Home made “Grounding” Sheet

I know, I know, it sounds like a weird idea–what in the heck is a grounding sheet? Well, I came across the concept while reading a book which mentioned disrupted circadian rhythms usually led to weight gain, feeling sluggish in the morning, snack cravings at night (hence weight gain), etc, and I thought–“Whoops! That sounds like me!” So I started looking into ways to get back into balance. I haven’t managed to get up early and stay in the sun for a half hour between 7 and 9 am yet (precious little sun here lately, anyway–raining now, s’matteroffact), but I thought, “Sleep must be a real culprit–I wake every morning almost more tired than I went to bed!” So delving a little deeper, I found out about grounding sheets.

The idea of a grounding sheet is to connect us electrically (we’re pretty electrical, believe it or not–every thought is a small electrical pulse–in fact, all neurons are firing off electrical impulses all the time to communicate) to the earth, to “ground” us. There’s a lot of EM interference from all the appliances in our houses, clocks, computers, lights, etc., so it’s a good idea to ground out that energy at night for deeper rest. There’s something to do with the Schumann resonance, too, which is some deep vibration in the earth that is healing and soothing–but to be honest, I just read a little bit and thought, “Cool! I’ll try it! How much are grounding sheets?” Well, we have a queens-sized bed, sooooo, I was dismayed to find that they cost $199–more than I cared to spend on what was an experiment, anyway. So I found a video by a guy who made his own. What follows, then, was me following his instructions, with a little help from my husband Sherman, who got to use his electronics degree 😉 My total cost for the materials below (I already had the tape and the scissors) was under $15.

It’s important to note that this is merely a mattress cover–you will not be sleeping skin against metal! Instead, your regular sheets will cover the grounding sheet.

Materials

Materials you will need:

  1. An old sheet you don’t mind sacrificing to the cause
  2. Metal screen wire mesh (as for a screen door) that is not coated or fiberglass (which is not conductive)–enough to cover where your torso will go (I chose the smallest roll I could get)
  3. Scissors (wire stripping tool is handy, too, but I used scissors for my part)
  4. Single grounding wire (I chose green for ground, and 16 gauge, because it was long enough in the pack to do what I needed)–you will need to measure the “path” to know how much wire to get
  5. Strong duct tape (I used Gorilla tape)
  6. Something metal & conductive to be a “stake” for the ground outside (I did not get into the grounding through an outlet, as I believe this outlet may not be grounded, nearby, so instead, if you wish to go that route, watch the video, and he explains it 😉
  7. If you plan to solder wire instead of simply wrapping it, you will need a soldering iron and solder and wet sponge and patience.

Lay out screen

First, unwrap the screen and lay it out on top of the sheet roughly where your torso will lie at night. Cut off the excess (this was surprisingly easy to do with scissors, I thought) so that it is a bit in from the edge (ie. 2 inches or so) on either side.

Thread wire

Carefully strip off an inch of the wire insulation from one end–I did this with scissors, too, cutting around and sliding it off, but if you have a wire-stripping tool, definitely use that–easier and faster! Thred the copper ends as best you can over & under & into the mesh at the corner closest to where you intend to run the wire out a window (or to an electrical socket).

Taped up

Next, thoroughly tape the mesh to the bed. I doubled in some places, because it would get uneven on the cut edges, and I did NOT want to wake up being poked by metal. Be sure to tape it well–the weight of your body will cause it to sag inward at some point, and that is important to consider, too. I tried to get the mesh edge right in the center of the tap, but that was not always feasible. No one will see it, so don’t worry about how it looks, as it all gets covered by a regular sheet in the end.

path-of-grounding-wire

After the mesh is taped and the wire connection is also well-taped, run the wire down the bed, across the floor, up the wall, whatever, out the window (this is why a smaller gauge wire works well–it goes easily under a screen in a window, or in this case, a window fan, to dangle outside until you connect it to your grounding stake.

Sanding tip of stake

The guy in the video suggested just using a clothes hanger, cutting it into a straight wire, sanding off the edges, and wrapping the wires around one sanded end with electrical tape while plunging the business end into the ground. But my husband, having an electronics degree, and a friend visiting who is an electrical engineer (whom I was amazed did not laugh at this idea, but thought it was very logical and added his input) insisted that a true ground to get to the Schumann resonance needed to be longer than a 6 inch tent stake (that I was planning to use), so Sherman dug in his leftovers and found a 24″ aluminum bar, .25″ thick, and decided it would go in easier if he sanded the edge to a point (I did not mention a belt sander in the requirements–I think it would still go in easily enough, with all the rain we’ve had!)

Stake

So the finished grounding stake turned out way more heavy-duty than I intended 😉

tinning wire

Next comes attaching the wire to the stake. Now, the video simply had the wires wrap around one end of the stake, and get taped in place, but Sherman was concerned about oxidation, and wanted to do it properly, so started by taking the other end of the wire dangling outside the window, stripping off the last inch of insulation, and tinning the wire with solder.

Connect wire to stake

With a buildup of solder on the stake, he could then attach the tinned wire to the end of the stake. (If it’s cool outside, however, it might help to torch the end of the stake to warm it up).

Wrapping wire to stake

After the stake and attached wire cooled completely (it will be HOT!), he then wrapped it well with the Gorilla tape (which you’d do whether or not you’d soldered it in place, to protect it).

