Big Kid, Do-It-Yourself

DIY: Sew a Kids Bean Bag Chair in 30 Minutes

All kids deserve a snuggly spot to call their own. Whether it’s for lounging, movie nights or just curling up with a good book, a pint-sized bean bag chair fits the bill. And while there are many of these available in stores, wouldn’t you rather make one as unique as your child?

Complicated bean bag tutorials can be intimidating with all their sections and circle-ness. But what if I told you that with two pieces of fabric, one zipper and a straight stitch you could have an adorable kids bean bag chair in 30 minutes—would you believe me?

DIY Kids Bean Bag Chair

Materials: two pieces of fabric (upholstery weight fabric is preferable), one 22″ zipper, 3.5 cubic feet of bean bag filling

In the following directions, all seam allowances are 5/8″.

1. Cut two fabric pieces to 45″ x 32″. The fabrics can be identical or you can choose coordinating patterns for a two-toned look.

Fabric for DIY Bean Bag Chair

2. Turn right sides together. On the long raw edges, use a zigzag stitch to prevent fraying. Then straight stitch the same edges. Due to the amount of abuse these seams will endure, I highly recommend using a small stitch length for durability.

Sew a Kids Bean Bag Chair

3. Fold the fabric in half like a hot dog bun, matching up the sewn edges.

Sew a Kids Bean Bag Chair

4. Starting from the folded side, round one end, removing approximately 6″ of material from the corner.

Sew a Kids Bean Bag Chair

5. Open the fabric back up, and you should have a nice symmetrical curve on one side. Zigzag the raw edge, and again use your straight stitch to close.

Sew a Kids Bean Bag Chair

6. Open the remaining unsewn edge. Keeping right sides together, fold in half the opposite way as shown below.

Sew a Kids Bean Bag Chair

Sew a Kids Bean Bag Chair

7. Sew your 22″ zipper into the center of this opening. I used an invisible zipper so it would be less noticeable when completed.

Sew a Kids Bean Bag Chair

8. Finish your zipper installation by closing the zipper edge with a straight stitch on either side.

Sew a Kids Bean Bag Chair

9. Turn the bean bag chair right side out and fill with beans! This kid-size chair takes exactly one bag of bean bag filling (3.5 cubic feet or 100 liters) to create the perfect plump. There’s really no easy way to get those static cling-crazy little pellets inside without spilling a few. My best advice is to have two people holding the zipper open and a third person to pour—oh, and have your vacuum on standby!

Kids Bean Bag Chair Filling

If this chair doesn’t beckon “come, relax,” I don’t know what does!

DIY Kids Bean Bag Chair

DIY Kids Bean Bag Chair

Choosing to use two different fabrics means the bean bag chair is reversible too. Just flip it, and you’re rockin’ a whole new vibe—it’s two chairs in one!

DIY Kids Bean Bag Chair

DIY Kids Bean Bag Chair

Whether you make one for your own child or give it as a gift, I guarantee this kids bean bag chair will become the new favorite snuggle spot.

DIY Kids Bean Bag Chair

Keep in mind that bean bag filling pellets are a choking hazard! Because the zipper is accessible, please make these only for kids who are old enough to know better than to eat them.

Editor’s Note: If you have any concerns about your child opening the zipper or you’re making for a young child, consider sewing the bag shut (knowing you will have to rip open the seam if you ever want to refill the “beans” and sew shut again). It is never safe for a child to open the zipper or attempt to climb inside.

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  1. 2

    You could easily make an inner, completely closed bag to hold the beans, while keeping the cute fabric as a cover. Then there’s no worry of little ones choking, and it’s washable!

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    Love this great idea. Will definitely make it for my granddaughter. For me I think it would be much easier to insert the zip before closing the curved end and definitely would make an inner.

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    What kind of fabric did you use? Was it the upholstery weight or did you just use a print fabric?

