Who doesn’t like a beanbag? A place you could just cozy up in with your favourite book, to catch a cartoon or 2, or simply to jump into it and play pretend. The squeaking sound of polystyrene beads, one could say, almost sound therapeutic.My tots would definitely second that!
I was googling for beanbags DIY and ‘Sew a Kids Bean Bag Chair In 30 Minutes’ at projectnursery.com definitely caught my eyes.
It had well written instructions and pictures to follow through for a child size beanbag. It will take more than 30 minutes if you are deciding to do an additional cover and if you are as fastidious as me.
Here’s a run through of what I had and some tips I believe will come in handy if you decide to do a beanbag for your tot.
The instructions on projectnursery.com is just for a beanbag. Therefore, if you are intending to do for a tot like me. It isn’t advisable to stop just at the beanbag. You will probably want to do a cover for it as well. Firstly, it is Safer. You wouldn’t want your tot to have his fill with the polystyrene beads. ( CHOCKING HAZARD) Secondly, it is definitely more hygienic. My tots are always getting their hands soiled. Be it food, saliva, or what not. I am certainly in for “Play dirty and build immunity”. However, changing the sheets and covers once a week is mandatory in the household. Having more than one cover at hand would definitely do more good than bad.
Here’s what you’ll need:
2 pieces of fabric ( 45x 32 ) inches
22 inch zipper ( optional if you decide to sew the bag shut)
Pellets (Polystrene Beads )( 1.5 kg)
2 pieces of fabric (46 x 33) inches ( use 2 different fabric for a 2 tone look)
24 inch zipper
**Always wash fabric before any project, so that you know shrinking is done before you proceed with sewing it.
Tip1:When cutting the fabric especially big pieces of fabric, I always find it easier if you cut out one first and pin it down as a sampler for the following similar dimension piece to cut . Firstly, you will get similar dimensions for both cloth. Secondly, both fabrics would have been pinned downed already so you are all set for the next step.
I trust that you follow through the steps easily at projectnursery.com. After sewing the 2 fabrics. I used a serger for mine and it really saved a lot of time and and prevented the fabric from fraying. If you don’t, a zigzag stitch followed by a straight stitch over it as proposed would do the trick.
Tip 2: After drawing a curve and removing 6 inches of that fabric, it is a good idea to save this unwanted portion as a guide for the curve you are going to remove again for the cover.
Tip 3: Attaching a zipper would be a very good idea if you decide to change the pellets in future. However, it would be better to sew up the ends after that . I hand sew using a ladder stitch for that. This will also hide a portion of the zipper (Pull tab and TOP stops ) . This is definitely recommended to prevent young tots from unzipping beanbag. Replacing the beads in future will just require ripping the ladder stitches.
Tip 4: Filling up the beanbag would probably be the most challenging but satisfying step. Challenging: You cannot imagine having all these polystyrene beads spill all over your place, especially with tots around! Satisfying : You are 1 step away from getting your beanbag done! Projectnursery.com suggested pouring the beads in the beanbag in your bathtub which is a really good idea as any loose beads would be easily cleared once done. However, if you do not have a bathtub at home like me, here’s a tip. Place your cover over the opening (opened) of the polystyrene bag. On TOP of the the cover have a bigger plastic bag over it. A trash bag would do fine. With 2 hands, grab the sides ( cover and plastic bag )tightly leaving no GAP. Slowly reverse the the polystyrene bag so that you are pouring it out in your bean bag cover. Once done slowly remover the polystyrene plastic bag. There will probably be a handful of beads left and caught in the bag. The trash bag would be able to catch any spill overs. Do this really slowly, because you would rather do it slow then have a whole lot of pellets all over your floor. I got my bean bag fill from Spotlight Singapore. This would be the biggest bag and you will need 3 bags full.
Tada! Here’s a photo of my beanbag. I did it in the wee hours of the night when my tots were in bed, so their plush cat got to snuggle in first. I think he looked pretty pleased.
The beanbag cover follows the same steps as the beanbag . My suggested measurements for the cover could vary depending on how you would like the final look of the beanbag. I wanted more ease in slipping my beanbag in, thus the additional 1 inch for both the length and width. However ,if you decide for a more fitted look, I suggest using the suggested measurements first and adjust accordingly to your preference after fitting the beanbag in.
Little Char looked pretty pleased with her new beanbag!
Elli insisted is his new ‘ boat’?
Overall, this is a very good project for a beginner to sewing. However you do need to be able to handle straight and curve lines. In this case, very Long ones too!
I had a good time sewing the beanbag, my tots definitely raved about it ( mostly in enthusiastic baby gibberish). Definitely no regrets in doing this one. Wait no more, start yours today!!