Weighted blankets have grown in popularity in recent years due to their soothing properties, as anyone who has curled up under one can attest to – they are seriously soothing and many believe they can ease a variety of health conditions. The Sleep Foundation explains that invoke deep pressure stimulation, which is believed to stimulate the production of everyone’s favourite mood-boosting hormone, serotonin, which is known to reduce body’s stress levels and improve your sleep. There are all sorts of fabulous weighted blankets out there to buy, but making your own is the ultimate Autumn project, and we’re here to show you how to do it.
Sewing your own is great idea, because you can choose fabrics and materials to your own taste, so we’ve asked our expert Sarah Griffiths (Senior Technical Editor of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine, aka Spindle and Shears) to show you how to make a weighted blanket – step by step.
You can easily make one with just a few bits of fabric, filling and basic sewing kit. Before you begin, you will need to consider what size blanket you want and how much filling you need. A good guide is to use no more than 10% of the body weight of the person who will use the blanket. We used plastic poly pellets for filling because they are washable, durable and made from recycled materials. But there are many other materials you can choose based on your own needs.
You can use any materials you find cosy, but we recommend something durable without too much stretch, such as quilting cottons, brushed cotton, or flannel. Our tutorial will show you how you can make either a patchwork fronted version or use plain fabrics for both the front and back.
If you’re new to sewing, swot up on the basics with our guide to sewing for beginners, and if you’re looking for easy home sewing projects, you might also like our favourite Rug Making Kits for beginners.
DIY weighted blanket – supplies
- Top fabric (printed cotton): one (1) Charm Pack (forty two (42) 5in squares) or 1yd of fabric (we used Moda: The Blues Charm Pack)
- Backing fabric (brushed cotton): 1yd (we used Robert Kaufman Brushed Cotton Flannel fabric)
- 1.5kg of plastic poly pellets, or weighted filling of your choice (we used Hugge Plastic Poly Pellets)
- Sewing machine (try these sewing machines for beginners)
- Basic sewing kit
27in x 31in (approx 70cm x 80cm)
- Seam allowances are 0.25in throughout, unless otherwise instructed.
- Press the seams to one side, unless otherwise instructed.
- Backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam and line of topstitching to secure.
- Small stuffing beads are not recommended for children 3 and under. Regularly check the seams before use, as well as before and after laundering to avoid beads escaping
- This pattern makes an approx 1.5kg/3lb weighted blanket. Adjust the amount of filling used for the weight required in your blanket.
- If you’re not sure what filling to pick, Weighted Blanket Guides have a great article on 6 popular weighted blanket fillings
How to make a weighted blanket tutorial
You Will Need
- Plastic pellets (or weighted filling of your choice (See notes))
- Sewing machine
- Basic sewing kit
Piece the blanket top as outlined below. If you do not want to piece patchwork to make the blanket top, skip to step 4 and simply cut 1 piece of top fabric to the same size as the back fabric.
If, like us, you’re partial to a spot of patchwork though. Here’s how to make a patchwork top for your blanket…
Arrange your 5in squares of fabric in six rows of seven squares.
Once you’re happy with the layout sew the squares together in rows, pressing seams in opposite directions across the row as shown.
Sew the rows together, carefully nesting the seams in each row. Press the seams toward the bottom of the blanket top. This will help to keep any filling beads from getting caught in the seams when you begin to fill the blanket.
Cut your backing fabric to the same size as your completed blanket top (ours was 27.5in x 31.5in). Place the backing fabric right sides together with the blanket top. Sew along the two long edges, making sure to backstitch at each end of both seams to secure. Sew along one short edge in the same way.
Turn the blanket right side out. Press the edges well. Mark a line ½in below the open edge of the blanket using a removable fabric pencil or tailor’s chalk.
Starting and ending at the marked line, topstitch around the three closed edges of the blanket, ¼in from the edge. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the line of topstitching to secure.
Also topstitch ¼in from either side of the column seams of patchwork squares, making sure your stitching lines do not extend past your marked ½in line. This will form channels across the quilt top to add the weighted filling. If you are just using a piece of plain fabric for the front, you will need to mark out a 4½in grid across the fabric before beginning this step.
Use a scoop or measuring cup to place an even amount of filling in each of the channels of the blanket. We used approx 35g of filling in each channel. Shake the blanket to make sure the filling goes all the way down to the bottom of the channel. Pin just below the bottom seam to help keep the filling in place.
Topstitch ¼in below the seam of the bottom row of patchwork squares, removing pins as you go. Work slowly and carefully to avoid sewing over any of the plastic beads, pushing them toward the bottom of the blanket as you feed it into the machine. You may find it helpful to place your sewing machine on a large table to support the blanket as you sew. Or try placing an ironing board lowered to the level of your machine along your left side.
Repeat the last step to fill and sew each of the rows one at a time. Make sure to use a consistent amount of filling in each section to keep the weight even across the blanket.
When you reach the last row, carefully press the raw edges of both the front and back to the inside by ¼in.
Add the filling, then pin or clip along the top edge to temporarily secure. Topstitch, making sure to overlap the topstitching at each side of the blanket and across the channels, approx 3⁄8in from the edge. Add a second row of topstitching above this, approx 1⁄8in from the edge to ensure the folded edges of the blanket are caught. Make sure you backstitch at each end of the topstitching for a secure finish. Clip any loose thread ends, and your weighted blanket is complete!
5 of the best shop brought weighted blankets
Not sure making your own is for you? Check out our favourite weighted blankets to buy online…