After a week of feeling sick and being tired and pretty much non-functional, I woke up feeling slightly better today and wanted to do a craft with the kids combined with a game that would hopefully keep them entertained for a while. So I decided it would likely not be too difficult to sew some bean bags. I knew I had fabric scraps from flannel crib sheets I had made and also some rice from a previous sensory table activity so I figured that would be good enough.
Here is how I made them:
1. I placed two fabric scraps, right sides together on my cutting mat and trimmed them to be 5 inches by 5 inches.
2. Then I simply pinned them together with 2 pins per side.
3. Next I stitched them together, lining up the edge of the presser foot with the edge of the fabric (1/4″ inseam). I made sure to leave about a 2 inch opening on one of the sides to pull the fabric through to get right sides out and to fill it with rice.
4. Then I pulled the fabric through the opening, thus making it right side out and created a funnel out of paper. I pushed out the corners the best I could with my fingers. Now proper technique would be to trim the corners off from the inside as close to the stitching as possible then push them out, but since this was a quick project I didn’t bother. Then I put my daughter to work filling the bags with rice.
5. Once the bags are about 2/3 – 3/4 full, depending on how firm you want them to be, simply fold in about 1/4 inch of fabric in the opening, pin and sew shut (you will want to try to keep the rice away from where you are stitching). And that’s it!
6. Repeat with remaining 3 bags. Sorry the pictures are random and not of the same bean bag throughout the entire process, but it was a quick project so I forgot to snap all the pictures in a sequence. And it’s a lot easier to get distracted when you have a 3 year old helping out!
And since I said I wanted to have a game to go with the bean bags, I simply took a piece of cardboard, cut out two large round-ish eyes and a large mouth. Then I simply taped two long strips of rigid cardboard to the back for angled supports.
This worked fine up until my son woke up and started playing. He’s a lot rougher than my daughter so some added reinforcement was necessary. I added another piece of rigid cardboard to the back between the eyes from the top of the board to the top of the mouth to make it a little stronger. Then I added two extra pieces of cardboard that were taped to the angled supports that I had made in the first place to make them stronger and it’s held up to a lot of abuse so far today.
Not too shabby for a 30 minute spontaneous craft project that was done while my son was napping.
And now when I get a sore neck, I can just pop one of these babies into the microwave for a bit to heat them up. So really it’s a win-win as far as I can see!
Here are some pictures of the kids enjoying their new bean bags: