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Thread: Weighted Blanket...anyone made one?

  1. #1
    Senior Member tngal22's Avatar
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    Weighted Blanket...anyone made one?

    We just found out that our daughter has a sensory disorder and the OT suggested a weighted blanket. She said if I sew, I could make one cheaper than I could buy one because they tend to be high. I found a pattern, but where do I get the pellets? Are the ones at JoAnn's or Wal-Mart good?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by tngal22; 04-23-2012 at 05:51 PM.
    Sabrina
    Mommy to a 6 year old little girl, 3 dogs, 5 cats, and 2 fish. lol Life keeps me busy but when I have a moment, I love to sew
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  2. #2
    Senior Member FranW's Avatar
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    This is from Project Linus.

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

    I have never made one of these, but the sheets sounded like an interesting alternative to the pellets.
    Have a happy day,

    Fran

  3. #3
    Junior Member JudyMN's Avatar
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    There is a you-tube video on how to make and fill weighted blankets. Some people even use sand for weights. Bless you for taking the time to make the weighted blanket. It is so calming for the one who needs it. I do not know how to post a link, but just google making weighted blanket.

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    I bought pellets at Michael's and use non stretchable fleece.

  5. #5
    Senior Member tngal22's Avatar
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    Thanks. I think my daughter would like the pellets, just because of the feel of them, though I could make one with the pellets and one with the sheets to see which she likes best. This is all new to me but I want to do what I can to make it easier for her. She is just 4 years old and I am sure is confused. I think I will use a fleece type because I noticed when I put the tshirt type sheet on her bed today, she noticed right away and said "oooh soft."
    Sabrina
    Mommy to a 6 year old little girl, 3 dogs, 5 cats, and 2 fish. lol Life keeps me busy but when I have a moment, I love to sew
    http://ataleofamilitaryfamily.blogspot.com/
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  6. #6
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Being that the OT is recommending it, ask for more input based on her experience, and her knowledge of your daughter.

    Minky might be a consideration, if she likes soft and cuddly.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member tngal22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post
    Being that the OT is recommending it, ask for more input based on her experience, and her knowledge of your daughter.

    Minky might be a consideration, if she likes soft and cuddly.
    True. We go back next week so I can ask her then.
    Sabrina
    Mommy to a 6 year old little girl, 3 dogs, 5 cats, and 2 fish. lol Life keeps me busy but when I have a moment, I love to sew
    http://ataleofamilitaryfamily.blogspot.com/
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/HugsLove

  8. #8
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    In my classroom we have some with premade beanbags, just because we found them cheap on oriental trading. I used 2 pieces of corduroy, stitched it pillowcase style, and then sewed tunnels from top to bottom. Then I would put a beanbag in each tunnel and sew across it the other direction, all the way up. That way it was a bunch of squares. We had some kids that were good at picking holes, so I liked to have self contained beanbags and a way to repair. You can also use course sand I'd you use a tine stitch length and reinforce it. The quilted style helps distribute the weight throughout. I also recommend making some kind of washable slip cover in a favorite texture fabric.

    If weight doesn't do it for your darter, pressure might. Look into neoprene pressure vests. You can buy them, but there are ways to make them too. Weight and pressure have different effects on proprioception. You can also try weights on different parts of the body, even weighted hats. Let me know if you needmore ideas... I'm a special Ed teacher so used to being budget concious and creative.

  9. #9
    RST
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    We used a relatively light blanket, and rice was the easiest and cheapest filler option for our needs. I made removable tubes filled with rice, then inserted them into channels in the blanket.

    I'd avoid actual beans -- they can sprout with moisture-- then smell horrid.

    The pellets from Joanns or Michaels can get spendy in the quantities you need for a whole blanket -- several bags, at $10 to $14 each. Of course, compared to commercial weighted blankets, that's not too bad. And you could use coupons.

    RST

  10. #10
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    The pellets are also sold under "doll weighting pellets." You might be able to find a better price, online.

  11. #11
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Perhaps the OT would have a source for getting the pellets at a wholesale price?

