Rice and sweet dreams

Creations / Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

I just gotta say: It is possible to make weighted blankets yourself! I did it.

It requires a few very basic ingredients, but lots of them:

  1. Fleece
  2. Rice
  3. Extra-strong thread
  4. Patience
  5. Hard math—but I already did it for you

This will appeal to such a small fraction of my readers that I feel apologetic. But maybe a few of you have kids with sensory issues, or simply like a warm, heavy blanket for yourself. I could sleep with Regan’s any day of the week. Except he’s too in love with it to share.

Regan with blanket

Buying a weighted blanket costs $70-$100. I made Kelly’s for $15 (8 pounds) and Regan’s for $18 (12 pounds). It’s not hard work, but it’s tedious, taking the better part of a day to make each blanket.

Here’s how. These instructions will create a blanket like Kelly’s. Regan’s required 3 Tbsp. of rice per pocket instead, and was harder to stitch.

1. Cut two rectangles of fleece, each 36” by 48.” I bought complimentary colored fleece throws on sale for $3 apiece.

2. Using extra-strong thread, sew a seam across the short end of the rectangles, 2” from the edge, right sides of fabric facing out. There will be no inverting.

3. Mark parallel lines 2” apart, starting at first seam and running perpendicularly up the length of the blanket. Sew along the lines to form long skinny pockets, ending 2” from top edge of fleece. You will have a total of 16 long pockets.

4. Funnel 2 Tbsp. of dry rice into each pocket. Shake to bottom of pockets. Pin rice in place, if desired, and sew a seam crosswise, 4” from first seam, to seal the row of pockets shut. (If you run over the rice, your needle will break. Trust me. I broke three on Regan’s blanket; hence the pinning in place.)

5. Repeat step four (funneling rice, sewing pockets shut) until you have made 11 rows of pockets, for a total of 44”.




6. Cut all four edges of blanket into fringes. Knot.

And you are done! You won’t believe how cozy it feels.




21 Replies to “Rice and sweet dreams”

  1. How interesting! I had never even heard of such a thing before.

    But then, non-people are not usually programmed with such knowledge at the point of manufacture.

  2. O never mind. I misread that. Duh. I bought a used weighted one for George. I knew it had to be beads instead of rice bc too many people have bedwetting issues…

  3. I have never heard of this before! How special for your children to cuddle under mom’s loving work. I don’t think my kids will get to experience such blankets though you do make it look easy.

  4. A friend of mine made one similar to this but she used pennies for the weights. 🙂 That one is washable, which would be a huge issue in this house.:-) We have way too many bed wetting accidents at this house.
    I love the way yours turned out! Very nice & cozy looking.

  5. Couldn’t have any blankets at our house that weren’t machine washable. We just aren’t that clean! But good for you for making a weighted blanket that will work for you! Weighted blankets can be very helfpul in sensory programs. 😉

    Have you read “The Out of Sync Child Has Fun”? Love that book at this house! I gave away my paper copy to someone who works with Moms in Ukraine, and then I got the Kindle version so I wouldn’t keep giving mine away since we need it and I couldn’t afford to keep buying new ones. Katya has greatly benefited by a lot of the ideas in that book.

  6. Could you use a heavy vinyl lining, one that does not crinkle to make rice squares using the melting technique with an iron and parchment paper? Then just sew around the prefilled squares? I would think that would make it washable in cold water on a gentle cycle and then air dry. I am looking for a way to make one for my grandson who has autism and I remembered a site I read how to make water blobs for kids to play on. Maybe this would work by just wrapping each weighted square in batting to cushion the vinyl and still be able to wash it in case of accidents. I don’t know your situation but it is times outside the home that is most stressful for my grandson. Just thinking and decided to share so I could maybe help or get some constructive feedback on it. What about beans or wrapped pennies in batting. That might work. We have pennies everywhere and they are waterproof. Sorry, mind goes hundred miles a minute. Wish the rest of me did! Lol.

    1. Others have used pennies with good success. I think they would quickly get too heavy–you couldn’t use many. Beans would not be washable, of course…

      I like the idea of the vinyl. If your sewing machine can handle it and it won’t tear at the seams, I’d say give it a try & let me know how it goes! 🙂

      1. Could you use PUL in it to make water proof? I like the idea of the rice from an economic stand point but the little beads would work well for washing. Any idea about how much of the beads you would use in place of the rice? Thank you so much for the tutorial.

        1. I think waterproof fabric is a great idea! I have never worked with the little beads, so I don’t know exactly–but I will say the weight is much more important than the volume. You don’t want to get to the end of the blanket and find it’s too heavy to lift. 🙂 Buy the total weight of beads you’d like (8# or whatever) and then measure their volume in cups, and do the math to figure out how many tablespoons should go in each pocket.

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