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Mum creates amazing weighted pillow worth £36 for son with autism for £4

DebsGC
2nd December 2019, 12:00 PM
  • Melanie Lord, 30, wanted to buy a weighted pillow, but was put off by the £36 price tag
  • She created her own for £4 using bean bags from Home Bargains
  • Her son Harry loves his calming weighted pillow 

If you’ve ever considered buying a weighted pillow, you might have been put off by the price. But one craft-savvy mum has revealed how she made a pillow for her autistic son for just £4 where they usually cost £36.

Mum-of-two Melanie Lord, 30, from Suffolk, was keen to find a weighted pillow for her son Harry, four, after his school suggested it might help him relax.

Melanie, who owns a small online gift shop called Butterbean Bizarre that raises money for the NationalAutistic Society, told money-saving communityLatestDeals.co.uk: "My son is four years old and wonderfully autistic, which means he can become anxious and unsettled at times. He often finds it hard to sit and concentrate, and his pre-school has suggested to try a weighted cushion to place on his lap at home to see if he felt more relaxed.

"I trawled the internet looking at the cushions and they were priced between £30 and £40. I wasn’t sure if it would work so I didn’t want to spend that much on one. 

"After looking online at the designs of the lap cushions, I thought about using bean bags instead, as the pockets of the weighted cushions reminded me of a bean bag. I remembered from when I was at primary school that bean bags were always quite heavy.

"I saw that Home Bargains were selling bean bags for £2 for four, and I bought two packs. You can buy these online too from eBay and Amazon. I stitched eight together, and thought it was a good weight for my son, especially as he was only four. Then I placed them inside a cushion cover. It saved a huge amount compared to buying one online.”

Melanie’s son loved her creation, and the bean bags had an immediately calming effect. 

"I placed it on his lap and he loved the feel of it, and also how he could feel the dried beans within the bag,” Melanie explains. “He liked to run his hands over it. He liked the different textures of it so it acted like a sensory lap cushion too. He was more relaxed and it helped him be able to concentrate more. It just brought a sense of calm to him.

“If you want to make one, make sure to sew along the edges of the bean bag, (just the material part) to attach them together as opposed to trying to stitch into the filled parts of the bean bags. It’s important to also mention that it’s a lap pillow, and it’s best not to be used as a duvet as it could pose risks to adults or children at night. My little boy loves his and it’s much cheaper than buying the £35 one!"

Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, says: “I’m always impressed when craft-savvy shoppers spy something on Amazon and make it themselves for a fraction of the price! Melanie’s amazing lap pillow cost her just £4 to make, and sounds easy enough to put together even if you don’t have much arts and crafts experience. Weighted pillows are supposed to be fantastic if you suffer from anxiety, and this hack makes it a much cheaper purchase if you’ve had your eye on one.”

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