    Consider the fillings ... beans explained above.
    Rice (and any other food stuffs) ... might be of interest to mice.
    Sand ... hhmmmmm? wonder if the cat would figure it out? and if it should get wet, and soggy?

    Despite the costs, I think I would opt for the artificial ... besides, I'm sure you'd agree, that for your child is well worth it.
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  12. #12
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    Also, the weight of the blanket/quilt needs to be 10% of the body weight. Lots of info on the net about these, especially with Autism headings.

  13. #13
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    I am the assistant coordinator for my local Project Linus, and we just recently tackled some of these weighted blankets. I learned a lot in the process.

    First off, one member made one from the pattern with the sheets inside, and it is very nice -- it's heavy and it's all washable. It's also kind of costly (you have to buy a lot of sheets) and it's pretty darn heavy.

    Another member made one with the pellets (also an expense) in the beanbag style described above by misskira. That worked out well, too.

    We also made some with supplies we got at a local feed store -- dried peas, which made a nice round ball, and rolled wheat, I think it was. Both were about $4-6 for 10 lbs., comparable to rice if you can find a deal on it.

    Some people suggested not using organic material because they can mold, but the organization we were making them for had one with rice that they'd been using for years, and they were fine with organic material. They also told us a few things about shape and size.

    I ended up making two styles -- one, kind of a small pillow shape, about 10" by 14". It was just a lump, but the kids like to curl up around it. I made another that was a long snake-like tube (with the bean bag approach), and the kids wrap it around themselves. While we were there, we saw two small kids hold them and cuddle them, which was both heart-warming and satisfying to see that they worked as intended.

    My point here is don't stress about it. Anything you do will be helpful, and you can learn as you go. If you make something she likes, you can keep improving on it, or if it doesn't work, you can try something else.

    I will also say, if you sit with a heavy blanket on your lap, you will quickly see how calming and relaxing they can be.

    Good luck!
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  14. #14
    Senior Member tngal22's Avatar
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    Thanks! I will research more as I would like something that can be easily washed as she likes to be covered while she eats sometimes. I will ask the therapist Monday when we go back what she recommends.

    The pattern I found was the one with the columns then you sew as you fill to make squares through out the blanket. And I did read where it should be 10% of the body weight plus a pound.

    Thanks again for all the info.
    Sabrina
    Mommy to a 6 year old little girl, 3 dogs, 5 cats, and 2 fish. lol Life keeps me busy but when I have a moment, I love to sew
    http://ataleofamilitaryfamily.blogspot.com/
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/HugsLove

  15. #15
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tngal22 View Post
    Thanks! I will research more as I would like something that can be easily washed as she likes to be covered while she eats sometimes. I will ask the therapist Monday when we go back what she recommends.

    The pattern I found was the one with the columns then you sew as you fill to make squares through out the blanket. And I did read where it should be 10% of the body weight plus a pound.

    Thanks again for all the info.
    For a child .. in the design process, you might consider how you can make it's weight grow ... as your daughter grows!
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    Quote Originally Posted by tngal22 View Post
    ....She is just 4 years old and I am sure is confused.
    It is good that she has been diagnosed early, so many times disorders can be overlooked or ignored until things are really bad. Hope everything works out for you guys.

    So, if the weight should be 10% of body weight, do you have to keep adding weight?

  17. #17
    Super Member Chasing Hawk's Avatar
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    I found this doing a Google search.

    http://www.davidsblanket.com/downloa...structions.pdf
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  18. #18
    Senior Member tngal22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post
    For a child .. in the design process, you might consider how you can make it's weight grow ... as your daughter grows!
    I was thinking of figuring out how to make the columns as refillable, as in make tubes to put in the columns. Maybe use velco at one end so I can add more weight as needed. Not sure. I may just make one first then see how she likes it then tweek the design as needed.
    Sabrina
    Mommy to a 6 year old little girl, 3 dogs, 5 cats, and 2 fish. lol Life keeps me busy but when I have a moment, I love to sew
    http://ataleofamilitaryfamily.blogspot.com/
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/HugsLove

  19. #19
    Senior Member CarrieC's Avatar
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    I had this same dilemma and mountainmammo (from this board) sent me the directions to making one of these. I owe her a debt of gratitude because you wouldn't believe how much these cost!!!

