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Thread: Poly fil beads for weighted blanket?

  1. #1
    Senior Member PurpleBecca's Avatar
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    Hi everyone!

    My SIL has asked me if I can make a weighted blanket for my nephew with Autism. I googled and found that poly beads (for toy making) are the best weighted filler.

    HOWEVER - at $20 a bag its going to be an expensive blanket!! SOOooo I was wondering if any of you have a supplier of these beads in 'bulk'

    I thought I would make the cover a nice quilted one....

    Pictures to follow when I get it sorted!!!

    Thanks in anticipation - I know you will all have some great ideas!!!!!

  2. #2
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    How weighted does it have to be? The old wool army blankets were very heavy, how about a couple of them as filler?

  3. #3
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    where do you need to put the weights? Is there a possibility you could put ties on the edges to keep the quilt in place. It appears to me that no matter what and where you put the weights the sleeper would still push the quilt off with turning at night. Another thought which might also be expensive are those strips of metal beads used in the bottom of curtains to keep them hanging straight. Won't weighting make the quilt too warm to sleep and the sleeper would naturally toss it off.

  4. #4
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dakotamaid
    How weighted does it have to be? The old wool army blankets were very heavy, how about a couple of them as filler?
    I like this idea. My grandmother made a quilt for my father with numerous blankets in it. He was the only boy with 6 sisters. The only place that would be private was the attic. That thing is sooo heavy you don't move!! I've rated it the -40 below quilt!!! :lol: :lol:

    Beads are going to shift too much unless you do something like a down comforter type deal with box baffling to keep it in place.

  5. #5
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
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    How old a child? Seems to me the beads may come out if the child 'fidgets' too much with the fabric and causes a hole. Also, what if the weight of the blanket should cover their face while sleeping?

  6. #6
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    This appears to be a case where a phrase comes to mind that we used in professional training. "Form Follows Function"
    What is the purpose of the weights and then search out solutions to that. I would hate to sleep under something that would make me feel I was in the dentist chair with the XRay protector on me.

  7. #7
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    some kind of sleeping bag type quilt comes to mind. Just larger. A qult made like a sleeping bag but full size.

  8. #8
    Senior Member PurpleBecca's Avatar
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    Its a proven therapy for Autism - I googled it after My SIL asked me - apparently (some) Autism patients get comfort and are able to sleep once they have this (quite heavy) weight on top of them!

    I planned to either sew pockets and/ or make little pakages of beads and sew them in lines - you concentrate the weight in the centre - on top of the patient!

    He is 14.

    I have read that patients like upto 20 lbs in weight!!!! For a child the recommendation seems to be 10% body weight plus a pound.

    So no suggestions where to get the beads then?

    I have read that you can use sand, gravel, popcorn or lentils - rice etc - but these are not washable! Although they would be alot cheaper!!!

  9. #9
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    My husband isn't autistic but he likes heavy quilts. They are "comforting" to him so I can completely understand the theory.

    My solution would be to use fishing weights. The little metal balls you tie or crimp onto fishing line to get the worm to sink down.

    Another thought is to sew a large washer between to pieces of denim and make a raggy/shaggy style quilt.

    The quilt would have to be hung & steam cleaned like draperies.

  10. #10
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I ran this by my daughter and she agreed. They do sleep better with the weights. Amazing what they have found to help. I don't know of a supplier. Good luck.

  11. #11
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    Hello. I actually make 3-4 quilts a month for autistic children. We leave pockets at the end of the rows and use twin size sheets (you can get them used at thrift stores) and put one on every other row. I iwll try to find the pattern real quick. The hospitals love them. Sheets are cheapest way to go too.

  12. #12
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    My niece doesn't sleep with her's, but she does find great comfort wrapping up in it during the day if she gets to feeling stressed.

    I would think that aquarium gravel would be washable, I boiled it and it was fine and it sits in water all of the time. I am not sure how expensive it is now.

  13. #13
    Senior Member PurpleBecca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by debbieumphress
    Hello. I actually make 3-4 quilts a month for autistic children. We leave pockets at the end of the rows and use twin size sheets (you can get them used at thrift stores) and put one on every other row. I iwll try to find the pattern real quick. The hospitals love them. Sheets are cheapest way to go too.
    What do you fill them with Debbie???

