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bean bag tips

8513 Views 28 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  norasmom
I want to make some basic square bean bags. I was thinking of stuffing them with lentils....using some corduroy for one side and a lightweight cotton woven for the other.....Any advice on fabric, stuffing, and dimensions?
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I came to this forum with bean bag questions also... mine is whats best to stuff them with??

I thought lentils or beans would be good, except I would like to be able to wash them in a machine, so no.
Rice...maybe if only washed in cold? Probably not..

Popcorn Kernals?

Ideally (of course) it would be a natural(ish) thing, and even more ideally able to be bought in bulk and cheap (CHEEEEEEAP!!!!).

Anyone who's had experience or who has any ideas, help please!!
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Oh, and for fabrics...

I was going to use just scraps from making slings and stuff, so Indian Cotton, Cotton Drill, Denim, maybe some velour if I dig it out of my piles, etc.

I was thinking of doing some smaller and larger rectangles and the same of circles.
I've had great luck stuffing them with split peas or other smaller "beans." I've also used rice. I've used larger beans as well and they do work okay but I like the feel of the smaller ones.
I don't think you can wash real bean bags that are stuffed with real beans~ my kids have gotten them wet before though and I dry them in the sun.
I've used all types of fabric: flannel, corduroy, denim, canvas, regular old cotton, etc.
They're really fun, and they are some of my kids favorite toys- especially my 2 year old son's. They are extremely open ended and become anything they want them to.
Their favorite shape is square/rectangle.
If you wanted them to be washable, why not make them with an inner bag using muslin, stuff them with the materials, then make a removable outer bag that you could wash? Just a suggestion.

I considered something like that, but the idea of sewing zippers or something on each little bag put me off a bit...although... maybe some sort of envelope thing could work actually. Thanks
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I have made literally hundreds if bean bags in my day....for a while it was what I gave as birthday gifts to all the children I know.

I have stuffed them with rice, lntils, beans, etc. I have used cotton and/or denim. cordurouy would be cute though.

Once a while ago, a friend of mine somehow got a bean bag I made for her stuck behind the oven. when, months later, she finally got it out, the bean had sprouted. since then, i always "bake" the beans first on a low oven 250degrees for about an hour.

Also, it helps to use a funnel to get the beans in the bag,

oh and alos, i wouldn't worry about washing them...i haven't know them to get oo dirty, and they;'re so simple and cheap to make, i would just replace them if necessary. althoug we haven't needed to. we have had dsome bean bags for over 7 years.
If you make an inner bag for the beans or other fill, you insure the safety of the toy for a younger child. The filling is much less likely to spill out and become a hazard. Since you normally slip stitch or ladder stitch the final seam after you fill the bag anyway, you can easily clip this seam open to remove the inner bag, if the outer cover become too dirty.

Baking the beans in the oven first is a very good suggestion, if you want to use a natural fill. Recycling bean bag animals from the thrift store (there are thousands of them in there!) is a good source of the poly pellets, if you want to have a fill that can be washed.
I like to make mine with rice and a little smell-um-goody herbs too-like lavender& peppermint. Nice to toss in the microwave for a few seconds to warm and put on a sick tummy, sore muscle, etc.

What a great thread! I keep thinking I want to make some bean bags - I have all sorts of fabric scraps that would be great! Hmmm... maybe instead of sitting here reading through all this stuff on my computer I should do some sewing
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I have always used a variety of things to stuff with and just have never washed them. I like to make mine all different- different materials, and different fillings to make them vary sensory wise. If they were to get really gross, I would just throw them away. So far they haven't.
I did these last year as Holiday presents.

I found really neat panel alphabet fabric, and filled them with split peas - for some reason they "felt" better. I decided to stitch the corners with very bright thread over and over, so you'd be able to see if it was coming apart. For the younger crowd, I made some out of animal, filled them with flax seed and different herbs, like cham.

(I might have some fabric left if anyone is was the PERFECT size..)
My MIL made ds some beanbags and she put the lentils in a piece of pantyhose before putting them in the actual bean bag. She said it was to prevent him from squeezing out the lentils through the stitching and possibly choking on them. It seems to work really well, we haven't lost a lentil yet

He loves his beanbags, though. We play with them all the time.
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I just made bean bags yesterday for the first time -- they turned out great! I stuffed them with rice and a spoonful of tea -- they smell delicious.

I plan to give them as gifts -- making a drawstring bag to put them in as the wrapping (and for storing).

Last night my dd and I were tossing them in the living room - playing horseshoes.

Have fun!
The pantyhose idea is a great one! I also do french seams. After the bag is turned right side out-go over all the seams on the right side of the bag except for the end that needs folding/closing. Fill, pin close & stitch across. This double seals the edge & looks nice & neat. I hope that makes sense!
I like to make them with lentils, rice, barley or wheat and I like to make a selection for the different feel of each. Beanbags are a gift I like to give and to play with!
I read that stuffing them with aquarium gravel is a good option.

I saw someone freecycling 8 lbs of the stuff not long ago! That would sure make a ton of bean bags!!!
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