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Free Tutorial – Easy Pattern Weights

Easy Pattern Weights - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

These pattern weights are sooooooooo easy to make. Seriously. Each one takes less than five minutes. Dig into your fabric scraps and make a big batch of them for a sewing friend. This fabric (to match the rest of my sewing room) is designed by Ed Emberley for Cloud 9 Fabrics.

I’ve tried a lot of different styles of pattern weights and these are, hands-down, my favorite. The pyramid shape makes them really easy to grab, and they’re super heavy. My secret ingredient is aquarium gravel. I actually weighed all kinds of possible fillers to see which one weighed the most by volume. Gravel weighed more than twice as much as the next closest option!


Cut a piece of fabric 6 1/2 inches wide x 3 1/2 inches tall.

Fold it so the right sides are together. Sew across the short ends using 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Turn the little tube right side out. Flatten it so the seam is running up one side. Sew across one end using 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Using contrasting thread is fun. 🙂

Fill it with 3 tablespoons of aquarium gravel. Flatten it this time so the seam is running up the center. Sew across the end using 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Careful not to spill the gravel while you’re getting it under the presser foot. 🙂

Trim up the edges using pinking shears. Not too close to the seam!


If you’re making these for a friend, 6-10 is a nice quantity. That’s enough to hold down just about any pattern.

These are really handy for more than just cutting patterns. I especially love using them for holding down the corners of freezer paper when I’m tracing applique designs.

Here are handy links to all the posts about quilting tools and supplies.

Sewing Machine


Rotary Cutting Tools


Other General Sewing Room Supplies

One More Hugely Popular Post that Seems to Fit Here Better than Anywhere Else

Return to the Let’s Make a Quilt main Table of Contents.

Move on to the posts about choosing your quilt pattern.

Happy sewing!


  1. Anonymous SAYS...

    Where do you get your awesome fabric from? 😀

    From, Emily

    • There are now two Ed Emberley collections. It looks like Hawthorne Threads has all of collection 2 and still some of collection 1. Look here.
      For the rest of collection 1, I recommend going on Etsy and searching for Emberley fabric. Then narrow it down to Supplies so you weed out all the finished items made from the fabric. You’ll see lots of it still available. Happy sewing!

    • Anonymous SAYS...

      Thanks Wendi 😀


  2. Thanks Wendi! I still pin everything but want to try this!

  3. Aquarium gravel, what a great idea

  4. I was following your advise with filling up resealable bags with gravel but I think I’m going to make a few of these too!

    • I loved the resealable bags – but kids REALLY liked messing with them when I taught. 🙂 These are permanently closed, which is good. Plus they’re cute. 🙂

  5. I finally made mine! I will be putting them on my blog in the next days, obvious it will link back to you. I defiantly would be lost if it wasn’t for your sewing lessons. Thanks so much for the lessons and all! You can’t Imagine..really!

  6. Pingback: » Spin the Pins – Pattern Weights

  7. Karen SAYS...

    Thank you so much! I have a friend who uses weights, but I was raised with pins. I decided to try these after I saw your idea for the gravel. I pulled out a piece of fabric from a scrap drawer and it was a perfect 6 1/2 inches. I got 12 3 1/2 inch pieces from it. Did assembly line sewing and had them done in about half an hour. I’ll be using them tomorrow when I make a dress.

  8. Ed Saye SAYS...

    I’ve just completed my weights today and looking forward to trying them on my next shirt.

    Like many others I’ve glued to large steel washers together with hot glue. Unfortunately the glue seems to lose its tackiness quickly (effect of being sandwiched between two cold pieces of metal?) so I then put them on the oven at 250 for just a couple of minutes. The glue remelted and they melded together better.

    Once cool I spray painted them with Plasti-dip – a rubberizing paint. Now one side of my washer weights cling REALLY well to the pattern paper and no more annoying slipping! Overlapping a few of them on both the pattern edge and the fabric is a sure way to keep everything aligned. They grab onto the fabric even better than the paper.

    A lot of work but they are a perfect, simple, utilitarian device that does the job perfectly.

    • Margaret SAYS...

      Thank you for this idea. Made a dozen this afternoon.

  9. Pingback: How to Make Pyramid Pattern Weights – Sara Makes

  10. Nikki SAYS...

    Just a suggestion for anyone having issues with gravel spillage… try putting your gravel into the toe of an old pantyhose (or another section, after it’s been cut, but you will obviously have to tie both sides) and then tie a small knot, and tuck it into one of the corners. Stops it from seeping out and potentially messing up your project. (This works well when stuffing Amigurumi as well… either pellets or fluff)

    • Nikki SAYS...

      OH!! and thank you so much for the adorable and extremely useful pattern! I will make a million of these in the years to come!