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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    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

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    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!

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    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!

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    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″.

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    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. ;)

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    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!

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    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

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    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!

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

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    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!

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    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!!

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    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!

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    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.

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

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    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!

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    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. :)

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    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?

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    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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    If making the bean bag 43×60, is it still 6″ that you cut off for the curve? I want to make it a bit bigger so me and my son can snuggle in it before bed for stories and bedtime prayers!

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    Really cool tutorial. I would definitely consider trying this out. My only concern would be the bag being sewed tight enough to keep the filling in and the eventual wear and tear from children constantly sitting and playing on the bean bag. However I would love to try make one just to see for myself.

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    Amanda – the curve is purely aesthetic. You could sew it straight if you wanted, but I would think that for a bigger size, your curve would be a bit larger also. No real equation for how much bigger… probably just have to eyeball it! :)

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    Just wondering if anyone had used normal zipper? I haven’t used invisible one before. Thanks

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    @Nicole – No reason you couldn’t use a regular zipper! It will be just a tad more noticeable along the back… and, as such, potentially more enticing to little fingers. That’s the main reason I went with the invisible kind.

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    I just made a adult pouf for hubie at 36/50 ish size looks like it will work as a game chair just fine

    A good way to fill is get a wide tube (Pringles tube size) and duck tape it to the bag with it zipper snug to it then using another set of hands clip off the corner of beans a little larger then the tube wile pinching it off then give a twist to hold it all down then have your extra set of hand hold it like it is and duck tape it onto your tube and untwist and push it all in

    I did this way and didn’t have any little balls to pick up same type you used as well :)

    Tho his will take more then the 1 bag of fill it only has one in atm i have another bag I will partly add when his birthday is closer since it’s his present :)

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    Thank you for the awesome tutorial! I made it for my 1 year old last night! I don’t know how to post pics but it turned out awesome! I just love it! And cheap too! I filled it with two old pillow stuffings I had. Just because I couldn’t find local beans for a bean bag but eventually I might switch it, the stuffing works for now.

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    I Luuuurve these beanbags and would love to try making them for my 2 sons. Been a complete beginner when it comes to sewing, when you state doing a zigzag stitch then straight stitch, do you mean next to each other (if so, which goes on the inside/outside please) or a straight stitch on top of the zig zag?
    Many thanks x

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    Lisa – The zigzag stitch is a way to prevent the raw edges from fraying. Run the zigzag flush along the fabric edge or even overlapping the edge a little. Then the straight stitch will be in from the zigzag, 5/8″ from the edge. That make sense? Good luck and have fun!

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    This is the first Pinterest pin that I have found for bean bag chairs that not only had the instructions, but was also super easy. I am making 2, or maybe more, for my daughter. We are moving into a smaller place and she has a ton of stuffed toys. I don’t want to use toy hammocks because they attract dust and spiders. This way we have storage and seating. Thank you, this is a life, and money, saver.

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    Me again! Please can I just ask what fabric people have used to make a liner? Does it need to be flame retardant does anyone know? Thank you! :-)

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    I really love this easy DIY! I have been looking for an easy way to make a bean bag chair for ages and i am loving this one! I live in Germany and i am not finding a German eqivalent to bean bag filler and i was wondering if you had any other alternatives or suggestions of what else i could fill the chair with? Also, is there a suggestion of how much bigger i should make the chair for an adult? Thank You!

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    It’s just amazing. I did one for my 1 1/2 year kid with an inner, for I suppose it will have to be washed now and then. Used a simple fabric and quilted some figures (sun, clouds) on it. He loves it (and me too). I live in Hungary, so we can say that your project has become quite international so far. Many thanks for sharing the idea and for the comprehensable instructions and photos. If you don’t mind, I will spread your site to some interested friends.
    Chloe make a try with polistyrol füller Kügelchen!
    Thanks one more time!

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    Thanks for this awesome guide!
    I look forward to use it tomorrow.
    But first I need to buy the stuff I need.
    Thank you one more time :)

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    Chloe – some people have mentioned filling the chair with stuffed animals or maybe you can find ripped foam bits? Not sure of the resources overseas! :) If you make one adult-sized, I would recommend cutting the rectangle to 38 x 51 in (97 x 130 cm).

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    Hi Marianna. Thanks for all the kudos! So glad you found the tutorial all the way in Hungary and that your child is enjoying it. Feel free to share away… we love the exchange of good ideas. :)

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    Thank you. This tutorial was sooooo easy. I ended up not inserting a zip so the kids dont fiddle … but they LOVE THEM

    Thank you

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    I have a silly question. Is it 45L x 32W? I always get confused when it just gives dimensions.
    Love this tutorial!!

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    Is it 45Wx32L? Also, if I wanted to make this for a tween what size could I do? Is it big enough for an 8 year old? Hard to tell size by picture :)
    Can’t wait to make it!!


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    Hi Erika, if I understand well, width or length does not matter, since you can turn the fabrics. However, if your fabric is horizontally patterned 45 is the longer, it will be the length and you put the zipper into the smaller side (32). Sorry if I misunderstood your question. I have made another for an older child – just cut a duvet cover into half. Based on my own experience it is also convenient for a teen or even for a not sooo tall adult (I’m 177 and just had a wink of sleep in it :)). But in this case 1 1/2 or even 2 times more filling material was needed.

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    Hi Erika. It does depend on the way your fabric pattern is laid out, but generally speaking, yes, it’s 45W x 32L. Unless the fabric pattern makes sense to turn sideways, in which case, you would need to purchase a piece of fabric 45″ long. I would say this size is adequate for a normal sized 8 year old, but for a tween I’d suggest going up to larger 38×51 size.

