Twelve Tutorial Challenge: Bean Bag

My small child has inherited my old beanbag. And at twenty years old it’s done me (and her) well. But at twenty years old it’s starting to look a bit tired, the seams are coming apart and the zip is broken (which means that we’re finding little polystyrene beans all over the place).

I decided it was time to get it recovered and trawled the internet looking for either a new beanbag or a replacement cover for it and I was shocked by just how expensive they are. So I decided to have a go at making one myself.

I think my words at the time were “How difficult can it be?” (Hahahaha, those are fateful words if ever there was some!)

There are plenty of tutorials on the internet to make new beanbag covers in all sorts of shapes and sizes but I went with this one from The Linen Cupboard, it’s nice and simple, lots of pictures and even better a PDF pattern that I could print out.

I commenced my plotting.

So the last time I was in IKEA I picked up a few metres of fabric (which she picked out herself) and last week I had an afternoon where I wasn’t in work and the small child was in nursery so I decided to crack on with the project.

Here is my pattern drawn out on some spare brown paper. Note my additional arrows and stuff. The main beanbag piece is to be cut on a fold I knew that if I didn’t make a note of that I’d forget and end up with pieces that were just too small.

Cutting out my pattern on the floor. I also did the round base of the beanbag on the fold (which wasn’t specified in the tutorial) to give me two equal semi circles. I couldn’t find my proper chalk so my pattern is marked out with the small child’s chalk, which goes everywhere!

I paired off my material and stitched it together, alternating the striped and flowery patterns.

Not specified in the tutorial but I double stitched all my seams, I don’t trust my sewing skills (this is only the second things I’ve sewn in the last few years) and I see the abuse a beanbag goes through in my house being leapt upon and jumped on. Hopefully it will help it last a bit longer.

Now getting onto the complicated bit, making my sewing a bit more dimensional. This is where I ran into problems as my circle had a diameter of 22inches but I had nearly 30inches of material to attach. I got around this by pinning a pleat into the middle of each piece of fabric, which actually looks quite good. As you can see I divided my circle into 6 to make sure it was all equally pinned. When I was sewing it I had to put the rest of the material on a chair to support it.

I did the same with the bottom as well, which I velcro’d rather than zipped. (We shall not talk about me sewing one of the velcro pieces to the wrong side of the material leaving me to rip all the stitches out and do it again. At least I realised before I’d sewn it to the rest of the beanbag).

And here’s the finished product! Hoorah!

I think it’s come out okay.

And it’s got the definite seal of approval from the small child who won’t sit on anything else now. And I have enough material left to make another one for her too.

I thought The Linen Cupboard’s tutorial was really very easy to follow, even though I did end up with a slight excess of material (which worked out really well in the end to be honest).

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