Introduction: DIY Carbon Heated Blanket

Picture of DIY Carbon Heated Blanket

Very expensive to warm at night the whole apartment when you sleep in a bed. Much better to save money on heating and warm a bed only. So I decided to make a heating blanket.
As the heating element I used the carbon tape. It looks like a thin, soft cloth and not interfere in a bed.
The carbon tape can be sewed, but instead it can be simply glued. Because of this I did it in just 1 hour!

Step 1:

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To make the blanket I took 2 pieces of inexpensive fabric

6 feet of flexible wire
20 feet of carbon heater tape 15mm from and now on Amazon

silver conductive wire glue paste, female plug 5.5 mm and iron-on no-sew hem tape. The desired temperature can be determined from the table.

Step 2:

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Cut a piece of fabric length of 5 feet (150 cm).

Put carbon tape zigzag. Zigzag shape can be any that you like.
Under the carbon tape to put iron-on hemming web tape. Gently press the carbon tape with an iron that is stuck to the fabric.

Step 3:

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Glue the wire to the carbon tape using silver conductive wire glue. Due to the silver glue, contacts will be very thin, very small, will not interfere in a bed. These contacts can be easily and quickly done, and they will be very reliable.
Squeeze between two layers of carbon tape some silver from the syringe, insert the bare wire, squeeze glue place until the glue is completely dry.

Step 4:

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Put strips of no-sew hem tape along the entire length of the wire. Fold the edge of the fabric and press iron.

Step 5:

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Put contour fabric no-sew hem tape.
Cover with second piece of cloth and gently press the iron over the whole area.

Step 6:

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Solder the plug. I connect it to the power supply from my laptop. Work is finished.
Blanket ready:)

Step 7:

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Blanket consumes about 40 watts. This power is enough not only for home beds, but also for a sleeping bag in a campaign. Then I connect the blanket to a battery 12 volts.

Blanket is a comfortable shelter, but it can also be put on a mattress under a sheet.

Step 8:

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Blanket can be embedded in a duvet cover, but also you can be covered by it alone.

Let my warm save you from danger,
And you'll never cry,
Close your eyes and sleep, my angel,
Sleep, dear, rock-a-bye.

During the day I use it to cover my feet in a chair.


Jsoa (author)2017-09-27

Thinking of getting a low-voltage electric under blanket for the cats bedroom. Anyone use one; do cats like 'em?

Advice please from this

Shenzhen made it! (author)Jsoa2017-09-28


JessieH25 (author)2017-05-05

Hi! I am making an electric blanket as part of a project for school, however the link you have (for the type of flexible wire to use) is dead. Any suggestions as to what would work best?

Shenzhen (author)JessieH252017-05-05

You need a flexible stranded silicone wire 16-20 AWG.

JessieH25 (author)Shenzhen2017-05-11

Ok, thanks so much

Kit Kat The Fox (author)2017-03-19

How warm does this blanket actually get?? It seems like if it gets to hot, and you use thin fabric then you could burn yourself.....

Shenzhen (author)Kit Kat The Fox2017-03-20

As you can see on IR photo it is about 41 C. I need a high temperature to use the blanket on a hike. Usually I use it with a dimmer to adjust the temperature and increase the running time.

Kit Kat The Fox (author)Shenzhen2017-03-20

Oh. Alright. Thanks for clearing that up for me!!

JammyC1 (author)2016-12-13

JammyC1 (author)2016-12-12

could you leave me a email so that I can contact you.

Shenzhen (author)JammyC12016-12-13

our email is sale@carbonheater@us

JammyC1 (author)Shenzhen2016-12-13

hi i have send some email to you but is seems doesnt work.

DesireeB25 (author)2016-12-08

Question: say I had a piece of carbon fiber tape 30mm wide. Could I cut it lengthwise into two 15mm wide pieces and have it still work? Will cutting the weave make it not function?

Shenzhen (author)DesireeB252016-12-09

No, you can't, it will fall apart just you cut it.

aNuclearPigeon (author)2016-04-06

Hi Shenzhen

Thanks for the guide. I'm huge admirer of your work.

However, I am uncertain as to how you wire the cables to the carbon tapes.

This image shows there are cables overlapping for one contact, but the rest of the contacts remains to be hidden. Do you have a circuit diagram I can work with?

Shenzhen (author)aNuclearPigeon2016-04-06

1. You can just sew a wire to the carbon. You can use any threads you have.


2. You can glue a wire to the carbon tape. It must be a conductive silver glue. This is the best way to make a connection.

aNuclearPigeon (author)Shenzhen2016-04-06

That didn't help.

What I want to know is whether you had a circuit diagram to work with similar to this one?

