In today’s Sewing Basics post, I’m sharing how to make a bean bag! Bean bags are great for hand toss games, hacky sack, juggling, and more! This post is also part of the fifth annual Christmas in July Make Along and includes a coupon code for a free PDF download through 11:59pm Eastern on July 3, 2023, so read on for details.
This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. I am a Baby Lock Brand Ambassador and a Benartex Brand Ambassador and this post is part of our ongoing collaborations. Additional supplies were provided by Cricut, Fairfield, Oliso, and Sewing by Sarah.
I’m so excited to be joining off the fifth annual Christmas in July Make Along with this easy how to make a bean bag sewing tutorial! To join the Christmas in July Make Along:
- Sign up for Christmas in July Make Along Along updates and the Underground Crafter newsletter to get regular updates, including an update as each pattern is released. When you sign up, you’ll also get access to my subscriber vault which includes exclusive free PDF patterns, a coupon code for your choice of any crochet or knitting pattern or ebook from my Ravelry shop, and coupon codes from other indie designers and crafts businesses.
- Visit this blog post for links to each pattern as it goes live, and to enter the giveaway by Friday, August 4, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern for your chance to win one of nine prizes from Eucalan, Fox & Pine Stitches, GlassEyesOnline, Hartiful, KennyClayCo, KnitPal, Knitter’s Relief Balm, Search Press North America, and seashellcrafter.
- You can join in by crocheting, knitting, sewing, or making the projects as you have time.
- Share your progress and post pictures of your finished projects. Tag your projects and posts #CIJMakeAlong2023 on all social media.
- If you’d like to chat with other crafters, join the Underground Crafters Facebook group.
- If you need more handmade holiday inspiration, check out the weekly roundups with even more free patterns for gift ideas.
- By the end of the Make Along, you’ll have up to 31 awesome projects. Get ready for the handmade holiday season while having fun with us!
- Use this button below on your Ravelry project pages or elsewhere on social media. Right click (on desktop) or tap and hold (on mobile) to save.
This week’s theme for the Christmas in July Make Along is Babies, Kids, and Teens. Bean bags are part of so many activities for kids that they make great gifts.
What are some activities kids can do with bean bags?
- Hand toss games, like cornhole, hopscotch, and hot potato;
- Hacky sack;
- Balancing activities (like walking a distance with the bean bag on their head or racing with a bean bag on their heads);
- Bean bag hide-and-seek;
- Outdoor chalk tic-tac-toe;
- Memory game (Sewing tip: use the same fabric for one side of each outer bag and then pairs of the same fabric for two inner bags);
- And more!
Depending on the age of the kids you are making these bean bags for, your budget, and whether the kids have indoor or outdoor space, you can decide how many bean bags to make, and if there are any other items you’d like to include with the gift (like outdoor chalk or cornhole boards).
Scroll down for the free Bean Bag sewing pattern. I decided to share an extra freebie with my readers today! Use coupon code CIJBeanBag to get the PDF version of the Bean Bag pattern for free in my Payhip shop through 11:59pm Eastern on July 3, 2023. Add the pattern to you cart, enter your email address, and then paste the coupon code. Be sure that your cart is set to $0 as there will be no refunds for accidental purchases!
If you make your own Bean Bag, I’d love to see it! Share your progress and questions by tagging me on Facebook as @Underground Crafter on on Instagram as @ucrafter. You can also share a picture in the Underground Crafters Facebook group. Sign up for my weekly newsletter and get a coupon code for your choice of one of my premium crochet or knitting patterns patterns and private access to my vault of subscriber goodies. Plus, you’ll never miss one of my free patterns again! You can also buy the ad-free PDF of this Bean Bag pattern in my Payhip shop.
How To Make a Bean Bag
Sewing Pattern by Underground Crafter
Bean bags can provide hours of enjoyment and make great gifts for kids! To extend the life of these handmade bean bags, each is made with two layers to enhance durability and stuffed with Fairfield Poly-Fil Poly Pellets Weighted Stuffing Beads. Poly Pellets are machine washable and, unlike perishable fillers, they don’t invite pests and mold.
- Approximately 4” (10 cm) square.
- Sewing machine such as the Baby Lock Brilliant. Watch my Baby Lock Brilliant unboxing video below.
- If you can’t see my unboxing of the Baby Lock Brilliant above, click HERE to watch the video on YouTube.
- Cricut 45 mm rotary cutter, cutting mat, and acrylic ruler.
- If you’re new to working with a rotary cutter, the video below demonstrates how to use a rotary cutter safely.
- If you can’t see the video above demonstrating how to safely use a rotary cutter, click HERE to watch the video on YouTube.
- Fabric shears.
- Oliso Mini Project Iron and Sewing by Sarah Wool Press ‘n Lock Tiles™ with Nifty Notions Mist Spray Bottle.
- Dritz Quilting Pins.
- Basic sewing supplies (seam ripper, thread snips, etc.).
- Optional: 1/4″ quilting presser foot with guide for seaming.
- Universal sewing needle.
- 100% cotton thread in coordinating or contrasting colors for bobbin and top thread.
- 100% cotton quilting fabrics – 1/8 yard for smaller inner squares and 1/4 yard for the larger outer squares (or four 5” pre-cut squares). I used fabrics from the Benartex Night Before Christmas collection (Ornaments Cream 16035-07 for the smaller inner squares and Ornaments Navy 16035-56 for the larger outer squares).
- Fairfield Poly-Fil Poly Pellets Weighted Stuffing Beads.
- I used Poly-Fil Poly Pellets Weighted Stuffing Beads because they can be machine washed. (Bean bags stuffed with Poly Pellets should be washed on a cold delicate cycle and dried flat.) Many other patterns for bean bags use beans or rice or other perishable fillers that limit options for washing and may invite pests or mold.
- This bean bag is has an inner and outer bag, which helps to keep filling inside and make it more durable.
- If using fabric yardage, each 1/8 and 1/4 yard combo makes 4 bean bags.
- Press fabric to remove wrinkles.
- With rotary cutter, mat, and acrylic ruler, cut two smaller inner squares to 4.5” each, and two larger outer squares to 5” each.
Assemble Inner Bag
- Position the two smaller inner squares with right sides together and wrong sides out. Seam along three sides with 1/4″ seam allowance. Clip corners on bottom edge (opposite unseamed edge).
- Turn inner bag right side out. Fill about 1/2 way with Poly Pellets. DO NOT OVERSTUFF.
- Fold the sides of the unseamed edge so that the fabric is inside of the bag. Use pins to keep the Poly Pellets away from the area with the unseamed edge. (This will help keep the Poly Pellets away from the needle while you are sewing, to prevent damage to the needle and/or your sewing machine.)
- Using reinforcing stitches at start and end, seam the inner bag closed with a topstitch.
Assemble Outer Bag
- Position the two larger outer squares with right sides together and wrong sides out. With 1/2″ seam allowance, sew along three sides completely, and partially along fourth side, leaving approximately 3” unseamed on last side. Clip corners on all sides.
- Turn outer bag right side out.
- Insert inner bag into outer bag. Squish the inner bag down (away from partially seamed edge) and fold over the remaining sides of the partially seamed edge on the outer bag.
- Using reinforcing stitches at start and end, seam the outer bag closed with a topstitch using an approximately 1/4″ seam allowance. After seaming, use fingers to adjust so that pellets and inner bag are no longer squished towards the bottom but are more evenly distributed inside of outer bag.