There are lots of dreams that came true with my little Atticus, but one of my favorites is getting to pass on my love of reading. My little guy is every bit as obsessed with books as I am, and he loves to while away the hours by playing with all the books in his bookshelf. He still plays pretty rough with the books and every once in a while I’ll hear, RIIIP “Oh no! The book!” One of these days he’ll be stretched all over the furniture reading, but right now he’s still pretty active with them.
Which means that the best thing I could put in his reading corner is a beanbag chair. Right now he can roll over on it and toss it around, but as time goes by he’ll still be using it as he’s slouched up against it turning pages.
Click through for the pattern and a great coupon to Michael Levine Fabrics!
A beanbag chair is so easy you don’t need a pattern. You need six panels to make up your ball, and it’s kind of arbitrary what those panels measure. They just have to be consistent. I made my six panels measure 40 inches long by 16 inches wide and since I was using two different fabrics to alternate the patterns, I cut three panels of each. Fold them each up into quarters.
Take one of your panels and cut a curve into it. I measured six inches up from the folded edge and chose that as my starting point, and then I curved it up to meet the other folded edge at the very top. The angle of the curve doesn’t really matter either, it’s consistency that does.
To make your ball you’ll be sewing your panels into two halves of a ball, and then sewing those halves together. Match up two panels you want next to each other, right sides together. Sew all the way down one side, from point to point.
I like zippers, and I had one handy, so I used one. You have to make sure that your zipper is long enough to create an opening large enough to fit around the full beanbag, so I’d go with the longer the better. 30″ would be great. I used a 22″ zipper and it was a STRUGGLE to insert it. I think when I decide to wash this cover I’ll take an extra minute to replace the zipper so it’s easier to get on and off. But if you don’t want to deal with any of that, you can use velcro or snaps or buttons, whatever you like. I’m not a fan of velcro – gets messy in the wash and isn’t as strong as a zipper – but it sure is easy to make it long enough. Attach your zipper on one side of two of your panels.
You’ll definitely want to use the pretty fabric as a slipcover so that it is washable, and not have to worry about where you’re putting the beanbag pellets while you wash. So I did everything I just explained twice – once out of pretty fabric and once out of an inexpensive muslin. For the muslin you can just leave a hole open big enough for a large funnel and not worry about a zipper. You’ll want this layer to be sewn shut to keep those pellets from scattering all over the house.
With your two halves of the ball sewn up all you have to do is sew them together. The points where all the panels meet will look best if you take care to line all your points up. Pin them in place and then pin the rest of the ball together, adjusting as necessary to keep those points neat. Sew all the way around the entire ball.
Fill your lining ball with the pellets. I got mine at K-Mart, but they’re available everywhere. I used one bag which is what was recommended for the child sized beanbags. This is definitely a two person job since it can get messy in a hurry. I used the large mouth funnel I use when I make jam and held the ball while Bear poured the pellets in. Fold the edges in and sew your hole shut.
I made this project in partnership with LowPriceFabric.com, the online home of Michael Levine Fabrics. I’ve been shopping at Michael Levine every time I go to LA for the past decade, so I was thrilled to work with them to promote their new online store. I used some of the corduroy and some of their Riley Blake fabric, but they’ve got so much to choose from that just picking your fabric will be the hardest part of this whole project. How cute would this faux grid print be? And The Very Hungry Caterpillar! I didn’t even know there was such fabric!