The red circles; are they where I should have seperate wire contacts?

Shenzhen made it! (author)aNuclearPigeon2016-04-07

Yes, you could make it as you wrote but I made it without cuting the carbon tape.

zat1991 (author)2016-02-24

Hey Shenzhen!

Based on your carbon tape idea I would like to draw an helix with carbon and inserting it between two thin sheet of plastic using a laminating machine. The problem is that I need very thin carbon (1mm) and I am not sure your product will do :/

So I wanted to know if it would be fine to use regular carbon fiber (sold in big sheets) and to cut my pattern in it (as long as the width of the lines are homogeneous and that there is a beginning and an end). Then measure the surface, deduce the resistance and apply the proper tension to it so as to get an overall heat output of 5 watts.

Thanks a lot for your answer... it is VERY hard to find someone able to help me on that...

(secret: the aim is to be able to apply this plastic film on top of my anthill, I would heat without troubling them and without disabling proper observation. Arduino controled off course)

Shenzhen (author)zat19912016-02-24

This carbon tape is 0.6 mm thickness only. 5 watts is enough for a mouse, you cannot even feel it with a sheet of carbon. To power a sheet of carbon you have to make two long aria contacts and they cannot be small points contacts.

Could you give more information about your adea and we could help with calculation.

zat1991 (author)Shenzhen2016-02-24

Thanks a lot for your answer!

I attached a sketch of what I am planning to make. All the black surface will be covered with the red strips (it was too tedious to draw them all... but I hope you'll get the point). The overall diameter of the disc is 20cm. Normally, 5 watts is all I need to heat my ants from 17°C to 27°C as the heating system will cover the glass of the anthill.

If your product is 0.6mm thick, I will definitly work with it.

Shenzhen (author)zat19912016-02-24

It should be one continuose ribbon. You can make it any design maybe a helix, hemi sphere, ect, but it cannot have those nice appendix. Just one long snake.

zat1991 (author)Shenzhen2016-02-24

I do not know if you can see inside the nice appendix, but I draw lines! Straights and continuous. They have a beginning and an end =). The width is maybe to small though...

Shenzhen (author)zat19912016-02-24

Hear is one 15mm carbon ribbon on your pattern and four black appendix where the tape cannot be placed.

zat1991 made it! (author)Shenzhen2016-02-24

You know what?

That's perfect! Let's say I wanna do that. I think the wiring will go the way shown on the pic. So if I count 50cm & 12V if there a way to put a resistor not to have 15,6W of output?

Ideally would be 5watts which implies 0.42A so I will need a 28.8ohms resistor (I could even add a small potentiometer next to it to control the heat flow and thus the temp of the anthill). Am I wrong?

Oh, btw, you put turns in your drawing. I think the thickness of the tape will be higher at the point where it turns... Is there a way to avoid it?

Thanks again!

Shenzhen (author)zat19912016-02-24

You could use a dimmer instead of resistor:

And the carbon is like a soft fabric so you can turn it as you like.

zat1991 (author)Shenzhen2016-02-24

Can I use both? So as to dimme it between 0 and 5 watts?

Shenzhen (author)zat19912016-02-25

Yes they both are good ehough and will dimm from maximum to zero so you can find the best. The first has a comfortable remote but bulky receiver and the second vice versa.

zat1991 (author)Shenzhen2016-02-24

Can I use both? So as to dimme it between 0 and 5 watts?

riya19 (author)2015-03-22

Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. In my case the carbon tape did not heat up. Can you please help?

Shenzhen (author)riya192015-03-22

Yes, I can.

The carbon tape just a heater. It always work when you connect it to
power. So the problems could depend on power supplay, connector and
connections only.

What is the carbon tape lenght?

What is voltage?

On your photo I cannot see connection points. Could you, please, make a macro photo of connections.

riya19 (author)Shenzhen2015-03-22

The voltage is 12V

CoolKoon (author)riya192016-02-17

I'd grab a multimeter and check if the supply voltage is good. If it is then I'd connect it between the power supply and the heating element to see whether any current passes through. If it does (but it's too low e.g. in the ranges of mA or tens of mA) then probably the resistance of your carbon tape is probably too high for the given voltage (it doesn't push through enough current through the tape). If that's the case then you'll probably need some other heating element with less resistance (shorter/thicker/wider carbon tape or some nichrome wire instead) I'm afraid.

Richwierd (author)riya192016-02-02

Hey Ryia,

You may not have enough resistance for 12v, you might try a lower voltage. Maybe a 3.7v 18650. You will need enough amperage too, a few AA's will not work.