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    Love it! I’m wondering how much fabric I should get if I am making an adult version? I want to make one for my husband and he is 5″8′. Thanks

  14. 20

    Hi! This is great! I’d like to make a bean bag chair for a 2 1/2 year old. The fabric I’d like to use, though, is only 44″ wide. Would you recommend just buying more fabric or cutting down the dimensions of the panels so I don’t have to buy as much fabric (30 X 43, for example). I appreciate any thoughts you have about this!

  15. 21

    I think that cutting down the dimensions a couple inches will give you the best bang for your buck. Since it’s for a 2.5 yr old, the small size difference won’t matter much. Good luck!

  16. 22

    Jessie, to make an adult size I’d recommend beginning rectangle dimensions of 43″ x 60″. Keep the seam allowance at 5/8″. The largest size that can be made with standard material (54″ width) is 54″ x 75″.

  17. 23

    Jessie, to make an adult size I’d recommend beginning rectangle
    dimensions of 43″ x 60″. Keep the seam allowance at 5/8″. The largest
    size that can be made with standard material (54″ width) is 54″ x 75″. You’ll also need more filler, of course. ;)

  18. 24

    I think that cutting down the dimensions a couple inches will give you
    the best bang for your buck. 43 x 30 sounds great! Since it’s for a 2.5 yr old, the small size difference won’t matter much. Good luck!

  19. 26

    Looks great! I’d like to make this but fill it with fiberfill for extra cuddliness. How many pounds do you think I will need?

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    What dimensions would you use for making an inner bag? This would be my first real sewing project as I attempt to make this for my little boy. Thanks

  23. 30

    thanks so much for this tutorial, I’ve just completed my 3rd bean bag! I decided to sew cheap cotton inner bags for the beans (that I sewed shut) so that the outer bags are easily washable. I ‘m sure my kids will be very excited when they see them in the morning!

  24. 31

    Hi Carmen,
    Can you share the pictures of the 3 bean bags. I would like to get some inspiration of colour cordination. Many thanks!

  25. 32

    Hello Emma,

    I chose to use the same fabric for top and bottom. Making 6 fabric choices seemed too hard at the time! Its not the best photo, and the kids arn’t exactly using them the right way (this was more of a bean bag pile)…. but they LOVE them!

  26. 33

    Carmen – A couple questions for you, did you make the inserts the same size measurements as the outer shell? How were you able to stuff the inner bag in through the 22 inch zipper? I’m having trouble getting my inner bag into the outer shell. Did you use a larger zipper? TIA!!

  27. 34

    Hi April, I did make the inserts the same size. It was a bit tricky getting the inner bag through the outer bag, and I did actually use a 24″ zip (accidental, not on purpose!) , there was a lot of shuffling and shaking and poking to get it in, I think I kinda did it a bit like an hour glass – put the empty inner bag bit in first, then let the beans fill that bottom section and shuffle etc. Hope that helps?!!

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    Hello Hayley! Thank you for this great idea! I was just wondering what age is the girl on the picture? I would like to make one for my niece who is 5 years old, so I wonder if I should make one a little bit bigger if I want it to last a few years??

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    where can I find bean bag filler?? I have checked walmart and hobby lobby neither had it. and the price I find online is $16 for the bag shown in your picture :/ HELP!

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    I would like to make this and was wondering what kind of sewing machine you have? I’ve never sewn upholstery fabric and just want to make sure my machine would be able to handle it. Would I need a different needle?

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    My daughter was 5 when I did this tutorial and she could comfortably use it for another couple years. But, you certainly wouldn’t go wrong enlarging the dimensions if you wanted. Just multiply your longest side length by 1.4 to find the shorter side length.

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    I purchased my filler from Walmart for about $16, which was the cheapest I could find. I bought some other things from them online at the same time and was able to get free shipping since my order total was over $50. Amazon also has the same brand for $16 and free shipping if you have Prime.

