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Thread: Weighted Blanket for Autistic Child

  1. #1
    Super Member JoanneS's Avatar
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    Weighted Blanket for Autistic Child

    Does anyone know where I can buy the filler weights for a weighted blanket. I want to makeone for my autistic grandchild. He uses one at his school, and it calms him down so much that he can self-prevent having a tantrum. The blankets are VERY expensive to buy, and my DIL has asked me to make one. I'd love to make one and personalize it for Charlie.

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    Super Member Nelco's Avatar
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    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 11-27-2012 at 12:29 PM. Reason: replace copoyright material with link
    Nelda
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    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    I just checked out the above site as our quilt guild has had a request to make some of these weighted blankets. Looking at this company's price list makes me think that I will recommend buying them rather than making them. These blankets are 4 layers of cotton and are a good size so the material to make even one would be expensive. By the time I purchased all the necessary fabric, thread and weights, I don't think that I would save enough to make it worth my while to try making these. I'd be reaching for my cheque book on this one.
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

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    Super Member JoanneS's Avatar
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    Thanks Nelda - I called Annie at the website. They don't sell river rock, but she suggested I check with someone who sells aquarium rock, because it's clean. I'll do that!
    Joanne

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    Super Member MaryMo's Avatar
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    I have a quilt made from upholstery fabric that is very heavy. I think it was made from scraps discarded from an upholstery shop. I was wondering if it would work in this situation. Just a thought.
    Make it a scrappy happy day!

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    My grandson has just recently been diagnosed with sensory perception disorder and weighted blankets are recommended for him. The occupational therapist, and my niece who is also an OT both suggested getting washers to put in the corners and sides about halfway down because it's supposed to be kept away from the head. Since I sew they said not to spend the money buying one.

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    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    This Youtube video shows how to make one using poly pellets from the craft store:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp8MpA12n04

    Also found this tutorial that uses poly pellets:
    http://thesquishypickles.blogspot.co...-tutorial.html

    I believe the actual weight you use is very important. Check with the OT to get a specific weight for the child. The tutorial says the standard is 10% of body weight plus 1 lb, but weights can vary also for the individual child. Or, perhaps weigh the blanket he uses at school and replicate that weight and placement of the weights in the blanket.

    Here's another tutorial with good photos (also uses the poly pellets):
    http://dandelionmama.com/2010/01/16/...ghted-blanket/

    Edit: Oh, and I found plastic pellets here on Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/Darice-Bean-Fi...dp/B001O5SQCO/
    However, I don't know if they're the good polypropylene ones that don't melt. Also, one of the reviewers said that Walmart had the same ones for half the price.

    Also found these on Amazon. Reviewer says she uses them to make weighted blankets, but that they are a lot less expensive purchased locally:
    http://www.amazon.com/Fairfield-Poly...dp/B000E3E6GM/
    Last edited by Prism99; 11-27-2012 at 03:48 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Elise1's Avatar
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    My son has autism and I always kept a blanket in my car. When he became overwhelmed on an outing or in a restaurant, we would retreat to the car where he could calm himself under a blanket.
    "Be brave enough to be who you really are.

  9. #9
    Super Member hperttula123's Avatar
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    My friend has a son that is autistic. She says he loves his weighted blanket. They have a chart somewhere that I had seen that each pocket is filled with a certain weight of pellets according to the childs weight. I haven't seen it for a while and I can't remember where I had found that at.
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    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Here's another idea I'll toss on the pile. Someone else on this board recently posted about a similar blanket she was making, only it was stretchy and tight instead of weighted. It wraps around the child, sort of like those Thundershirts for dogs. Might be another option to try, along with the weighted blanket.

  11. #11
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    Please don't be scared away by the charts and so on for making these quilts -- it's not an exact science! I have made some really quick-made weighted items for a local group that serves traumatized children, and many of them are comforted by the weight. Our Project Linus chapter has given them weighted pouches, weighted "shawls" (so to speak), as well as a blanket made with the folded sheets method and one made with plastic pellets. They have all been very effective.

    I considered the folded sheet method, but I thought 1. it was expensive to make, and 2. it would require a lot of washing and refolding of the sheets whenever it was washed. I also didn't want to invest in the plastic (washable) pellets, but if I were making one for a loved one, that's the route I'd go.

