Friday, January 20, 2012

Instructions for the Homemade, Washable, and Adjustable Weighted Blankets

There have been several interested in receiving instructions for the 
Homemade, Washable, and Adjustable Weighted Blankets. 

For more pictures 
and descriptions of the blanket click here

Supplies for twin mattress:
Flannel fabric -   2 ½ yards, 45 inch wide.
Flat Sheet – twin or full size.
Close woven fabric to support snaps – 1 ¼ yards
Scrap fabric for bean bags
Heavy duty snaps, six boxes of 8 nickel snaps. (
Velcro – 12 yards, 5/8 inch width (
Thread, ruler, marking pen or pencil.
Dry Pinto beans - 8lbs

Preparation – Wash and dry all fabrics.  Square off the cut edges to make good rectangles as long as possible. On the long side of the flannel fabric fold over edges 1 ½ inches and sew to make a hem for snaps.
Pockets - Measure the width between side hems of flannel to determine finished length of rows of pockets. Lay out flat sheet, mark and cut strips of fabric to make 10 rows of pockets. If you have a Serger sewing machine cut rows 6 ½ inches wide and the finished length for rows of pockets. Serge all edges for finished look on rows of pockets.  If you don’t have a serger cut the rows a little wider and longer to give yourself enough fabric to make a narrow hem on all the edges of the rows of pockets.
A finished row should be 6 inches wide and the correct length to fit inside both hemmed edges of the flannel fabric. Measure the length of the row and mark the fabric for six pockets. The size of the pocket will determine the size of the bean bags.
Bean bags - Make your finished bean bags ½ inch smaller in width and length than the pocket. For example: if your pocket measures 6 X 6 ½ inches, the finished bean bag should measure 5 ½ X 6 inches. This will give enough room to comfortably fit the full bean bag into the finished pocket.
The easiest way to make bean bags is to cut rectangles from the rest of the sheet. Since you need 60 bean bags to complete the weighted blanket add-on, you will need to use scrap fabric to complete your project. If you sew a 3/8 inch seam and want a 5 ½ X 6 inch finished bean bag, your cut rectangle should be 11&6/8 X 6&6/8 inches. Fold rectangle in half, sew sides and turn right side out. Fill with ½ cup of beans and sew top with a serger or fold narrow hem at the top and sew closed.
Velcro – Use the hook side of tape for pockets and the loop side for bean bags. For one row of pockets cut six 7 inch strips of the hook side of Velcro. Measure and cut 1 inch from end of each strip. This is for the center of the pocket. Cut the rest of the strip into quarters, measuring 1 ½ inches, for each corner of the pocket.
On the wrong side of the row of pockets draw the dividing line for each pocket and a large X from corner to corner for each pocket. Sew Velcro with a zigzag stitch close to each corner but not covering the dividing line for each pocket. Sew center Velcro on one line of the X at the center of the pocket. Continue for the remaining rows of pockets.  
For bean bags cut a 7 inch strip of the loop side of Velcro.  Measure and cut 1 inch from the end of each strip for the center of the bean bag. Cut the rest of the strip into quarters, measuring 1 ½ inch for the corners of the bean bag.
Place bean bag on a table and flatten to distribute the beans evenly. Slide a long pencil under the bean bag from corner to corner and lift to make two even triangles. Sew a straight line corner to corner. Flatten bean bag, slide a pencil underneath from the opposite corner to corner and lift. This will make 4 triangles in the bean bag. Sew a straight line corner to corner. Sew Velcro with a zigzag stitch close to each corner and center of the bean bag. Continue for the remaining bean bags.
Velcro on the inside of the pocket

Rows of Pockets – Serge or make a narrow hem along top side of flannel and fold down to make a 1 ½ inch hem. On wrong side of flannel pin the first row of pockets (right side up) inside the side hems and just underneath the top hem of flannel. Sew the sides and bottom of the row. Sew the dividing line for pockets. Place and pin the next row close to but not overlapping the previous row of pockets.
Sew 5 rows of pockets and skip 1 ½ inches of flannel before sewing the next row. This leaves enough room to sew a strip of fabric for snaps. Continue attaching rows of pockets to the flannel until you have completed ten rows of pockets. Trim bottom of flannel, leaving enough material to make a 1 ½ inch hem, serge or make a narrow hem, fold up and sew.
Snaps – The top half of snap is attached to the flannel and the bottom half of snap to the close woven, heavy duty fabric.
On side hems of flannel mark the spot for the first snap ¾ inch from the top edge of the fabric. This should be in the center of the corner made by the side and top hems. Measure 6 inches and mark the spot for the next snap. Continue down the side hem until the bottom corner and place the mark in the center of the corner made by the side and bottom hems. The last space made by the bottom snap will be different than 6 inches. Make a note of this measurement. There should be 13 snaps along sides of flannel.
Cut the close woven, heavy duty fabric into 3 inch strips. Fold over to make a 1 ½ inch hem and serge or stitch and trim with a pinking shear. Lay strips along the side hems of flannel and make corresponding marks for snaps.Measure top and bottom hems between corners, evenly space 5 snaps and mark the spot for snaps. Lay a hemmed strip of fabric along bottom and top of flannel and make corresponding marks for snaps.  
For the center of flannel you need 2 hemmed strips of fabric.  Mark spots for 5 snaps using a different color (red) for top half of snaps.  Follow directions on the boxes of snaps to attach snaps to flannel and strips of fabric. Sew the center strip with top half of snaps to center of flannel between rows 5 and 6 being careful not to cover the open top of row 6. Snap together all strips making sure everything matches.
Finishing – Lay the flannel (pocket side down) on a blanket or quilt, position flannel to cover the mattress and pin the strips of fabric to the blanket or quilt. Carefully unsnap the flannel and remove, leaving the strips of fabric in place. Sew to blanket or quilt.
To insert bean bags into pockets, cut the side of a cereal box slightly smaller than pocket. Slide the cardboard into pocket, printed side down. Flatten bean bag and with the Velcro side up, slide into pocket. Remove cardboard and press on Velcro to attach. Continue for the rest of the pockets and bean bags. Snap weighted flannel to blanket or quilt.
Tips and hints – Use quality fabric for the flannel, cheap flannel will fall apart after a few years. The sheet however can be purchased for $5 to $9 at your local ‘mart’ store.
Buying the snaps and Velcro online is much cheaper than any store. The Velcro comes in 25 yard rolls which is enough for 2 twin-sized weighted blankets. The snaps are attached with a hammer and some man sized help is appreciated. (It took me 3 taps of the hammer where my brother only used one to attach a snap.)
When filling bean bags rice can be used instead of beans, just make sure the weight is the same.
When cutting or sewing do it in stages. For example finish the edges of all the rows of pockets before going on to the next step. 
If the weighted blanket is for a small child you won’t need all the bean bags at once. Complete the rows of pockets and attach to the blanket so that when the child grows you can add more bean bags. Some children will want the most weight on their core and others will want it evenly spread over the whole body. You can adjust the bean bags for their comfort.
Filling the bean bags with ½ cup of beans gives a gentle medium weight. ¼ cup of beans makes a light weight bag that needs more lines of stitching to keep it from clumping.  ¾ cup of beans makes a heavy weight bag that is harder to sew, but still possible.
Take out all the bean bags before washing the blanket and then reinsert when blanket is dry.
Velcro -
#580 and #581 choose your color and number of 25 yard rolls.

For more pictures 
and descriptions of the blanket click here

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