A book bean bag

I so liked the bean bag I bough recently iBeanithat I decided to make a second one so I could have one upstairs for reading books as well as this one downstairs for propping up my tablet.

Using the bought bean bag I made a pattern. I didn’t have any suitable tissue paper so I used some really old fan-fold paper left from the days when it was used by computer printers.PatternNot being good at drawing circles I used various glasses and plates or bowls to get the approximate sizes for the top and bottom.

I had this piece of fabric Leftover fabricleft over from when I made this top. Cowl topIt was just enough to cut out the pieces for the bean bag.

Having cut out the pieces the day I made the pattern, last week on Wednesday I settled down to sew them together. This time I decided to use my old manual Singer sewing machine and a ball point needle and it behaved itself perfectly!Finished but unfilledI doubled stitched the seams to give extra strength as the material was stretchy and left a small hole in the seam at the base for filling. The original had had a pocket (for something like headphones) but I didn’t think I would need a pocket for this one and thought that I could always add one by hand later if I changed my mind.

The shop bean bag had a zip at the bottom and I’m not very good with zips so I decided just to make a gap in the seam. The zip in the bean bag, although it looked at first like an ordinary zip was actually I very long zip (They called it an inverted zip.) which was doubled up and then had a row of stitching across the folded bit so in order to open the bean bag you would have to undo the stitching. It appeared to be there more for ease of closing after filling than for topping up later.

All I needed to do now was buy some polystyrene beans. (I remember that we had small ‘bean bags’ for throwing when I was in school but those were filled with beans or split peas.)

On Friday afternoon I went out to Hobbycaft and came back with this. Bean Bag FillingI had thought it would be about the right amount but when I saw it I realised that I would probably only need about half of it.

By weighing the original bean bag, the new cover and the bag of beans I confirmed that about half was what was needed.

So I attached a cardboard tube for dispensing the beans. Filling tube fittedIt was working well until a moment of inattention resulted in this. Spilt beansHowever I decided that the best thing to pick them up would be one of my soup spoons. Soup spoon filled with beansAnd this picked them up easily. They almost seemed to want to leap into the spoon like fragments of egg shell in a broken egg will easily get picked up by a larger piece of egg shell.

I overfilled it at first and had to take some out (using the spoon). But when I thought I had got it right, by comparing the squashed height with the original, I tacked up the opening to try it out just to be sure. Opening tackedAnd it seemed to work as well as the bought one. Book on bean bagSo I sewed the opening neatly.

I had cut out the pieces so as to see my favourite parts of the fabric. Here is the front. Front of bean bagThe back is similar but not quite as good.

This is my favourite side. Side of bean bagAgain the other side is similar. (And that bit that looks like a crease is in fact just the pattern!)

Here is the underside. Underside of bean bagNow I have my new bean bag I was able to take the other one downstairs to use with my tablet. Just in time to follow second practice for the Canadian Grand Prix since the BBC were only broadcasting the practices and qualifying on-line.

16 thoughts on “A book bean bag

  1. Such a great idea ! i have some leftover polystyrene beads from a poof I made some month ago so I might try to make a bean bag for the ipad. What are the dimension of yours ?


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