Shenzhen (author)2015-02-12

Just imaging and win $100 US dollars!

jdrago1 (author)Shenzhen2016-01-16

then you can buy an electric blanket, inspected from the UL for $17.35 at Walmart, 9 heat settings. auto start, auto off. You donkeys won't be happy till you burn a bed down.

Richwierd (author)jdrago12016-02-02

Hi jdrego1,

What You state is correct we could go to the Walmart web site and have thing shipped to our door in 2 days for $9.95.

However, I infer that you think that spending more money with an unsure result is a bad thing. Further I infered that you think taking a chance of "burning down the bed" would stop these types of efforts.

If my inferences are accurate, in this you are greatly mistaken.

People on this site are makers, artists and other such rabble. They think a burnt finger, or running out of a smoke filled room is a part of the glorious process.

If this sounds crazy to you, I recommend you spend more time at the wamart website or othet place of your choice.

Instructables is not the place for you. It is full of new and dangerous things and ideas

Yes, be afraid, be very afraid


Flashahah (author)2016-01-30

hi there

I have heated pad that stopped working

When i opened it up it is wires with small square blocks

Does anyone knows what these are

How to test where problem is.?

Richwierd (author)Flashahah2016-02-02

Hi Flash,

Heating pads often die due to a fault in the circuit. If this is true in your case, unplug the heating pad and use an ohm meter to locate the fault.


Shenzhen (author)Flashahah2016-01-30

You should measure the square blocks resistanse and find a bad contact place.

JonS48 (author)2015-11-28

Im attempted a quick test of heating the carbon tape. I used a 12v battery within a holder and attached the two ends to two separate heat resistant wire and then each wire to an opposite end of a 22 inch length of the tape to create a loop. After doing this for a while, the tape did not generate heat but the battery did. Could you suggest an explanation and a solution? Thanks.

Richwierd (author)JonS482016-02-02

Hi Jon,

You effectively shorted the battery.

The resistance is affected by the length of the conductor, you did not provide enough resistance and the battery was going as fast as it could, and ended up over heating

Try again, but double the length of the carbon tape (or decrease the voltage applied to 3.7v)

Refer to the link and you will see the cause and effects.


Shenzhen (author)JonS482015-11-29

The carbon tape is resistive conductor and cannot do not heat if it powered.

Could you, please, publish a macro photo of the contacts you made.

And one more thing. As you can see in that table:

there's no temp at 12v and 50cm (~20 inch) cause it will be more than 100C.

Uncle Kudzu (author)2014-02-16

I am not familiar with carbon tape, but this looks like a good idea. Is it safe? Is it efficient energy-wise?

Shenzhen (author)Uncle Kudzu2014-02-16

The carbon heater is the most energy effective heater. Just like any other heating element, it requires compliance with the rules of safe operation.
One of the main advantages of the carbon tape is its resistance to repeated bending, which greatly increases the safety of use.

Speedfreak2080 (author)Shenzhen2016-01-20

Shenzhen, thank you for sparking the idea. you don't know it yet but because of the simple idea you have been responsible for designs that are being used in Afghanistan to save lives. This project (obviously slightly modified) has been designed in the the field, with your help of course, to warm replacement fluids for wounded and dying soldiers that would have otherwise gone into hypothermia or shock resulting in possible death. Countless service members will never know that you are the reason for their survival, but I want you to know that in a way you are a hero.

Never stop improving, and before you know it you'll change the world.

gomibakou (author)Uncle Kudzu2014-02-16

As far as it disipates heat, sure it's not efficient. I'm also concerned about safety... i'd place some current limiter circuit or so, i don't want to be the human torch :D

Besides this, i like the idea and the execution :D

Uncle Kudzu (author)gomibakou2014-02-19

Oh yeah, I definitely lovethe idea! I'll be ffollowing these fine instructables.

Shenzhen (author)gomibakou2014-02-17

Yes, on the IR-camera all
heating elements look like a light bulb:)

I showed how to make a base,
a central element of the design. Of course it can be improved.

From the viewpoint of energy
savings, the most effective positioning the heating element on the
mattress under the sheets. Then more heat remains under a blanket.

If you still need a blanket,
then to retain more heat you need to use a thicker outer fabric,
providing better insulation properties, for example, thick wool,
Thinsulate, and so on.

Using the AC adapter from the laptop
is convenient because there is already a short-circuit protection.

For added convenience, this blanket I connect via remote RF
dimmer. This allows you to adjust the temperature, turn on or off at
the right time. A little later I'll write about it and show pictures.

Uncle Kudzu (author)Shenzhen2014-02-19

I had never heard of carbon tape. This is all very interesting. I'll be following your projects now.

Thanks for sharing.

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