    Feel free to PM me if you have any questions...
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    than people who never start projects at all.


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    Senior Member granky's Avatar
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    You can buy the plastic pellets on ebay for a reasonable price...and they are washer safe. Of course, you should test them first, but I did and am happy with them. Here is a url that works today

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/15-Pounds-of...item257835d3d8
    Life happens...and we react...

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    I ordered the pellets from craftpellets.com They also show you how to make the blanket. I am going to make one for my adoptive son who is autistic.

  14. #14
    Super Member kydeb's Avatar
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    The weighted blankets are great. You may also want to look at the weighted vests. I worked in special ed with autistic kids for a year between retiring from my real job and working where I am now. The vest was great. Autistic children can be a challenge but so sweet at the same time I loved the 2 I worked with . . . even though I got hit, kicked, pinched, etc. more than once. There was just something so sweet inside those kids and every little obstacle that they overcame meant so much! Best to you!!
    Debbie in Kentucky
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    I use to make open pockets on vest/shirts that the therapist could put bean bags into to add weight. I made the bean bags out of double knit and filled them with corn. (I could get feed corn from the farm store)
    http://ozarkcastle.blogspot.com/

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    I've made two of these and used poly pellets bought at Hobby Lobby and Michaels. Hobby Lobby has 1# bags and Michaels 2 # bags. Use coupons as this can get expensive. Michael's will accept JoAnns coupons. You will also need some poly fill to keep the pellets in place while you sew the seam. The machine doesn't like hitting a pellet it goes into overload. I used 10% of the child's weight plus 1# as that is what the OT recommended. You will need a small kitchen scale to measure small amounts of pellets as you need to divide the pellets into each square. I also found a funnel to be of great help. Don't be surprised if you are sweeping up pellets months after you made the blanket. Good luck.

  17. #17
    Super Member pjnesler's Avatar
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    Very interesting information - thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoanneS View Post
    Does anyone know where I can buy the filler weights for a weighted blanket. I want to makeone for my autistic grandchild. He uses one at his school, and it calms him down so much that he can self-prevent having a tantrum. The blankets are VERY expensive to buy, and my DIL has asked me to make one. I'd love to make one and personalize it for Charlie.
    I made one for my great grandson in Missouri and sent it to him about a year ago. I used old sheets rolled up to weight it and would suggest making the quilt using the directions on the Linus blankets web site. My grandson uses it at home and told me when I visited at Thanksgiving how much he liked it. But I had trouble rolling the sheets and keeping them rolled so would suggest tying them with the torn edges for I tore the old sheets. Good luck for this REALLY WORKS.

  19. #19
    Senior Member such a sew and sew's Avatar
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    I found poly beads at Joann's. They are in the craft department.
    Song: "Keep your eyes on the prize."

  20. #20
    Super Member KyKaren1949's Avatar
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    My church quilting group has made two of these. I believe they bought the poly pellets at Wal Mart.
    Karen in Kentucky

  21. #21
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    Another link to try is [email protected]...If you search her site, you will find a group of ladies who make these quilts. They give their instructions, which are very clear and show pictures of what they make. I feel the cost of these blankets are pretty reasonable. It is worth a few seconds to check out. Good luck on your project, it certainly sounds like a good one.

  22. #22
    Super Member purplemem's Avatar
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    I made this blanket for my great-nephew. I sewed channels that closed with velcro. The weights were thermal blankets cut into long strips and placed in the channels. It works very well and total cost was about $50.
    Adapt! Improvise! Overcome!

  23. #23
    Senior Member snow's Avatar
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    Check out this web site very good for making the blanket. www.craftnectar.com then go under calming senses with weighted blankets.
    Bring Your Conscious awareness to the source of loving and Caring

  24. #24
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    My friend made some of these for her daughters class, and she used rice to weigh it down. She did some research on just how heavy it should be to be heavy enough to be claiming, but not to heavy as to be burdensome or even dangerous. I'm not sure where she found that info, but I suspect it could be found online. Then she weighed out that much rice and make the lap pads with several channels that she then filled with the rice.

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