The idea behind a weighted blanket and other heavy work activities is that when the child gains greater body awareness through proprioceptive input, the nervous system can be calmed and the need for constant fidgiting, moving, jumping, crashing into things, etc. decreases. In other words, it helps the child to calm down, relax, and become less defensive about things that bother him/her.
|PS No judging. I'm not a seamstress and I get too impatient to aim for perfection. :)|
|Yes, I have freckles on my fingers.|
After I had ironed all 3 of the side seams, I top stitched around all 3 sides. (I left about 1 inch of seam length open on the end of the blanket that was open so that when I was ready to finish the last side, I wouldn't have to pick out seams.)
The most difficult part of this project is just figuring out how many squares your blanket is going to have, how big they need to be and how much of the filler each square needs to have in it. Raya's blanket ended up being 8 squares wide, 6 squares long, and the finished weight is about 3 lbs. (*Note: According to this article, the guideline for deciding on the weight of the blanket is 5% of the body weight. Other sources I read said 10% of the body weight+1 lb. All of the articles I read said that you should always check with your child's OT/doctor before using a weighted blanket.)
After I did my math, I sewed vertical columns in the blanket:
|Since there were no lines to follow on this fabric, I folded the side of it over to give me a |
somewhat straight line as a guide. There were a lot of crooked lines on Raya's blanket. :)
After you've worked all the way across the blanket & have all the vertical columns done, the real fun begins. :) Here's what I used to fill Raya's blanket:
|I got them at Walmart in the fabric section next to the quilt batting. They were about $5 a bag.|
Here's what they look like:
when they're on the counter or floor. So be careful. Just sayin'. :)
I used 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons for each square. You can either pour them in like this:
Or like this:
Once you've put enough for the first row of squares in each column, you can stitch across the columns to seal the pellets in. (BE CAREFUL to push all the little pellets out of the way and not run over them or you might break your needle and/or sewing machine.)
Keep moving across the blanket by adding the right amount of pellets in each column and then sewing across all of the columns. It will start to look like this:
It gets a little more cumbersome as you go along because there is so much more weight with each row. When you get to the very last row, it's a good idea to use pins so you don't end up with a mess. You'll want to fold both layers of the fabric to the inside of the blanket and pin all the way across so that the beads don't fall out and so that the fabric stays in place as you stitch the blanket closed.
I stitched close to the edge on this end and continued to stitch all the way around the blanket. Then I came back to the end that had been open and stitched across it again only that time I left a larger margin to match the other 3 sides. I hope that makes sense.
And here's what it looked like when it was all done:
Not the prettiest thing I've ever made by any means (read: there are a lot of crooked lines) but it turned out great for just winging it. :) So far, Raya has absolutely NO interest in it. Go figure, right? :) I think she just needs to feel it out a little more though and figure out what to do with it. She does seem to like laying on top of it like a pillow, so I guess that's something.
Oh, and a side note, she hasn't puked on it yet so I haven't tried washing it yet but the pellets are supposed to be machine washable. My plan is to wash it in the washer on the delicate cycle and then hang it to dry so that it doesn't get caught on anything & tear open. That would be a mess.
So that's how I made a weighted blanket. :)