situation where you're cramped in a small area. 

More of a visual person? Watch this

This YouTube tutorial from Man Sewing is the most comprehensive DIY weighted blanket video I could find in all of Internetland. Rob Appell, the YouTuber who runs Man Sewing, shot this video from all different angles to help viewers visualize all the steps. 

You'll notice that doesn't make a full-size weighted blanket. While you can make a full-size blanket from the steps in his tutorial, this can also serve as another tutorial for a travel-size weighted blanket.