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DIY Chewelry Pillow for Sensory Seekers

Skimmer (age 6) is a chewer!  He's been biting and ripping toys, clothes, and other things with his teeth his entire life.  It's been challenging to know how to help him meet his chewing needs in a healthy way.  We had tried chew necklaces (often called Chewelry) before, but they only lasted a few hours before getting lost or left somewhere.

A few months ago, I contacted Ark Therapeutic about my son.  Their customer service was amazingly helpful in asking questions about what Skimmer likes to chew and helping me select the right types of chews.

Before our road trip, I was making fleece blankets for my kids and had the idea of attaching a chew necklace to the blanket.  Skimmer loved his chewie blanket, and I loved how calming it was for him on our road trip.  Even better, we made it 4,000 miles and never lost the chew!

After we got home, I wanted to make a more portable version of the chewelry blanket for my kids.  I was also inspired by all the parents of sensory-seeking, autistic, and ADD/ADHD kids and their conversations in facebook groups about back-to-school.

I created a chewie pillow in the same way as the blanket.  For the fabric, I recycled a beloved and worn-out pair of foot pjs.  I think my cut out squares before sewing were about 12 inches, but I just used the maximum size I could get from the chest of the pjs.  The trickiest part was setting up the chew necklaces so they'd be on the outside of the pillow after sewing.

With right sides of the fabric together, pin the necklace strings to the edges, with the majority of the cord and chewelry piece in the middle between the two pieces of fabric.  Before sewing, I knotted the cord of the necklace several times to make the cord shorter and safer.  I sewed around the outside of the pillow, leaving a small space for stuffing.  After turning the pillow right-side out, I stuffed it very loosely with crafter's fluff.  Then, I sewed up the open side and handed it over to the kids.

Instead of stuffing with fluff, the pillow could also be filled with plastic pellet or other weights to make a weighted lap pad for meeting sensory needs at school or home.  You could also add other sensory textures like velcro (rough side), silky ribbons, netting, keychains, or whatever your child likes.

I'm sorry about the lack of progress pictures.  I had three excited kids watching my every move and shaking my machine and chair.  It was very chaotic.  Hopefully the description was clear enough.  If you have questions, please put them in the comments.

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