Weekend DIY: Yes, You Can Make Your Very Own Weighted Blanket
When it comes to style, weighted blankets are to your throw blanket game as sweatpants are to your wardrobe: They’re ultra comfy, but most are not exactly show-stoppers (hi, gray-on-gray-on-gray). The good news? This is one cozy home accessory you can totally DIY—and for way less than a store-bought one would cost.
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Make your own, and you’ll have the soothing, possibly stress-reducing benefits of a weighted blanket, plus a design that’s good enough to leave out on display. Give it an afternoon, and by evening you’ll be snuggled up under yours with a cup of tea and a captivating new read. Read on to learn how.
DIY Weighted Blanket
Cost: about $50, depending on fabric
Time: 3-5 hours
Skill: easy to intermediate (you’ll need some basic sewing skills)
- Fabric (you’ll need about 3-4 yards; see below for more info)
- Poly pellets
- Sewing machine and thread
- Rotary cutter or scissors
- Kitchen scale
- Straight pins
- Quilters ruler
- Tailor’s chalk or fabric marking pen
- Funnel or wrapping paper tube
Some notes on…
Blanket Size: A weighted blanket should be about the size of a throw blanket, since it only needs to cover one person; it’s also easiest if you make yours into a square (and we love easy!). Aim for somewhere between 50″ x 50″ and 60″ x 60″. When purchasing fabric, make sure that the width of the fabric you choose is at least as big as the size of your blanket. The length is sold in yards. To calculate how many yards you’ll need, divide the length of your blanket by 36. It’s helpful to buy a bit more fabric than you need, so that you have a buffer. Remember to double the size of your blanket when purchasing fabric since your blanket will have two sides.
Fabric: Once you decide on the approximate size, head to a fabric or craft store to pick out your fabric. Fleece is fairly easy to work with and very forgiving for beginner sewers; it’s also super warm, making it a great choice for people who get cold easily. For our blanket, we chose a herringbone-patterned apparel fabric. It’s still soft but much lighter weight than fleece, and has the look of a typical throw blanket. No matter which fabric you reach for, be sure to choose something washable (the poly pellets are washer-friendly).
Weighted Squares: The smaller the square, the more evenly dispersed the blanket weights will be. Don’t make your squares larger than 6 inches or smaller than 3 inches—and keep in mind, smaller squares require more sewing! Aim for a total weight of 10-15 pounds.
Sewing: This project is literally all straight line sewing, so if you’re confident enough to use a sewing machine to sew a straight line, you’ll be able to do this project.
Take your two pieces of cut fabric and lay them so that the back sides are facing out. Pin the fabric along the left and right sides.
Using your sewing machine, run a stitch down each side, keeping the top and bottom open. Leave at least a half inch extra fabric outside the seam on both sides.
Turn the fabric right-side out so that the seam is concealed, and lay it flat on a large work surface. The two sides should be sewn together, and the top and bottom should remain open.
Measure in 2 inches from one of the seams, and place marks where your weighted squares will be. We marked every 5 inches for our 5-inch weighted squares. Repeat for the other seam.
Using your quilter’s ruler and tailor’s chalk, connect the marked points on each side.
Repeat this step on the top and bottom to create the grid for your weighted squares.
Take the blanket over to the sewing machine. Find the center line connecting the two stitched sides. Stitch across this line, from side seam to side seam, to divide the blanket into two sides.
You shouldn’t need to pin the fabric in place for this step, but if you find it slipping, it might be a good idea to take extra precaution.
Once you’ve sewn across the middle of the blanket it’s time to sew along the vertical lines. At this point, the middle horizontal line should be sewn, and all vertical lines should be sewn.
Now it’s time to begin filling the weighted squares! To figure out how many poly pellets to put in each square, take the total weight of the pellets in ounces and divide by the total number of squares on your blanket. Using a kitchen scale and measuring cup, weigh out the amount needed for each square. A wrapping paper tube comes in handy to get the pellets down inside of the blanket, or if you’re working with really small squares, a funnel with a long spout is handy as well.
Working across the blanket, begin filling each square with the measured pellets; gently shake the blanket so the pellets fall down to the bottom of the squares. Pin the fabric to close off the squares once filled. Then, sew along the line to close off that row of squares.
Repeat for each row, working outwards from the center.
Once you’ve filled in all the squares and sewn along all the chalked lines to close them up, it’s time to finish the open ends of the blanket. Tuck the raw edges down inside the open ends, leaving at least a 1-inch border. Topstitch about ¼ inch from the edge to finish.
Repeat this step on the other end of the blanket. That’s it! You’re done! Use a damp sponge to remove any remaining chalk marks, then cuddle up underneath your new DIY weighted blanket.
Here’s to less stress, anxiety, and a better night’s sleep!