Are you looking for a creative way to give your child comfort during nap time or bedtime? Why not make them their own weighted stuffed animal? We all have our beloved plush toys, but what if we could turn those into something more magical?
This blog post will take you step-by-step through the process of transforming an ordinary toy into a weighty companion. Weighted stuffed animals are great for children with sleep issues due to anxiety or sensory processing challenges.
Making one from your prized possession is sure to bring extra comfort and security that no other stuffed animal can provide!
What is a weighted stuffed animal?
Weighted stuffed animals are a therapeutic tool gaining popularity in the childcare industry that can provide a range of benefits to both children and adults alike. These special companions are filled with weighted materials such as plastic pellets or beads.
Sometimes a child is anxious, fidgety, and nervous and needs a little bit of extra support or soothing. A plush toy is often a great comfort, though a weighted stuffed animal seems to be one of the more welcomed and preferred toys for those who need it.
What are the benefits of a weighted stuffed animal?
The benefits of a weighted stuffed animal prove to be important ones for those needing support and comfort, as they add a layer of comfort and sensory input, helping to:
- to increase levels of focus
- reduce hyperactivity
- improve coordination
- ease stress
- help with processing issues
- increase sleep quality
- Research has also indicated that this type of therapy is especially helpful for children struggling with conditions like autism and ADHD, as it helps regulate their behavior.
Because of these many benefits, weighted stuffed animals have become an important tool in providing better care for both children and adults in the childcare industry.
Some children do not mind having multiple plush animal friends, though others have a favorite or two that they will not part with to make room for new ones. In this case, many parents and caretakers opt to make a weighted stuffed animal out of the current favorite, which often makes the child happy.
If it does not, the process can luckily be reversed, but most of the time, it is a healthy and beneficial transition for the child to get even more comfort from his or her current favorite stuffed animal.
How to make a weighted stuffed animal from your favorite plush toy
You can turn virtually any plush toy into a weighted stuffed animal!
You will need:
- Poly Pellets or similar
- Zip-loc style sandwich or snack-sized bags
- Packaging tape
- Seam ripper
Heavy plastic beads like poly pellets are one of the best materials because they are hypoallergenic and will not cause any health issues. Poly Pellets or a similar product, can be easily purchased online.
Here are two different choices found on Amazon that offer good value:
1. Fairfield Poly-Pellets Weighted Stuffing Beads for weighted stuffed animals
- Washable and dryable
2. Roly Poly Plastic Pellets for making weighted stuffed animals
- 10lbs for Weighted Blankets, Crafts, Dolls, Toys, Lap Pads, Bean Bags, I-Spy Bags
- Machine Washable/Dryable
This pack of Ziploc bags contains sandwich and snack sizes, which will come in handy when you want to fill larger and smaller areas of your plush toy:
3. Ziploc Sandwich and Snack
- Grip ‘n Seal Technology
- Easier Grip
- 30 Count
- Pack of 3
4. Scotch Long Lasting Storage Packaging Tape
- 1.88″ x 38.2 yd
- Designed for Storage and Packing
- Stays Sealed in Weather Extremes
- 3″ Core
- 3 Rolls
5. Clover White Ergonomic Seam Ripper
How much weight should I add to my weighted stuffed animal?
Weighted toys typically have a range in weight from 1-5 pounds. Deciding on how much weight is ideal depends on the child’s size and personal preference. For a smaller child, 2 pounds is often a great place to start.
The process of how to turn your stuffed plush animal into a weighted stuffed animal step by step.
A video of this process is available below as well as the written directions. Simply scroll down to see the video.
- Measure out the amount of poly/plastic pellets you want to use in your weighted stuffed animal.
1 cup of poly pellets is about 1/3 of a pound in weight.
If you want a 2lb weighted stuffed animal, for example, you will need 6 cups of poly pellets.
- Take a cup of poly pellets and pour it into a Ziploc bag.
- Flatten the bag to get all of the air out
- To ensure all of the air is out, lock the top of the bag except for the last corner.
- Flatten the bag further and let all of the remaining air escape out of that corner.
- To be extra durable, take the Ziploc bag with the pellets in it, and put it into a second Ziploc bag. This will give the weighted pouches extra security from tears or snags.
- Press all of the air out of the second bag.
- This makes up our first weighted packet.
- Use packaging tape to secure the bag’s fold over portion to further seal off the edge of the bag.
- For each pound that you would like to weight your stuffed animal, create 3 of the above pouches.
- Next, find the stitching on the underside or side of your stuffed animal.
- Take your seam ripper and carefully rip the seam to open up a large enough space to add your weighted pouches.
- Before adding the pouches, you may want to rearrange the current stuffing to make room for the new weighted pouches.
- If this is a well-loved stuffed animal, you may want to add some new poly fil to the stuffed animal at this point. This is the time to make this decision!
Fairfield Poly Fil Premium Fiber Fill
- If it is a new plush, and there is too much stuffing in the stuffed animal once you have made room for the weighted poly pellets, you may want to take some poly fil out. Decide by examining the hardness or softness of the animal after you add the weighted pouches.
VIDEO OF THE PROCESS MAKING A WEIGHTED STUFFED ANIMAL
Morena’s Corner shows you how:
- Arrange the weighted poly pellets within the stuffed animal so that the weight is as even as possible.
- Arrange the poly fil over the weighted packets so that the plastic is not against the outer part of the stuffed animal.
- Once you have placed all of your weighted packets of poly pellets, you may choose to close up the seam with:
- a newly sewn seam with a thread and needle
- a zipper
- Enjoy your newly created weighted stuffed animal!
We hope you found the information in this article to be helpful! Enjoy your new weighted stuffed animal that you made!
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