Hammer into ground

And he drove it into the ground all the way to the tape with a mallet (it went in VERY easily).

The first night, I didn’t notice much improvement in my sleep (and have had CRAZY dreams, but maybe that’s the next full moon coming up), and from just ONE NIGHT, I noticed some definite crinkles in the wire mesh, from me tossing & turning (it does tend to make the bed a little firmer).

Wire mesh after one night's sleep on it

Wire mesh after one night’s sleep on it

But now, 3 days (nights) later as I write this, I have noticed being able to wake up easier, though I’m still somewhat tired during the day. I’m not dragging as much in the morning. But, already we’ve had to re-tape some of the top, since my weight has pulled it loose from the tape and metal ends started sticking out. Still, as an experiment, I think it’s successful! Though, I’m feeling a bit guilty over all the fuss Sherman went through to make the stake, because now I’m considering getting one of the fancy grounding sheets, as it would probably be more comfortable. But until finances are a little more stable, this will fit the bill.

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Reviving an old shirt with a quilted “stomacher”


Stomachers are traditionally just decorative cloth, sometimes with trim, sewn into a bodice (or shirt) or top of a dress going over chest and stomach. They were very in vogue in the 16th century, but not so much known now. But I have several shirts that have gaping holes in them, and being fond of them (and not being overburdened with wealth at this time to be able to buy a lot of new shirts) I decided to come up with a way to decoratively “patch” these shirts, and then, in a flash, it came to me–a stomacher, of course!

Now, let me clarify, while I have done a quilt (just the “piecing” part, not much actual “quilting” which is traditionally done by hand), and made costumes, followed patterns and made up dresses and costumes without patterns (more when I was younger, and not so concerned about craft), I am not a “seamstress” per se, but merely a craft enthusiast. So this step by step was partly me figuring out a process of how to go about doing this. Someone else might have a better way and can suggest it 😉

To start, I took one of my ragged, black shirts, that had multiple holes in it, and spread it out on a folding table with my quilting tools and some scraps of fabric. I put a white piece of cardboard inside of it here so that you could clearly see the holes. If you look closely, you can also see my teeny “rough draft” that I drew on a sticky note and placed to the right of the shirt.

Then I took two strips of bright fabric that I’d already decided would be my “edge pieces” and laid them on the shirt to determine the rough shape of the stomacher. I was trying to have it flare out a little at my breasts, and then angle in a bit, and then flare again slightly at the bottom, for a slimming and shaping effect 😉 I also wanted to determine, from this, how wide/long scraps would need to be at the widest point in order to have a rough measure to cut them out by.

For my purposes, I figured 10 – 11 inches was a good length measurement to cut scraps, and accordingly got several scraps of fabric leftover from various projects and cut them out at angles, and some in strips (the strips were more cut from non-scrap accent cloth, that I got at a sale for quilting). I did follow a straight edge and used a cutting wheel, so that my seams would be even.

Once I had an assortment of scraps off to the side, I started blocking them out on my rough shape I’d established earlier, overlapping each one slightly to account for a seam, while realizing at the end I would probably have to add to it to make up the difference.

Then I started sewing, one strip at a time, right sides together, the top strip to the next strip, and so on.

Each time I sewed a piece to the next, I was sure to press it flat with the iron, too. Which way the seams got pressed depended a lot on the fabric–for instance, the upholstery fabric was stronger and thicker than the others and pressed on top of the adjoining pieces.

Once I’d gotten the initial pieces I’d chosen sewn together, I laid them back on my shape outline to see if I needed to add any pieces (because seams use up fabric). Sure enough, I needed to add a piece at the top and the bottom, and I had to trim the bottom so that it was even with the shirt.

I drew some lines on my fabric piece to help determine where to cut it out and wasn’t too worried if some of the lines showed on the cut piece, because I knew I’d cover them up with the edge pieces later. I cut this with scissors rather than trying to do it with the wheel. (But not with the shirt underneath! I cut it laying on the green board.)

I took my two red edge pieces and pinned them (there was no “right side” but if there had been, it would have been right side facing the quilted piece) to the side of my shape, set in a bit from the edge so that I would be sure to cover any stray pen marks. I made sure to have extra hanging off on both sides knowing I’d be trimming them later.

After sewing those seams where the pins were, I took care to press the seams outward, from the top/right side.

Then I turned it over and pressed a narrow seam on the outside edge so that it would be easier to sew.

Not trusting it to keep its fold when sewing it to the front of the shirt, I then basted/seamed the outside edge I’d just prepped, using a special foot on my Bernina that has a built-in guide and with the needle all the way to the left, for doing narrow seams.

I also seamed the bottom of the piece, trimming off the edge pieces to be even. Next step–getting close! I pinned the edged form to the shirt itself.

One thing I really liked about this shirt was its V neckline, which I wanted to preserve, so, while it was pinned, I turned the shirt over to trim where that neckline would fall. I put a piece of paper underneath, so it would be easier to see where I trimmed it.

I then pinned the collar in, and the whole thing was ready to attach. Sewing the sides, I was careful to sew on top of the seam I’d already put in, so it would look like one seam rather than two.

And…Voila! From ragged to artsy–someone used the word “Upcycled” on Facebook today, and I think that certainly fits.