*If using two prints, you will need 1-1/4 yard of each bean bag material.
BEAN BAG PATTERN ASSEMBLY:
1. Open and print all pages of the “Little Boy Blue” Bean Bag Pattern on 8.5 x 11″ paper. Make sure that the printer settings are not set to “fit to scale.” The first page includes a 1″ tester square–measure to make sure everything has printed correctly.
2. Carefully cut out the pattern pieces labeled “Piece A,” Piece B,” and “Piece C.” Tape together as indicated in the adjacent diagram and set aside.
3. Carefully cut out the pattern pieces labeled “Piece D” and “Piece E.” Tape together as indicated.
NOTE: If you’d like to make a larger version of this bean bag (suitable for older kids), take these printed template pages to your local copy center and enlarge all pieces 150%.
You will need to cut a total of six bean bag panels from the bean bag material. (Since I am using two bean bag materials, I will be cutting three panels from each.) There are multiple ways to cut the panels from your fabric–here is my preferred method to get the most out of the yardage:
When you purchase fabric off the bolt, the manufacturer has already folded it in half widthwise, wrong sides together. Keeping it folded this way, make another fold by bringing the top of the fabric down about 9-10″ (or until the pattern fits along this new fold). Note: this new fold will run perpendicular to the manufacturer’s original fold.
Pin the pattern in place along the fold where indicated. Carefully cut around the pattern shape, remove the pins, and unfold the two resulting bean bag panels. Repeat the 9-10″ fold, realign the pattern, pin in place, and cut again. Repeat until you have six bean bag panels total.
*TIP: If using two different prints, this cutting method will yield 4 bean bag panels from each. You can refold the two extra panels (one from each print) and cut a top & bottom piece from each.
Speaking of the top & bottom pieces, go ahead and place that pattern on the fold of your leftover bean bag material and cut two. Designate one for the bean bag top and the other for the bean bag bottom.
LINING: Repeat the whole process to get six panels and a top and bottom from the lining material.
SEWING THE BEAN BAG:
You will begin with two bean bag panels and the 22″ zipper. (If using two prints, retrieve one of each so we can alternate them).
Turn the zipper over so it is right sides together with one of the bean bag panels. Align the raw edges and pin in place down the entire zipper, moving the zipper head down as you go.
Once the zipper head reaches the bottom (or before then), move it back up a bit so you can pin the zipper tape beyond it. This may require removing some pins momentarily.
Install the zipper foot on the sewing machine (make sure you move the needle over to the left) and stitch the zipper in place, stitching as close to the teeth as possible.
Once you reach the zipper head, don’t be tempted to just stitch around it. Take a second to pause and pull the project out from the machine. Zip it up so the zipper head into the area where the zipper is already sewn down. Resume stitching all the way to the bottom.
Bring this “zippered” panel right sides together with the next panel. Referring to the picture below, fold the zippered-edge back slightly so the zipper is now right sides together with the other panel.
Line up the edge of the zipper tape with the edge of the panel. Begin pinning the zipper tape in place just as you did with the other panel, moving the zipper head down, and so on.
Move needle to right of the zipper foot and sew the zipper tape in place from the top.
When you’re done, you can take a little sneak peek of what the zipper will look like! Looks good, but we need to do one more thing.
Top-stitch the zipper in place on both sides. Keep using the zipper foot and make sure the needle is set on the side away from the zipper teeth to give a nice (approx. 3/8″) seam allowance.
Now that the zipper is in place, we can sew the rest of the panels together.
Add the next panel (right sides together), aligning the raw edges, and pinning in place like so.
Sew along the pinned side using 3/8″ seam allowance.
Repeat and add another panel until all six are all attached in a row. If using two prints, alternate them. Bring the first and last panel right sides together, pin in place, and sew together.
Keep the bean bag inside out and unzip the zipper before proceeding.
Pin the top right sides together with the bean bag, aligning the raw edges. Sew the top in place using 1/2″ seam allowance.
Repeat to add the bottom, but double check that the zipper is open before you do.
Finally, turn the bean bag right-side out through the zipper opening.
Repeat this whole sewing process (minus the zipper) with the lining pieces. When adding the final bottom round piece, only stitch it 2/3 of the way. Turn the lining right-side out through that hole and fill it with the polystyrene beads before stitching it closed.
A word about the polystyrene beads: Be sure to read and follow all instructions. They will cause a big mess if you’re not careful.
Once the bean bag is filled about 2/3 full, pin it shut and hand-stitch it closed.
Now you are ready to slip it into your beautiful bean bag cover. Zip up and enjoy! When it gets dirty, just unzip, remove the bean bag, and wash the bean bag cover.
A fun and happy pint-sized bean bag perfect for any toddler!