Tag Archives: beanbag

Another beanbag!

7 Jan

I made a beanbag for my nephew for Christmas 2016 and he and his sister have so much fun playing with it that their mum asked if my neice could get her very own this Christmas. Yes!!! 

These are so fun to make, from finding fabric (Goldhawk Road again) to cutting all the curves to pouring the beans in and seeing it become properly 3D (and watching the kids immediately start jumping on it)!

The tutorial from Reese Dixon is great, my only additions (not even changes) are:

  • I use 50cm zips and extend them to the ~150cm needed using a matching fabric to subtly insert it as an extra (thin) panel (like in this purse tutorial) the same length as the others.
  • I use scrap fabric (e.g. old bed sheet) to make an inside beanbag cover so the pretty outside cover can be washed – or changed when the kid’s preferences do! 
  • I buy 3 cubic feet of beans, for about £6

I am a very slow sewer, and it took me maybe three evenings. It’s not much cheaper than buying a basic one (say £15 for 3m of outside fabric, a few quid for a bed sheet, £6 for beans, and £5 for zips and thread … comes to about £30) but is excellent value for being able to choose exactly what you want out of the pattern!


Christmas sewing: boy’s beanbag

7 Jan

I made my sister a beanbag cover a couple of years ago, with a really simple “pattern” I made up (here). I wanted to make a more interesting-looking beanbag for my nephew, so I started trawling websites for cute kids’ duvet sets. I wanted to use two coordinating fabrics, and duvet covers with a different top and bottom are the easiest (and often cheapest) way to achieve that! I managed to find a cute lorries-and-diggers design in a toddlers’ size duvet, with a nice bright pattern on the back, which gave exactly the right amount of fabric for this pattern! :) :) :)

Joeseph's beanbag.png

It was very hard to photograph!

I used the tutorial from Reese Dixon which is great because it isn’t too strict on the size, or the curve, etc, which helped me to relax a bit if my cutting went astray!

The one problem I had with this is that I didn’t think in advance how the 30″ zip would fit into my approximately 40″ seam. I made the beanbag cover that you see above first, and the zip ends were a little messy, but for the inside bean bag (the one that holds the ‘beans’ safely so my nephew can’t “accidentally” pour them all over the floor / eat them) I used the same method as in this purse tutorial – simply adding a length of fabric to each end of the zip and trimming to make sure it fits perfectly.

I used 3 cubic feet of ‘beans’ – which I think was the perfect amount. It was a bit of a faff to create a cardboard funnel to pour them into the beanbag, but we managed to hoover the stray ones up before the dog got to them…

I also made my niece a hooded personalised (applique) towel, similarly to the one I made for my nephew a year ago (here), but clearly I didn’t take warning from that because I made it in lowercase letters AGAIN which was incredibly tricky! I didn’t actually get a photo of the whole thing, but here is a snippet:

Alexandra's towel.png

I didn’t actually get a photo of the whole front of it! As proof that I did ALL NINE LETTERS (!!!) here’s a mirror image of the inside too, which I’m not sure why I took! 

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to finish my Christmas sewing, as well as the bag I blogged earlier, I had been planning to make a range of hand/neck warmers (using rice to be microwaveable) and turn the leftover half-towel from the applique towel above into a face cloth (using bias binding and appliqueing an “A” onto it) – but I managed to hurt my shoulder so even doing the above was quite painful! Maybe they can be random January presents instead.

Beanbag cover (Sew Selfless September)

5 Oct

I did make this over a week ago, in September, but I have been far too busy to post it!


My sister left for uni last Saturday!  She asked me to make her a new beanbag cover since the previous one was a bit childish…

We don’t have many fabric shops around here, and I didn’t have time to order from eBay before she left, so I got her to go to a local shop and buy a cheap duvet cover.  £8 for a double duvet set! So much fabric.

I used the old one to slightly work out what to do and saw that it had a circular base of 18″ diameter. I wanted the new cover to be slightly smaller  so I decided to make my circle base 18″ before seams so 16″ after.
I didn’t want to have to put in a zip or some type of fastening especially when the duvet has one,  so I drew a semi circle with the straight edge a cm away from the snap fasteners / poppers at the bottom of the duvet cover.



Then I cut a piece the rest of the length of the fabric (about 60″) and 26″wide. I left I the extra few inches of length on (you need the perimeter of the circle, so 3.14*diameter plus seam allowance plus a few extra inches to account for issues caused by attaching a straight line to a curve)

(I didn’t take any pictures of the next few steps – I hope they are clear if anyone is following them but I’m not trying to sell this as a tutorial…)

I then sewed the base to the rectangular piece I just cut, with the perimeter of the base being attached to the longer edge of the rectangle. I only pinned the start then kept adjusting the fabric as I went.  I sewed french seams for the base but not for the other seams as I realised it was incredibly pointless and was making the calculations a bit more tricky.

Now that I had the base attached to the main body of the bean bag, I sewed up the side seam (where the two ends of the rectangle meet. Next I laid it flat on the floor and measured the width of the beanbag – it was 28″ folded over so 56″ overall. I sewed four darts 7″ inch deep and 6″ wide, to taper the sides out into leaving just a few inches at the top for me to insert a handle into.

For the handle I sewed a 9″ wide strip of fabric together inside out, turned it right side out, and inserted it into that gap left at the top of the beanbag.

Here it is in situ:

Beanbag in sister's room

This did come under my Sew Selfless September pledge but I still had to make something for my boyfriend since my pledge specifically stated that I would. I had a few problems with the sewing machine, and with maths and visualising it, however it is done and I will post it soon :)