Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Bean Bag Tutorial

E came home with a somewhat unusual request for a teacher gift for one particular teacher at school.  Bean Bags.  She said this teacher likes to throw them around and use them for things and that the classroom was down to one or two.  I should point out that this is a teacher of History, 7-12th grade.  I don't know what she does with them!
 E went through my never ending stash to pick out fabrics.  Originally she was going to put letters on them to spell out the teacher's name.  Then decided that may not be her name forever (she's unmarried) so we went without.  The original number was 14, I suggested adding a 15th for a more complete collection.

And so, a quick tutorial should you ever be inclined to make your own bean bags.  They sew up very quickly.  I can make one in less time than writing this post.  E did all the sewing and bean filling, so they went very fast.
 Cut out a rectangle of fabric, 9.5" x 5".
 Apply fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.  For a couple of them I did some franken-interfacing. A medium weight fusible interfacing works well.
 Don't forget the helper cat.
 After fusing, fold rectangle right sides together.  Sew three sides, leaving an opening to turn and fill with beans.  I've been marking my stops and starts with double pins for so long I don't remember if I learned it or made it up, but its a good way to remember to STOP SEWING.
 Leave an opening about 2".  This makes it easier to turn and fill.
 Clip the sewn corners.
 Turn right side out. Chopsticks are the best tool for turning.
 I used a combination of pinto beans and lentils to fill the bags.  About half way with the pinto beans and then added lentils until it felt full enough. Its really a judgement call on how full you want them to be.
 I stand the bags in something to fill them and keep them from spilling until the opening is ready to be closed.  Hand stitch the opening with a neat blind stitch or ladder stitch.
 And you've got a bean bag (or 15).

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