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    I just have a fairly basic model made by Brother. My recommendation of upholstery fabric was based more on wanting people to avoid the really thin quilting cottons, than having to seek out anything ultra-heavy. My Joann’s store has a “upholstery” section that offers slightly sturdier cottons in widths around 54″. My regular needle handled it just fine. Hope that helps!

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    You’re welcome Carmen! Thanks for the photo of your kiddos enjoying them. Great fabric choices, too! I also appreciate your tips on making the inner bag version, as I had not done that.

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    I just bought my fabric to make this. I got the softest ever fake fur for one side and a very soft, pliable vinyl for the back side. So the side that sits on the (sometimes dirty) hardwood floor will be the vinyl side and be easy to wipe clean and the cozy side (with the more expensive fabric (the fake fur) will stay clean as it’s on the top. I am making a lining out of muslin so the outer bag can come off and be washed. Thanks for this tutorial. Fingers crossed my sewing machine will play nice while sewing through fake fur and vinyl!

  40. 47

    I am making two matching bags so I bought two bags for $32 at Walmart then added random stuff that I already buy like beef bouillon, face wash, dish soap and got free shipping from Walmart (plus saved a trip to the store). It was the cheapest I’d found it online anywhere also.

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    Thanks for the awesome tutorial! I made a bigger size and let my boys store extra bedding, pillows and stuffed animals in there. Then they get a useable chair and I get less clutter.

  42. 50

    I can’t wait to make one of these. Plan on filling it with my daughters large collection of stuffed animals.

  43. 51

    I’ve had 2 bags of beans from Bed Bath & Beyond sitting around taking up space until I have time to make these…hopefully soon! (I went two different times with my 20% off coupon.)

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    Thanks so o o much for this tutorial. This will be super easy and quick (I’ve been asked to make three). Just got to hope for fab fabric at local shop..

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    Stayed up last night and made these for my twin daughters 7th birthday today. I made them slightly bigger but kept the proportions – so they’re 125 by 90cm (50 inches long dimension) and they took a bag and a half of beans each. Size-wise they’re great, and will last them for ages. I made them from ikea fabric and my girls love them – thanks for the tutorial!

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    A couple of suggestions (I am an avid sewer)…you could use outdoor fabric for the bean bag…it has a dense weave, and is very easy to keep clean. JoAnns has a lot of beautiful fabrics in 45″ widths. Also, if you’re worried about the zipper coming open, you can do one of two things, you can use a tool to cut off the flap on the zipper pull and then when you need to refill the bag, you put a paper clip through the hole (that’s how our current purchased bean bag works), or you could just sew the zipper pull shut, and only have to remove that stitching to get in the bag. Eventually, the beans break down, after use, and you WILL need to refill the bag. I love this, and may make a larger version for my tween kids soon!

  48. 56

    Made two of these yesterday for my niece and nephew. Such a great pattern. They were a much loved gift today!! Thanks so much.

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    I wonder if any kind souls who made this bean bag could offer me some advise. I bought some fabric from the charity shop 43″ X 55″ , zip 17″. Do you think I can make an adult bean bag out from these?

    Many many thanks in advance for your advise. :)

  50. 60

    I made this about four months ago. My little guy loved it, until the stuffing seemingly started to disintegrate. I used the filler pictured in your tutorial. I also noticed a note at the bottom stating that you may want to open it to refill it. Have you noticed your bean bag getting limp and flat?

  51. 62

    Hey Amy. Yes, the filler does lose it’s volume after awhile, especially if kids are rough with them (as they tend to be!). The zipper was included to make it easy to refill them as needed. Keep in mind that, although I “poofed” mine up for the tutorial photos, you don’t want the chair to be super full otherwise it’s tough to actually sit comfortably in it.

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    I would guess 2-3 bags for one chair. You want it to be fullish, but not overly stuffed. It may look a little saggy when unoccupied, but too full and it’ll be uncomfortable to sit in.

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