Sunday, June 6, 2010

Beanbag / Tutorial

My sister asked me to make some beanbags for her girls. I've made a few beanbags for my kids in the past, but an OT my sister knows added a few key elements:
* Fill the bags with rice (not beans as I've done in the past)
* Put the rice first in sewn up stocking feet so if the bag tears or a seam rips, the rice won't end up all over the floor (of course, the rice is all over the floor of my sewing room due to the oh-so helpful nature of my two Helpers, so the stockings don't help much on that end )
* Fill the bags "pretty full" of rice, so they make a good thud when dropped on the ground.

They came out GREAT! The kids love them - they've been throwing them back and forth to eachother - it's so cute watching E learn how to keep his hands together to catch. We're going to be making a LOT more of these!

SO... here's my non-visual tutorial:
1. Let the kids choose fabric - what a joy for them, and not so stressful for me, since they were only choosing small pieces;
2. For each fabric, cut 2 4"x4" pieces
3. Iron fabric
4. Fill stocking foot with 2.5oz sushi rice (this rice seems perfect b/c it's a very small grain, but any small grain would do)
5. Sew up stocking foot - be careful not to catch it on a fingernail or the stocking will get a tear in it and defeat the purpose - I wonder if it might actually be better to use little baby/toddler socks instead since they'd be stronger - I'm going to try that on a bean bag and update these instructions if it works...
6. With right sides together of fabric, sew with 1/4" seam, leaving about 1.5" in the middle of one side for putting in the rice bag;
7. Trim corners, turn inside out, poke out corners with a knitting needle or sushi stick or similar...
8. Tuck in the little 1.5" section of fabric that wasn't sewn up yet.
9. Iron
10. Put in bag of rice
11. Topstitch all around
12. Cut any hanging thread

Update:  If you don't mind the risk of rice all over the floor, a much easier method is to skip the stocking and fill with 3oz rice (instead of 2.5oz).  Better if you have a child looking over your shoulder waiting for said beanbag ;)

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