January 9, 2013

{Tutorial} Easy DIY Bean Bags

Today's post is a guest tutorial by Becca from Making Room With Us. Make sure to go visit her blog after you're done here. Enjoy!

A simple cloth sack filled with beans could be your child’s new favorite toy! Bean bags are easy to make, the materials are practically free, and they provide hours of good fun for imaginative children. I grew up making bean bags with my mom on her sewing machine and then inventing endless bean bag games with my siblings. One year we made bean bags from Fourth of July-themed fabric to play outdoor games at an Independence Day party. Some moms also put them in their freezers to use as “boo boo bags” for their children’s bumps and scrapes.

While visiting my parents in Virginia recently, I made a few bean bags for my own daughter, Lena, who is now 21 months old. Although she couldn’t help me too much (ha!), it was fun to capture our first bean bag-making session for this tutorial.

Here’s a step-by-step guide so you can whip up a few bean bags of your own!

You will need:
  • Two 4.5-in x 4.5-in squares of material of your choice for each bean bag
  • 1 cup of beans, rice, seeds, popcorn, or glass bead filling for each bean bag
  • Measuring cup
  • Funnel
  • Needle, thread, and scissors

Start by putting your two squares of fabric with right sides together. Pin them in place. Then sew around the square with a ½-inch seam allowance. (You don’t want any beans slipping out one day because of a narrow seam allowance!)


 Allow your child to help out with the sewing part if you like. I still have memories of sitting on my mom and grandmother’s laps as we worked on the sewing machine. I almost sewed my fingers a few times, but it was worth it!


Leave a 2-inch (or so) gap at the end of your sewing. You’ll use this hole to turn the bean bag right-side out. Also be sure to back-tack a few times at the beginning and end of your sewing to reinforce this seam.


Now turn the bean bag right-side out. Use your finger or a blunt tool to poke out the corners.


Now comes the fun part! Measure out a cup of the filler of your choice (beans, popcorn, rice, seeds, etc.).


Put the tip of the funnel inside the hole in your bean bag and pour the filler into the top of the bean bag. Little hands love to help with this part!


The bean bag should be ½ to ¾ of the way full. Tuck the edges of the seam in the hole and pin the hole closed.


Using your needle and thread, whip stitch or slip stitch the seam together. Make tight little stitches to keep any beans from slipping out.


And now there’s nothing left to do but go invent some bean bag games with your kids! Have fun!



Becca lives in Sicily, Italy, with her husband, daughter, and their Maine Coon kitten.  They are expecting their second child at the end of this month!  She loves waking up each morning in an Italian villa just below a thousand-year-old castle.  She blogs about motherhood, homemaking, and living abroad at makingroomwithus.blogspot.com.

23 comments:

  1. What a cute idea! I am new to your site and have enjoyed reading.

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  2. This really looks fun, and very doable. I love the photos with your daughter; she looks like she is destined to be a craft-lover from the beginning of her life!

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  3. great project! and then you can find lots of bins, baskets or hampers to make some shots! :) we just started doing this with balls, but i bet the bean bags would be much safer (too many big bouncy balls bumping off of things lately!).... and great texture/weight. :)

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  4. Great photos and a craft that seems long-lasting but easy. Thanks! All the best with upcoming babe #2!

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  5. Great job with those bean bags, Becca! Such a fun project!

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  6. Special memories of our children playing with these! Fun to see how to put them together.

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  7. Just don't try to heat that in the microwave to use as a warming bag...it looks like you used popcorn kernals! :)

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  8. My first beanbags (and one I still have) were made by my grandma and filled with dried corn. She made them in the shape of a clown, with the legs filled w/ corn and the head was a stuffed sock. Good use for lots of pretty scrap material.

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  9. I used to make these with my mom! We used kidney beans. Fun idea!

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  10. Such lovely pictures and what a wonderful idea! I truly believe that the simplest toys are also the most creative and the most encouraging of the child's own imagination. Double plus if they helped mommie or gramma make it! Thank you for a wonderful idea :).

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  11. That's a great tutorial!! Love Becca!

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  12. That's funny! I just made these a few days ago! Yours look cuter!
    Stephie N
    SimplyBEEcause.blogspot.com

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  13. I got to make one of these for my kid and I think she would love it. If there’s more like this I’d love to know from you.

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  14. What a great idea! I'll definitely try this with my kids!

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  15. I love this idea. The pictures definitely help!

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  16. Now my kid would love one of these and the best part is that it’s easy to make.

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  17. Pictures are beautiful, and what a great idea! I think I have vague memories of seeing a few of those at your house in Singapore. :)

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    1. Haha I am sure we had some hanging around. :-)

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  18. Such a sweet toy. They turned out so pretty. I like how you used popcorn to fill them.

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  19. Nice! bean bag lover you can also find bean bags our store or online store visit:http://www.yogibo.com

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  20. Those are so pretty! What a great idea! I love things that are simple for the children to play with. These days there are so many toys out there and I find that it is the simple things they end up enjoying the most. There are so many different things you can do with these too. Thanks:) Shannon
    http://www.cozycountryliving.com

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  21. The market features several Celine bags designs, do you like them, how about get one righ now?, particularly tempting to the actual eyes. It is spectacular when women can match the handbags using the wardrobe collection.

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