    Thanks everyone for thinking about this for me!!!

  14. #14
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    All the patterns I've seen used rolled up sheets.

  15. #15
    Junior Member Grammie2twins+1's Avatar
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    I have made these for our Head Start Centers. I put either buck wheat or rice in my blankets. I use muslin to make the part that holds the buck wheat or rice and a cover that can be removed and washed. It is amazing how well these work even for those that just can't seem to settle down for rest time. There are some online to buy but no patterns that I have found. I sewed channels and filled them them up a ways then sewed across the channels over and over until th channels were all filled. The teaching staff love them.

  16. #16
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Try this, it's a pattern from the Project Linus site.

    http://www.projectlinus.org/patterns/wb.html

  17. #17
    Senior Member PurpleBecca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grammie2twins+1
    I have made these for our Head Start Centers. I put either buck wheat or rice in my blankets. I use muslin to make the part that holds the buck wheat or rice and a cover that can be removed and washed. It is amazing how well these work even for those that just can't seem to settle down for rest time. There are some online to buy but no patterns that I have found. I sewed channels and filled them them up a ways then sewed across the channels over and over until th channels were all filled. The teaching staff love them.
    That is how I was going to do it - Great thanks for the info - I think we will have to try something other than the poly beads as filler - I can't eem to locate them in bulk :)

  18. #18
    Senior Member PurpleBecca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by virtualbernie
    Try this, it's a pattern from the Project Linus site.

    http://www.projectlinus.org/patterns/wb.html
    Thank you for the pattern!

  19. #19
    Junior Member Grammie2twins+1's Avatar
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    I think rice is the least expensive way to go. For buck wheat it was $30 for 10 lbs. Hope this idea works for you. Thanks virtualbernie for the patter web site. I will print it out and see how is compares to the ones I make.

  20. #20
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    You are very caring and giving to do this. I wish you well on the project. Maybe people in your family have used sheets they want to donate for the project. Good luck.

  21. #21
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    That's the hope

    The point is actually to have it feel like the lead vests that they use at the dentist. The weight helps calm the muscles and helps the user feel comforted (obviously not everyone). They are often used for people with Autism but are often helpful for people with Restless Leg Syndrome, sensory issues, depression, etc. It's a fairly unknown concept but I've heard it done wonders (I'm trying to make one of my own).

    Quote Originally Posted by Holice View Post
    This appears to be a case where a phrase comes to mind that we used in professional training. "Form Follows Function"
    What is the purpose of the weights and then search out solutions to that. I would hate to sleep under something that would make me feel I was in the dentist chair with the XRay protector on me.

  22. #22
    Super Member hperttula123's Avatar
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    I know that these do work. I know a few people that use these for their kids. I tried to look for it in bulk and I had a hard time finding it also. It can be so pricey for them if you can't get them in bulk.
    I would not put anything in it that is not washable. I have seen the pattern online about sewing channels in them and rolling sheets up and sticking them inside. My friend tried it on her son and he didn't like it as much as the weighted blanket that she bought him. I told her that if she can find the beads, I'd make his next one for him. They do also make smaller ones that just go on your shoulders(used for reading, school time, playing). I don't know if that would be an option for you to make instead. Good luck on your search!!! If I find a good price on them, I will be sure to let you know.
    enjoy your life...it's the only one you have!!!
    Heather

  23. #23
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holice View Post
    This appears to be a case where a phrase comes to mind that we used in professional training. "Form Follows Function"
    What is the purpose of the weights and then search out solutions to that. I would hate to sleep under something that would make me feel I was in the dentist chair with the XRay protector on me.
    Actually feeling like you have a dentist Xray protector on, is what helps with children with sensory integration disorder many times..Every child has their own things that help...But your point is right..exactly what is the comforting elements for this child, and then look for ways to match them

  24. #24
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    I found them in bulk but they are costly.
    http://www.batt-mart.com/site/490194/page/90969

  25. #25
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    Could you find some way to use pennys? I was thinking of sewing them into channel pockets of a liner that you could insert much as the sheets are described as being inserted. 20 or 30 lbs of pennys would not be expensive.

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