How to make a weighted blanket for an autistic child

For many autistic children, addressing sensory needs can make a big difference in emotions and behavior. More and more parents are utilizing weighted blankets with their autistic children.

What is a weighted blanket for autism?

A weighted blanket is a therapeutic method to help your child have less anxiety and stress during the night. For many autistic kids, weighted blankets greatly reduce the number of meltdowns and kids sleep better at night. When a kid has a good night sleep, he or she functions better the following day. The blanket can be during the day as well. When your child because upset, encourage him or her to lie down and cover up with the blanket.

Materials needed to make a weighted blanket

  • pillow cases
  • poly (or plastic) pellets
  • funnel
  • sewing machine

Instructions to make a weighted blanket

For a small blanket, a pillow case can be used. For a bigger blanket, you can use 4 to 6 pillow cases.

  1. Begin by sewing eight channels from the top to the bottom of your pillow case.
  2. Using the funnel, fill each channel with 1.5 cups of pellets.
  3. Sew the end of the pillow case.
  4. Divide the pellets into halves, so that you can sew along the middle of the pillow case.
  5. Next, sew a line through the middle of each half, forming four quarters.
  6. Lastly, sew a line through the middle of each quarter.

When you are through, you should have a total of 64 blocks, with roughly the same amount of pellets in each block. If you’re using more than one pillow case, simple sew the completed pillow cases together.

Material can be instead of pillow cases. Once you select your material and the size that you need, fold the material inside out and sew the two sides. Then use straight pins to mark the channels. Follow the same steps as listed above.  Here’s a great tip. If you don’t want to have to mess with pins, look for material that has vertical and horizontal lines. This makes the job a lot easier with little hassle.

How much do weighted blankets cost?

Price can range from $65 to $140.

Where can I find a weighted blanket?

There are several online sites that sell weighted blankets under various names such as SensaCalm, Sensory Goods Blanket, or Magic Blanket. These blankets can be quite costly and sometimes are limited in size or color.  However, you can easily make your own weighted blanket by following the steps below.

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