A new beanbag chair!
My daughter bought this old beanbag chair at Goodwill, several years ago.
It was a perfect little
dumping ground for all of her stuffed animals and laundry she didn’t want to put away reading area. Since we’ve redone her bedroom, and added a desk to the space, there really wasn’t room for the beanbag chair. I didn’t want to get rid of it because we use it when we have lots of kids over or need an extra seat when we’re watching a movie. Since it didn’t really have a home, it kind of moved from place to place. I’d find it in the family room, a corner of the hallway, or sitting on top of my craft table. I’d ask the kids to clean up and I’d never know where I would find it.
Well, a beanbag makeover was on my to-do list for quite a while. The pale pink doesn’t really go with my decor. I had some brown corduroy fabric in my stash and thought it would work well for a DIY beanbag chair. It had been originally purchased to be made into pillows for a couple of chairs in my family room, but I think it’s suited perfectly to become a beanbag. Corduroy is so durable and brown is a perfect color for a kids’ seat. (Some people like white slip covers because they are easy to bleach. I just prefer to hide the dirt in dark brown textured fabric. The truth just came out.)
So how do you make a DIY Beanbag Chair?
I started by trying to trace a pattern.
You can see the seams in a typical beanbag. I tried to flatten out the beanbag the best I could, without taking any of the filling out. Then I just traced the seams and estimated how big I wanted to make it. It was kind of awkward, trying to trace a filled object, but I eyeballed it and it worked out ok. My pink beanbag had four panels, so that’s how many I knew I needed to make. I pinned my pattern to the corduroy and cut four of those pieces.
My next step was the trickiest. I knew I would need to sew it into a tube-like shape, and I knew I couldn’t close the top or bottom all the way. I needed to leave room on the top and bottom to push and pull the old beanbag into place. I took two of my oval-ish shapes, placed them right sides together, and stitched along one side, leaving about 5 inches open on the top and 5 inches open on the bottom. Then I added pieces 3 and 4, in the same way. Once I had a flat panel of four pieces sewn together, I simply completed the tube by sewing piece 4 to piece 1 (right sides together).
At that point I stuffed the old beanbag into the tube. Then all that was left was to hand stitch a circle to the top and a circle to the bottom. This took the most time. I did most of it while I was watching a movie with my hubby and son. I tried to do an extra good job, knowing that kids+jumping+throwing+roughhousing=things falling apart.
I think it turned out pretty decent. It’s nothing fancy, but it’ll do when we’re watching movies and need just one more place to sit. This was one of those projects that was SUPER easy to sew, but took a little thinking and planning to make it happen. Ideally, I would have put a zipper in one side, but I had no desire to drive to the fabric store, so laziness won. No zipper.
Happy sewing (and movie watching)!
Floor pillows are perfect for movie night, fort building, and great for adding a bit of color to a room. My family room has been lacking color since I painted it white, added white drapes, and a few chocolate brown pieces of furniture. A little red for the winter is just what we needed.
My problem was solved when my daughter spotted this sock monkey kit at the fabric store, when we were picking out fat quarters for my mom’s quilted pillow. I think I shocked her with the answer to the question, “Mom, can I buy this?” She wasn’t expecting me to say, “Sure. Do you think you’d have fun making it?” It’s not often that I tell my kids they can buy something for themselves, just days before a holiday like Christmas.
She could hardly wait to get home! Right away, we set up Santa’s Workshop. I needed my sewing table for my mom’s present, so we set up the folding table in the living room for my little buddy to use. Hindsight, I probably should have set her up somewhere less obvious. We had many, many, friends stop by with goodies and the first thing they saw was the sewing station.
After a couple of hours, Sock Monkey was born. I offered a few more creative name suggestions, but I couldn’t convince my youngest that there was a more suitable name than Sock Monkey.
I’ve said this before, but I’m incredibly impressed that my 9 year old knows how to set up her sewing machine, thread the whole thing and start sewing with a fairly consistent 1/4 inch seam. She did absolutely all of the cutting and machine sewing on her own. She turned the pieces and stuffed the monkey too. The only part she needed help with was the hand sewing. That’s her least favorite part of any sewing project. I can’t say I blame her.
