Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Simple Square Bean Bags

So it's about time I posted something crafty-ish, eh?

For quite awhile now, I've wanted to make the little boys a beanbag.
The big sham pillows from our bed had long since been sequestered to serve as their cushions for TV watching, fort building, slamming each other over the head while pillow fighting... ya know, boy life. :) Anyhow, I decided I'd make them my homemade Christmas present to them this year. I really liked the ones I saw at this post- I love the square shape for a beanbag!

All of my pics here were taken after they had played and lounged on them,
so they look a bit squishy, but, in my opinion, still great.
I think they just look fun!
I was worried that the square would end up looking bad as they got used,
but it hasn't at all- the shape is easy to "re-fluff." 

I really wanted them to be cube-like. As in, not skinny and flat like seat cushions, but really full and dimensional, more like a normal beanbag.

I don't have a nice tutorial here- I loosely followed this one. It wasn't the sort of project that really needed one, really. I just need to know the measurements more than anything.
I'll spell out my step-by-step just for good measure ;)

  • I sewed the larger of my two bags first- because I wanted it to be chunky, it was 22" x 17". Two square pieces (22" x 22") and four pieces 17" x 22". I made the second one a bit smaller since I wanted my younger guy to be able to carry it around himself and not have it be bigger than he was! The smaller measurements on mine are 21" x 14".
  • This was my first time ever sewing piping- it proved to be super easy and I loved the polished result! I first sewed the piping around the two square pieces, going right over the top of seam on the piping.
  • Next I added a handle to one of the rectangle side pieces. I just eyeballed the strips... a 10" x 4 1/2" inch strip or so, ironed a hem on the short end, sewed right sides together up the long side and then turned right side out and ironed flat. Then I sewed an X through a rectangle- better pic of what I mean below-  on each end to one side, attaching it to the side panel fabric. For the polka dot one where the piping is included in the handle, I used two pieces and sewed up both long sides, piping first and then sandwiched together :)
  • Then I sewed the 17" edges of the four smaller side pieces together to create a square- sewing these first helped to have less worry for having unintentional holes in the corners of the bag.
  • Then I sewed that square of the side pieces to one of the squares with the piping on it, following the exact seam line again. I had read somewhere that using a contrasting color of thread was helpful when sewing piping and found that, indeed, it was!
  • Lastly, I sewed the open end to three and a half edges of the bottom square to the rest- leaving an opening to fill the bag.

To fill them, I used Poly-Fil, which I bought in a 10 pound box at Walmart. I really debated on what to fill them with, but noticed a number of tutorials used normal soft filling rather than anything fancy specially made for beanbags. It was easier to come by and cheaper, so that pretty well made the decision for me! I haven't been unhappy with the result at all- it is soft and fluffs back into shape nicely. :)

I stuffed the bag as full as seemed good and then wrestled with my machine to top stitch and close the opening. For sure hand sewing would've been easier, but I really dis-like hand sewing and was in a hurry burning midnight oil, as usual, so I used my machine and it worked.

My little guy was home alone while brother was at school
when I was taking these pics and couldn't resist trying to tease Mama and get in the shot!
He made it better for sure :)
See how comfy it looks to sit on! (And how squeezable my baby looks!) I could eat him up!

Adding a handle was the best idea ever!

Makes it much easier to get them put back where they belong and makes it so the boys can pack them around easier too... or, ya know, get better speed for throwing them at each other... No, while that would usually be the norm around here, these are a bit too big  for them to really throw around- another benefit of the cube shape I guess! Here's a better visual of how to sew it to the side piece like I mentioned above...

I like that the square shape makes them fit a little better for storage.
Instead of a ball looking frumpy shoved into a cranny, these can stand upright and look a little less out of place at least! They seem to get tucked here in front of our coffee table the most...

Perfect for slouching into while watching TV
and not worrying about the mess their faces as they eat ice cream cones!
(Clearly I wasn't worrying about the laundry needing folded on the couch behind them, eh? :P)

They also make swell landing zones for our little flyers...

My favorite thing I've made for them in a long while :)
Sorry for the less-than-stellar description- no doubt you can look at them and know how to do it better yourself!
Enjoy your super fun new cushions if you do :)


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