Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Make Your Own Bean Bags

I really love using bean bags in all kinds of games and activities. Often people feel they have to buy commerically made bean bags but you can make your own. Here are a couple of ideas on making your own and two of them are no sew. Older children will enjoy the activity of making them as much as the games you'll come up with to use them.

Simple Shaped Bean Bags
This is a sewing project and is best done on a straight stitch machine.
I liked to use fabric scraps or remnant pieces that are colorful prints. Any fabric is fine if it is sturdy. Simply cut out two pieces of the desired shape, sew edges with a straight stitch about 3/4 inch from the edge. Leave an opening along one side about 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. This is where you'll fill the bag with beans. Once you have the beans inside, stitch the opening closed. Trim the edges with a pinking shears to minimize fraying. You can also use an anti-fray glue along the edges. Fleece fabric or felt does not fray and holds together very well. If you have a serger then you are sealing the edges as you sew the bag together - it's really slick!
This project can also be done with hand stitching. I recommend putting beans in a zip lock sandwich or snack bag and then insert into the bean bag you've made. This way if a stitch breaks and the bag starts to open up, the beans will be a little more secured.
While simple shapes are easiest to work with you can also make them in letters or numbers.

No Sew Bean Bags
1) Zip lock style sandwhich bags - fill with beans 3/4 full, seal edges with duct tape. If you'd really like a sturdy bag cover the whole plastic bag with duct tape. Remember duct tape can be decorated with permanent marker or it does come in several colors.
2) We all have a lone sock who has lost their partner or socks that aren't really useful as socks anymore. Make a bean bag out of them. Simply fill the sock to a point where you can knot the open end. No sewing, no glue, no tape. You can even decorate the sock to make it fun.


  1. Great ideas! What type of beans do you recommend using?

  2. Jenny - I've used different types of dried beans, rice and sand. A bean like the Navy bean is good - nice weight and more round in shape.
    Love to hear how your bean bag project goes!