diy: kid’s beanbag

this post is kinda a big deal for me, and was a couple months in the making….literally!  i always struggle with what to get the kids for christmas.  i mean, we NEED nothing.   i have been reading the MADE blog on and off for a while, and remembered she made the most amazing beanbag….or “roly poly”.

you can buy the pattern here.

so i bought the pattern, started making my supplies list and realized i may have bit off more than i could chew.  it turned into early december and i hadn’t started them yet, and i could not find the right bean bag filling!  i needed 30 cubic feet of stuffing….10 cubic feet per bag.   i tried the ”cluster stuff” brand she suggested, but the price was no longer $4/bag and and wal-mart no longer carried it….it was now $10/bag on amazon and hobby lobby…..and i needed 9-10 bags per beanbag…so you do the math….$300 for filling alone.    so i searched bean bag stores on-line, and to buy enough pellets to fill 3 large beanbags was going to cost me OVER $300!  more than the cluster stuff!  these handmade awesome christmas beanbags were quickly turning into $150 per bag.  ummmmmm, no.

i had already bought the material from ikea, zippers, thread, lining…..but no filling/stuffing/pellets.  and no, the regular poly fill stuff you buy to stuff pillows wasn’t going to work.  it clumps.

so i visited my local ups store in hopes they would have some good packing material i could use.  it wouldn’t be fluffy and pillow like, but the nice guy took me in the back of the store, and hanging from the ceiling were EXTREMELY large bags of packing peanuts….15 cubic feet each.  SOLD!!!  i bought 2 bags for a total of $45.

now the only problem with using packing peanuts is they do compress down after some use.  we stuffed these bags to the max, and they have relaxed some.  i have some leftover packing peanuts, so i will likely do some re-filling in the future, but the beanbag is designed with an outer layer you can unzip and wash, and then opening up the inner bag is not a big deal at all to add some more filling.  and the only other issue i see is that packing peanuts are a little squeaky…but for $45….i don’t mind ONE bit.

so now that i had my filling, i made all three bags in about a week, and once you get the pattern cut out and assembled and get everything together, they actually come together fairly quickly.  so i am officially declaring this the YEAR OF THE BEANBAG.  if you are a child and related to me, you will likely be getting one for your birthday this year!!

they have been loved and used daily since christmas day.  stacking, jumping, reading, watching tv, sleeping….you name it, they have used them.  the favorite bean bag activity is to stack them up in the hallway and take a running start and seeing how much air you can get before landing on them.  oh, and they have a handle!  perfect for pulling and dragging!

so after everything, i think each bag cost me about $80-$90 each.  ikea fabric, fabric for inner liner, zipper and notions, and then the packing peanut filling.  still a little more expensive than i like, but i see them using them for a very long time, and if we want to sew a new outer shell with different fabric, it only takes 3-4 yards of good ikea fabric, which runs on average about $7.99/yard….


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Sharalee - January 22, 2013 - 9:52 pm

I love your Rollie Pollies! I am thinking of making one for my son, and was wondering for size comparison what size you ended up making?

khphotography - June 5, 2012 - 1:04 am

debra…rowe furniture. we love it!

Debra - June 4, 2012 - 2:08 pm

I seriously love them and your couch in the background! Where’d you get it?

Wendi - January 27, 2012 - 4:45 am

Totally fun! Way to go Kristen!

khphotography - January 24, 2012 - 7:20 pm

thanks guys, but the real credit goes to dana of the MADE blog where i got the pattern….she dreamed it up, i just followed her directions! and of course ikea gets some credit for the amazing and inexpensive fabric they make.

Cathy King - January 24, 2012 - 6:32 pm

You are a genius!!! Love the fabric you chose! Wish I could make one! You are so creative!

Kimberly - January 24, 2012 - 5:35 pm

wish i was a kid you knew! ;)

Paula - January 24, 2012 - 5:34 pm

I’m in awe. Those look fabulous! I can’t believe you made them. Nice job! I love the fun fabrics.

Jackie Rackley - January 24, 2012 - 5:00 pm

Those are the cutest ever pictures of the kids!!! Oh…and the bean bags are really cute too!!! You had a great idea and they’re light too for them to move around.

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