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    Hi, do you think faux leather would work well on this? My lo has a bad dust allergy and I figured that would be more allergy friendly, plus wipe clean! My machine is a workhorse (1940s electric singer) so would be well able for the job. I could do an inner like most have done and the zip isn’t a problem because I’ve a few feet of upholsterers zip somewhere that can be cut to length. For people asking about filler, it’s the same polystyrene beads they use for house insulation so if you can’t find it in your local haberdashery try your local builders merchants

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    I just finished making two of these for my boys’ birthdays! One is turning 5 and the other 3. Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. Because I do not trust my boys to keep the zipper closed, I made a liner for the bean bag filling that I sewed shut after filling. That way, the outer part acts like a pillowcase. It was twice as much work, but I like that I will be able to wash the outside if needed, and I don’t have to worry about the boys getting to the filling.

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    I made this today. Super easy and super cute. I used a fleecy fabric with “My Little Pony”. My kid loves it.

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    This chair looks fantastic! I would love to make one for my niece for Christmas. What size does the chair turn out to be? I’d like to adapt your instructions slightly in size to make a mini beanbag chair that would be toddler size.

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    Hi. Thank you for tutorial. Just finish for my 3 year old. Made with separate inner section so cover can be washed. I used old pillows and all leftovers from my sewing projects to staff it. I keep all cut offs for such projects:)

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    I have just made two of these beanbags for my grandchildren. I would definitely recommend making an liner to contain the beans. Also I don’t think the amount recommended is enough. The bags look very too floppy!

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    Mary – I definitely “poofed” up my bag for the photoshoot, but you actually don’t want it to be super duper full. A little floppy means there will be room to snuggle into it. If the bean bag chair is full enough to look really nice while not in use, it’s probably too full for comfortable sitting.

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    Latoni – that was just finicky “poofing” on my part (pushing around the beads inside until it looked cute). But normally it looks kinda flat until someone sits on it.

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    Thanks for a great post. While I am an accomplished “sewer”, with a one-year-old running around, I don’t really have the time to make a proper 6-sided beanbag. I love your pattern and can’t wait to make one for my daughter in fabric that matches the cushion covers I made for the sofa.

    For those questioning the inner bag size, cut the same size as the outer omitting the seam allowance, this should give you enough play. Place the inner in the outer bag before filling for ease. Hoe that helps anyone.

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    I can’t wait to try this! What are the finished dimensions (approximate!) could a mother and child sit on it together?

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    Lois – The completed dimensions of the instructions (as given) are about 43L x 26W x 23H. There is not enough room for an adult and child to snuggle on this size. But if you make a version that’s larger start with fabric about 43″ x 60″ or larger.

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    If I did not make an inner bag, wpuld we still be able to toss the whole bean bag into the washer?

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    Betsy – The purpose of making an inner bag is so that you can have an outter zippered shell that would be removed for washing. Do NOT wash the bean bag chair with the styrofoam filler inside!

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    just made one of these with a case for my daughter for her birthday and im seriously thinking about making one for me haha! it was so easy to make, its really comfy and supports your back very well. would make a great gaming chair (hence why i want one :). the hardest part was getting the beans into the bag. i strongly recommend having a helper (man them things are crazy) i also recommend using a longer zipper for on the case if you decide to go that route, it was kind of difficult to get the bag inside without putting a lot of pressure on the zipper. i also sewed the inside bag shut completely to eliminate the risk of a bean tsunami as my daughter is only turning one and i didn’t want her to ever be able to open it. thank you! this was a great project for an impatient sewer lol

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    Clara – Thanks for sharing your project experience! I’m so glad you found it fun and easy. Except for the beans… told you those things are cray. The longer zipper is a great tip for people making inserts too. Impatient sewers unite! Let us know if you make an adult size and how it turns out. ;)

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    Lois – Honestly, I kinda winged that measurement based on what curvature looked good for the original size. If you increase the bean bag width, you may also want to broaden the curve some too. Maybe go to 8 or 10″?

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    I made this and love it ! Wish I’d seen it earlier for all my kids when they were little. I made it firstly in white cotton fabric and filled it with the beads, then I made another case in pinks with a zip, that way it can be washed.

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    Can this chair sit on its own and have the back (head part) stay sturdy, or does it have to lay up against a wall?


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    Ryan – It totally sits on it’s own! The weight of the child sitting in the chair pushes the filler beans up into the head part and it’s totally self-supportive. When not in use, it can look a little floppy (unless you over-stuff it, which I don’t recommend), but when in use, no wall necessary.

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    Just sew a few rounds over the zipper right behind the zipper pull and they can’t open it. You can just break the threads when you want to refill it that way.

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    I’ve used a bean bag liner in mine as I do not trust my 4 year old not to open it , in using this I dont get the same shape chair when it’s not in use any tips on how best to use the liner to create the top peak.

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    Hi Hayley. I just found you and this adorable bean bag chair. Is this a pattern I can purchase to teach a class? If not, do you allow teachers to teach using your tutorial? Thanks for taking the time to answer!

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    Hi! This is so great. I’ll make one, my kids would love it. Thanks for sharing. Terima kasih.

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    This is so cute! The kids are getting a fresh paint and redo in their rooms….this might be on the list to make for them.

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    Hi Jean! Sorry for the late response… There isn’t really a pattern per say – just the measurements and directions. I’d be honored to have to use the idea for your class – please just add in a reference to this post. Thanks for asking!

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    Erika – There’s no real trick to cutting the curve. In fact, you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to — I just like that it softens the look of front of the bean bag. It doesn’t have to be super precise.

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    Really pleased with this, my granddaughter will love it! I put the zip in before sewing the curved edge, much easier! I used dress fabric 100% cotton and double stitched the seams.

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