Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bean Bags for My Boy

Simplicity 2178 is almost done!  I did create a muslin and I am now putting the finishing touches on the final dress which I expect to be showing you within the next couple of days.  In the interim I thought I'd post about a very simple and quick sewing project that my little boys have helped me with.  Bean bags! 

Here is the long story as to why I ended up sewing bean bags.  My son Constantine is 4 years old.  He takes guitar lessons.  Here is totally adorable photographic proof:

Sometimes it is hard to get him to stay still during his lessons so his teacher plays a game using bean bags.  He puts one on Constantine's head, one on top of each of his feet, one on his knee.  And if Constantine can play a song or a portion of a song without making any of the bean bags fall then he gets some sort of reward (like a gold star or smiley face on his lesson notebook).  It works like a charm.  So I decided to make a set of bean bags for us to use when he is practicing at home. 

To make our bean bags I used 4 fabrics in primary colors.  From each fabric I cut 2 strips measuring 4"x"20.  I paired up the fabric strips matching contrasting colors with right sides together and sewed both of the long sides with a 1/4" seam.  Then I sliced each strip into 4" squares.  I sewed the third side of each square, using chain sewing like you would if you were making multiple units for a quilt.  I sewed half of the 4th side of each square and then turned them out and pressed them. 

My boys helped me to fill them up with crushed walnut shells (that is what I had on hand left over from my pin cushion making frenzy).  They used a funnel and a measuring cup and each bean bag needed about 3/4 cup of filling.  They had fun but there was a mess when they were done!  I slip stitched the openings shut (that was the most tedious part - everything else when very fast). 

The result is 16 bean bags each measuring about 3 1/2" square.  Know any good games for kids to play with bean bags?  I'm all ears if you do!


  1. What a great, gentle way to teach sitting still! And your son is extremely cute.