Make it Monday: Beanbags

23 08 2010

I made these on Friday as a present for a 3 year old whose birthday party we attended on Saturday. I believe they have gone down quite well. They were so simple to make that I put together a set of three as a thank you for someone else and also three for Piran. We had great fun with them, playing catch and resting them on various parts of me (shoulders and head) and encouraging him to pull himself up and grab at them.

I thought that I would share a quick tutorial on how I made them. It is a great project for using up small bits of fabric. I made both sides match but you could also do different fabric on each side. Please excuse the photos, I took them on my iPhone and the lighting wasn’t brilliant.

I started by cutting two 5″ squares of my chosen fabric. You could make smaller or bigger versions but these came out a good size for small hands.

Place the two pieces of fabric right side together and then stitch round the edge – you need to make sure you leave a 1.5″ gap so you can turn it inside out. I stitch the four sides and then just turn it round and go back over the stitching so that it is double which should make it nice and secure.

Once you have finished sewing turn your little fabric pocket inside out, using a knitting needle or similar to poke the corners out. Then you fill with dried beans. I used cannellini beans, but get whatever you can find cheaply. Different beans would make different weights and textures so it might be fun to try lots of different versions. A 500g packet of cannellini beans filled about 4 of these beanbags but that would depend on how full you want them. I made a paper funnel to help me fill, and I filled them about two thirds full.

Once they are filled you need to sew up the little gap. I just top stitched it, you can see the sewing but I don’t think that matters. I went up and down twice to make sure that the hole was very secure, you don’t want beans everywhere.

And that’s it. Really simple. I made space themed ones for the presents and duck ones for Piran. I think 3 is a good number as a present, as they can be used for juggling and throwing and catching.

The finished article! I hope that Piran enjoys playing with these for a long time.

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