Sock Monkey has been our favorite toy over the past few days. He’s been dancing with his BFF, spending time watching her play Barbies, and he commands an audience like no other monkey you’ve ever seen. School is in session, in the photo below.
Are you one of those people who really wishes they could sew, but just don’t give it a try? It really didn’t take long for my daughter to become confident with a sewing machine. Give it a try, Friends! Maybe you’ll end up making a new best friend too!
About 2 days before Christmas, I had finished everything I needed to do and decided I needed another project. I opted for something small for my mom. My daughter and I headed to the fabric store and picked out a few fat quarters to sew into a fun little project. My mom’s living room is green and burgundy and those are two colors I don’t really have in my stash.
I got my inspiration from Pinterest. I searched quilted pillows and found a look I liked. Then, I used my quilt making program to design my own version. About an hour later, my quilt top was done and I was ready to quilt it. I love making pillows because they are like quick and easy mini quilts.
I designed three different blocks, quilted the tops, and filled them with crushed walnut shells. Everyone has crushed walnut shells sitting around their house, right? No, actually, Camille told me me that little trick. They sell crushed walnut shells in pet supply stores. It’s used in bird cages.
I have several different types of pins that I use when I sew. I decided that if I made three pin cushions, I could organize my pins by type…
Hmmm. Suddenly, the letters O, C, and D just popped into my head.
In my last post, I shared that my BFF, Camille, (ok, in reality she has no idea who I am) has inspired me to try my hand at quilting again. You see, I love the piecing and designing aspects of quilting, but I’ve never been a fan of quilting. As a matter of fact, I
usually always send my quilts out to be quilted by a professional. I claim that it’s because I just can’t stand squishing a big quilt through a tiny machine, but my lack of artistic ability may play a tiny roll in this. I can’t draw to save my life, and quilting is very much like drawing or doodling. With Camille Roskelley as my inspiration (she said something in one of her books about how much she loves the process of quilting) I tried several different quilting techniques on these little pin cushions.
I have a lot of hobbies, but I think sewing has to be my favorite. I love the fact that I can see some expensive drapes, or an over priced pillow, and whip up something similar at a fraction of the price. I don’t particularly like sewing clothes. Garment construction frustrates me. My favorite projects are always quilts.
I’ve been inspired by Camille’s patterns and photos of quilts she has made. My biggest take-away has been to use more solids in my background. I think it gives quilts a modern look, but keeps the light and bright feel. I’ve been using solid white, solid cream, or solid tan lately on my quilts and I’m loving the way they are turning out. The Swoon quilt, below, will be one of my next quilts. Camille teaches this one in her Craftsy class. I’m hoping to get started over Christmas break.
In one of Camille’s books, she mentioned that the actual quilting part is her favorite step in making a quilt. Well, that’s always been my least favorite step, so she’s inspired me to give in another try. I’ll let you know how it goes. I hope it turns out half as beautiful as the quilting on Swoon!
Allison Harris is the author of the Cluck, Cluck, Sew blog, and she also has a new book out. The title of her book is Growing Up Modern. Again, it’s taken a bit of getting used to, but I like referring to the quilts that Allison and Camille do, as modern. Allison’s quilts have the same light and bright feel that Camille’s do. I love her use of white solids for the background fabrics.
I really enjoy it when the authors of blogs share a bit about their personal lives. It helps me get to know them as people, rather than just getting to know their art/craft/project. A while back, Allison’s family got a bunny and she’s been sharing photos. Being a bunny owner myself, I suddenly liked her even more. (I can’t even begin to tell you how experiences raising animals enrich a child’s life!)
I just want to scoop them up and snuggle them!
Allison designs patterns, writes books, quilts, and snuggles bunnies and her own kids in her spare time. Here’s a great example of a modern quilt, using the latest fabrics. Doesn’t this look like something you’d love to curl up under while watching a movie? I love her use of color. It’s still light and bright, put it’s not pastel. The white background really helps accentuate the colors in the hashtags.
The picture, below, might just illustrate why she could be my BFF. Take a look at this organization! Ahh. I hear angels singing.
I’m off to go organize my fabric stash or pile some little squares of fabric!
(Pictures in this post were used with permission from the blog authors.)