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Friday, 22 July 2016

The Easiest Ever Bean Bag Tutorial.

Bean bags seem to be popping up on all the "in" sites lately. Bean bags with very expensive price tags, but, realistically, these very expensive bean bags are very easy and not very expensive to make. If you have around an hour to spare, you can have one made.




My tween-age neighbour has been hankering after a bean bag for sometime, so with her birthday on the horizon, it seemed like the obvious present.

We seemingly randomly went off together to Ikea shopping. Some fabric was selected, then we spent the afternoon making pom-poms with my new pom-pom maker, with which I was surprisingly happy. (After I YouTube-ed how to use it. The instructions on the packaging were extremely vague.)


The birthday girl just thought her sewing-crazy neighbour was buying more fabric and making pom-poms for who knows what reason.

After she had wandered off home, the sewing began.

Easy. Very easy.

My fabric was a strong and sturdy cotton duck style fabric 59" (150cm) wide, which I would use for the length of my bean bag. I bought 90cm of each fabric, which I would use for the width of my bean bag, and a 22" (56cm) zip. I bought a chunky style zip as I wanted it to be a bit of a feature and to be sturdy enough to withstand bean bag activity. A metal zip would be suitable too. (This size bean bag is easily large enough for tweens through to adults.)

With right sides of the fabric together, three sides of the bean bag were sewn together.


I tripled stitched these three seams.


I wanted to be sure the seams were secure and that little white beans weren't one day going to burst out all over my neighbour's living room floor. Not good neighbourly karma.

If you look really closely, you can see the triple stitching on my seam.


All three seams plus both edges of the open end of the bean bag were overlocked.

If we say that the first seam was sewn horizontally, we could say the fourth seam is sewn vertically. I'm not sure if my little graphic explains this more clearly.


So, for the fourth or zipper seam, place the side seams together to form its centre point and iron out to the ends to find the top and bottom point of the seam.


Now, it's time to insert the zip. If you need help with inserting a zip, Dana from Made Everyday has a great tutorial here.

Place the top of the zip at the top point of the zipper seam and insert the zip. I wanted my zip to be exposed, so I chose a needle position close to the edge of the zip.


After the zip was inserted, I top stitched its edges, again for security against bean bag activity.


I had previously added some grosgrain ribbon to the end of my zip so that it would be the same length as the seam and the blue would be a feature. This is not a necessary step. You could finish the base of the zip normally.


If you're after a pom-pom-free bean bag, you can now go ahead and fill it up with beans and you're done.

I had decided on pom-pom decoration as the "in" bean bags used pom-poms as a feature.

So, I added one to the zipper pull


and placed five evenly across the bottom seam of my bean bag.


Now for the fun part, adding the beans; two large bags were plenty. I bought mine at Big W.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I remember reading to do this in the bath tub so that escaping beans are easily captured. What my mind stores away for future reference astounds me.

Anyhow, this bath tub process worked quite well. I still had to corral a few little white beans that seem to defy Newton's law of gravity, but it was less stressful than I had imagined.

Finally, the birthday bean bag with pom-pom decoration was done.


 And, if you wish, it is reversible. (See the little photo bomber.)


The birthday girl is happy.


And it has passed the important final step ... quality control from the orange inspector.


It probably cost less than a fifth of the price of those I have seen recently on the inter-web, most of which do not include the beans!

Last year, I made Miss Neighbour a tee-pee for her birthday. The tutorial for how to make that is here.


So, are you ready to begin a bean bag making adventure?

Do you have a tween-ager who would love one of these?

Or do you want one just for you?
A reading bean bag?
A sipping-wine bean bag?
Unescape-from-the-chaos bean bag?

Catch up again soon.







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