Thursday, December 15, 2011

Making Beanbags

Beanbags are a toy without age limits. They are open ended and just plain fun! ...and sooooooo easy to make yourself!

I can sew...but the extent of my sewing skills don't surpass sewing in a straight line.  I have made quilts before, and people think "Oh wow you made that, you must be some kind of amazing, gifted, brilliant sewer to be able to do something that that!!!"  - I may have embellished a bit, but you get the idea.  But no, really all quilting (the kind I have done) requires in the form of sewing skills is sewing in a straight line, over and over and over and over again.    

This project is much the's all about sewing in a straight's easy and it's quick, only took me 3 hours, from start to finish.  This included going down to the basement and digging out my sewing machine and fabric and feeding our daughter twice.  
...oh ya, and cheap too (I just used fabric I already had lying around)! 

a stack of fabric scraps

something to cut your fabric...and because I've quilted I have a rotary cuter, a cutting mat and a measuting square (makes it so much easier), but scissors and a paper pattern work just fine

a sewing machine...I'm not gonna lie, it would be just way too hard to make these sewing by hand ;)

and some beans to fill your bags...but I used split peas (I like how they feel better) I guess you have to call mine pea bags.  I wanted to use lentiles (I think the'd feel even better, but peas were about half the price).  A 900g bag is about 4 cups, so if you are doing 12 bags like I did, then you will need 2, 900g bags of peas.  Each bag of peas was about $1.25.

So here's what you do:

Cut your fabric...I cut mine into 5" squares (you'll need 2 squares for each beanbag), but really you can make them any size (I wouldn't recommend any smaller though) Was going for a kind of rainbow effect as you can see I have red (kind of) orange, yellow, green, blue, NO indigo (had none of that colour just lying around) and some purple (although it looks black).
I made 2 of each colour, which makes is so we can play matching games with them too.  Great for 2 and 3 year olds.  "Hey Kid, go get the other one that looks like this!" or "Hey Kid, go get the other yellow beanbag!" or even "Hey Kid, go show me which colour beanbag is missing!" (which might be for kids a bit older, depending on your child.

Face the right sides of your fabric together, then when your turn them inside out (which then will be right side one) you will have a little bag.  This part always makes my head hurt!

Sew along three (3) sides of your square.  Just leave one of the sides open (see below).  Oh ya, I forgot to mention getting your machine prepped...but I'm assuming you know that by now.  I just threaded my machine with white all around.  If I was a better stay at home mommy I would have chanced the colour of thread for each bag so it matched, but I'm not, so I didn't!

See how I sewed along three sides and left one wide open (that makes it easier to get the beans in.  Some people leave a teeny tiny little hole and us a thingie to get the beans in there...but again I'm not that woman! Do this with all your bags.  

Then I snip all the corners from the squares...see I have all the scraps to prove it.

Turn all your bags RIGHT. SIDE. OUT (yes I finally got it right!!!)

Iron them nice and flat...making sure your corners are all pulled out.

Fill them with beans (or peas like me).  I did this one bag at a time.  Fill a bag and sew, fill a bag and sew, fill a bag and get it.  Let me tell you, this here is the HARD part.  I like how 1/2 a cup or split peas feels in the bags, but really again do what feels good to you.  

Pin your bags...I know what you're thinking right now..."I don't need to pin the bag, it's only a 4.5" straight line, I think I can handle that!" and I thought that too...but after 3 botched bags (and I really HATE ripping seams!!!!!), I finally started pinning, then ask me how many I effed up....NONE!!!! So pin the bags.  It not only holds your two seams together, it holds your peas (or beans, if that's what you're using) in.  

Sew straight across the hole, as close to the edge as you can get (or your machine will let you). Again if I was a better stay at home mommy I would have coordinated each bag with the tread I used to sew it up...

Here's what they look like when done.  Not too bad if I do say so myself.  

Here are all 12 of my beanbags (I'm still gonna call them that, pea bags just doesn't have the same ring)

Sorry, I have yet to take a photo of Adeline playing with the bags...she's just not that into them yet...but my 23 year old brother was quite enjoying them when he was here yesterday.  Maybe I should make him a set for Christmas ;)

Games to play with Beanbags:

  • Beanbag toss
  • Beanbag sort
  • Fetch (Yes, we play fetch with our daughter All. The. Time!)
  • Counting beanbags
  • Hide and Seek
  • Stacking
  • Balancing them on our heads (Adeline's Favourite right now)
  • Colour identification
  • Juggling (Uncle Timmy's personal favourite)

Really there are about a BAZILLION games to play with Beanbags!!! If you have some great ones in mind don't hesitate to add them to the list in a comment below!


No comments:

Post a Comment