12 Days of Handmade Christmas|Day 7 Bean Bags

by Edie Wadsworth on November 7, 2010


If you’re new to the ’12 Days’, you may visit the previous days by clicking on the day you like:

Day 1 Crayon Roll

Day 2 Zippered Pouches

Day 3 Appliqued Placemats

Day 4 Quilted Potholders

Day 5 Camera Strap

Day 6 Embellished Dish Towels

Blessed Sunday to you friends! I have two treats for you today. First, let me introduce you to my dear friend, whom we affectionately call Kimmie (you can call her Kim, I guess) and whom was our dear nannie when the girls were little and I worked part time. We still miss her terribly and were thrilled to find out that she had opened an etsy shop, called Sweet Baby’s Dressed. I think you’ll love her stuff and it’d be a great way to get a good start on your Christmas shopping while supporting moms who are sharing their talents.  Look at the little baby giraffes :)  I want those Ms. Kimmie—-and a little baby to dress in them!

And then we have Mary Jo with us to guest post.   She is a new friend to me who will share her secrets for making adorable bean bags.  Check out the link to her blog for more crafting fun and then tell me if all this baby stuff doesn’t make you wanna have about 10 more.   Welcome Mary Jo!

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My name is MJ and I like to blog over at 517 Creations, but I’m excited to be “guest posting” over here at Edie’s today!  I’m a stay-at-home momma to a toddler and the wife of a youth pastor who ministers to teenagers on a daily basis. Our days are sometimes crazy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.  I love to start and finish a product during naptime…it’s the little things in life!

We’ve been renovating a house to make it our home and are mostly done…which leaves me more time for sewing!  Which brings me to the tutorial.  I’m going to show you how to make a set of Toss and Learn: Colors bean bags!

On to the tutorial…

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I love these “Toss and Learn: Colors” bean bags that I created a few months ago.  They are the perfect present for any toddler in your life.  Bean bags help with gross motor skills and sensory integration, and these help with color recognition…says the former teacher in me. :) We all love bean bags, right?
Of course, we are talking about bean bags here, so they’re pretty simple to make.

Here’s what you’ll need:

8 different fabrics (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black).
You could add more or less depending on how many colors you want.
Coordinating or contrasting thread
Printable fabric – this adds an extra little bit, but I think it makes these bean bags what they are!  This can be found at most fabric stores.  I bought mine at Hobby Lobby with the 40% coupon!
Beans – this takes more beans that you’d think! (A funnel makes this job much easier!).  I used pinto beans as they are sold in large bags at Wal-mart.
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Step One:
Following the directions on your printable fabric, print the names of the colors on a single page.  If you’re interested in a .pdf of this, e-mail me!  The printable fabric that I used had to dry for a few minutes, so I recommend doing this step first.  Cut your color names apart – be sure to size them so they’ll fit on your bean bags.

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Step Two

Cut your fabric into 6-inch squares.  If you have a cutting mat and rotary cutter, this step goes by quickly!
Step Three:
Lay out 1 side of each “bag”.  Pin the color name to one side of each “bag”.  Sew your color names on! You could use a fusible webbing to help secure it.  The printable fabric that I bought already had the fusible webbing on the back, so it made it a little easier. Be sure to back-stitch to secure it!

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Step Four
After each color name has been sewed on, match up both sides of your bags and pin them together.  Be sure that the RIGHT SIDES of the fabric are together, and sew with a ¼ seam allowance.  Be sure to leave a 2-3 inch opening along one side of each bean bag – this is where we’ll put our beans in.
Step Five:
Clip the corners, turn the bean bags right-side out (be sure to poke the corners out), and iron flat.
Step Six:
Fill the bags using whatever type of beans you have on hand.  One cup seems to be a good amount to fill this size bag.
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It helps if you have a trusty assistant!

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Step Seven:
After you have filled the bags, pin the opening shut.  Then either hand-sew or machine-stitch the opening closed.  I like to machine-stitch it, and then top-stitch around the entire bag for added strength…we do have a 2-year old boy in the house!  If you top-stitch around your bags, you’ll have to move the beans out of your way as you sew.  This takes a little practice to move them to one side or the other, but you’ll get the hang of it!

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Step Eight:
You’re done!  Enjoy your Toss and Learn: Colors bean bags!

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Step Nine:
Make your cute little toddler’s day by “letting” him practice his colors while playing with the bean bags!
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You can take this concept of “Toss and Learn” and use it to teach all kinds of skills…letters, shapes, numbers, etc.  Start a little bean bag-making factory in your sewing room this weekend!

Thanks for reading this tutorial!   Many thanks to Edie for letting me be a part of this awesome series!

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Southern Gal November 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I’m going to make these for my granddaughter. Thanks!

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2 Elise November 7, 2010 at 3:06 pm

LOVE this idea!! So gonna have to make these!!
Elise

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3 Tara November 7, 2010 at 3:10 pm

love all of the handmade ideas!

I have so many friends that are checking them out daily!

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4 Heather November 7, 2010 at 4:47 pm

These would make a super cute stocking stuffer – what a great idea! Even though my preschooler knows his colors, we are working on reading, so this would make word recognition easier too. I know he’ll love them – thanks for sharing!

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5 Brenna November 7, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Oh my goodness! These are precious! I teach kindergarten, so I was immediately intrigued! I think I’ll be making a set of these for my classroom AND a set for my two year old niece. How precious!

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6 LaVonne November 8, 2010 at 2:02 am

Very cute. I love the easy step by step tutorial on this one. Thanks!

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7 Traci November 8, 2010 at 2:43 am

Such a cute idea! wish I could sew. It would make it much easier of a project for me! :)

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8 Kelly November 8, 2010 at 9:31 pm

the pictures are gone FYI

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9 Kari November 9, 2010 at 4:02 am

Oh no! The photos are missing.

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10 Amber November 14, 2010 at 11:14 pm

I’m a new sewer and these were definitely not hard…a little time consuming, but worth the effort because they’re adorable once finished! I totally recommend doing the top-stitch because it adds strength and looks really good too! My 20-month old is learning colors right now and these are perfect for her!!!

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11 Anglina Jolie March 10, 2011 at 5:48 am

My kids love the bean bag toss game! we set up ours in the front lawn and they love it. keeps them outside and some of the neighbor kids come over as well. It sure beats them inside playing video games.

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http://www.simplybeanbags.co.uk/

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12 Sitonitbean1 October 3, 2011 at 10:13 am

Great idea a fabric glue would also better, but I love to sew. You have a simple plain Bean Bags, they right just put some designs to look more attractive.
Thanks for sharing with us.
Bean Bags
 

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13 Happy teacher December 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I teach a class of 12 special needs children – they are all on a “sensory diet” and they LOVE these bags. I’ve made 20 (one for each child and staff) of each color so that we can do a color study.  We throw …   er toss the bags into a coordinating bucket.  they absolutely love this game and are learning their colors!  Thanks so much!

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