How to Make a Weighted Lap Blanket

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Weighted blankets can be especially helpful for young children with autism.
Weighted blankets can be especially helpful for young children with autism. (Image: quilt image by Edsweb from Fotolia.com)

Weighted lap blankets promote a calming effect, and be helpful for people who have autism or other special needs. The desired weight of a lap blanket is 10 percent of your body weight. An individual who weighs 150 pounds benefits from a lap blanket that weighs 15 pounds. The weights inside a weighted lap blanket are high-end poly pellets, which are uniformly round and smooth.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton/flannel fabric
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Straight pins
  • High-quality poly pellets

Cut four rectangular pieces of fabric 35 1/2 by 44 1/2 inches.

Lay two fabric rectangles on top of one another matching the edges. Make sure the print or front side of the fabric is facing up.

Match the edges of the remaining two rectangles. Turn the rectangles over so the print or front side is facing down. Place the two rectangles directly over the first two. Pin around the edges.

Sew a 1/2-inch seam around the edges leaving an 8-inch opening on one side. Sew a second seam 5/8 inch in from the edge stopping at the 8-inch opening.

Turn the blanket so the printed or right sides are facing out. Pull the fabric through the 8-inch hole to turn. Press the seam around the outside edge so the lap blanket lays flat.

Pour the required amount of high quality poly pellets into the 8-inch opening. The amount of poly pellets depends on the weight of the person who will use the blanket. Figure the amount by taking 10 percent of the person's body weight. A person who weighs 110 pounds will need 11 pounds of poly pellets. Fold the raw edges to the inside of the blanket. Pin the opening closed. Sew to secure.

Lay the rectangle on a flat surface. Spread the pellets evenly throughout the blanket. Use your hands to move them around.

Pin the four layers of fabric together to mark the quilting lines. Begin in the center of the blanket. Make a line of pins at 21 1/2 inches. This is the middle of the 43-inch width. Make a line of pins at 17 inches to divide the 34-inch length. Divide each of the four rectangles created into four smaller rectangles. Make sure to move the pellets out of the way to have a clean line for sewing. Optional: Divide the sections into smaller sections if desired.

Sew a straight seam down each pin line. Remove the pins as you go. Move pellets out of the way as required.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not use corn, rice, buckwheat hulls or beans as weight. These items swell when washing and retain moisture.

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