    I've made one. There is a weight calculation you have to do. I'm not at home where the pattern is, so please do NOT assume this calculation is correct but it will be something like 10% of the child's weight + 1 lb. type of thing.

    I sewed two sheets together into a "sleeve" (3 sides sewn one side open). Then I sewed channels. Then we figured out the weight needed and divided that by the number of sleeves. Then we took 1/10th of the pellets and dropped them down each sleeve. Then we sewed across the blanket (so you have like "pillows" of pellets) continued to the top.

    Once I had that done, I made a sort of Duvet Cover for it out of fabric that she liked. Her mom has a couple of covers now. She can wash those as she wants to and she washes the "weighted blanket part" less often.

    I got my pellets on EBAY. I believe I found it under either dolls or teddy bear making materials. I had to buy a decent quantity.

    PS - when you have to "add weight" to the quilt, I've done that too. We choose random "pillows" to slice and add pellets to. Then I sewed (appliqued?) a "bandaid" on the cut. When we had to add more weight a few months later we just picked other "pillows" to slice and add pellets to. I figure when I have added to all of the pillows, I'll just make another weighted blanket!

    I wish you the best of luck - and a hearty thank you to mountainmammo who got me through my first one.
    Carrie, Queen of the Seam Rippers!

  20. #20
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tngal22 View Post
    I was thinking of figuring out how to make the columns as refillable, as in make tubes to put in the columns. Maybe use velco at one end so I can add more weight as needed. Not sure. I may just make one first then see how she likes it then tweek the design as needed.

    Velcro (or a zipper) is a good idea ... though if she's a "picker", that might not be such a good plan!
    Might be better to stitch on the machine, and know how you are going to get into it.

    I hope the OT has some valuable input for you ... all too often I hear and read that therapists, doctors etc. recommend these without any input and direction ... leaving the parent to do the research and stumble along in figuring it out. And I bet, there's times when some of the OTs say, oh that's all wrong.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member tngal22's Avatar
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    Well I can't seem to post...this is my third attempt, lets see if this works.

    Thanks Carrie and QuiltE! I will ask her therapist. I am one to research so I don't mind that part but I will make sure I do it correct first. And I made a chew toy for her, it is terry cloth since she likes wash cloths and minky for the strap for softness. I am washing it now. It isn't pretty but it was a trial run to see if she would like it.
    Sabrina
    Mommy to a 6 year old little girl, 3 dogs, 5 cats, and 2 fish. lol Life keeps me busy but when I have a moment, I love to sew
    http://ataleofamilitaryfamily.blogspot.com/
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/HugsLove

  22. #22
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Good Luck ... we'll look forward to hearing what you create.




    I just had an idea ... and not sure if it's a good/bad one!
    What about one of those lead covers they put over us at the dentist's office when they do X-Rays? It's heavy, not bulky ... and I wonder if they ever replace them and you could use it?
    Last edited by QuiltE; 04-24-2012 at 10:46 AM.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member tngal22's Avatar
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    I had thought about the weight belts/sacks, the ones that you put in to add extra weight for you, wonder if they came in 1lb so I could use them in the columns for easy removal. Have to look into that. I have some other ideas, just will have to see what I can find to use.
    Sabrina
    Mommy to a 6 year old little girl, 3 dogs, 5 cats, and 2 fish. lol Life keeps me busy but when I have a moment, I love to sew
    http://ataleofamilitaryfamily.blogspot.com/
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/HugsLove

  24. #24
    Senior Member CarrieC's Avatar
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    Another thing to research. They have weighted vests. Our GD didn't want ANYTHING to do with that so I didn't do too much research with that. But it is a thought.
    Carrie, Queen of the Seam Rippers!

  25. #25
    Senior Member tngal22's Avatar
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    I have a friend that has a vest I could borrow. I just don't know if she would like that as much as a blanket.
    Sabrina
    Mommy to a 6 year old little girl, 3 dogs, 5 cats, and 2 fish. lol Life keeps me busy but when I have a moment, I love to sew
    http://ataleofamilitaryfamily.blogspot.com/
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/HugsLove

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