Friday, April 29, 2016

Giant Bean Bag Chair Tutorial


Making your own giant bean bag is the way to go!  These comfy, foam-filled chairs cost upwards of $300 to buy new, and by making one yourself, you can not only save a ton of $$$, but you can customize with fabric you love, and know it is made well!!

Y'all, it is really amazing I am just now sharing this tutorial. I have homemade bean bag chairs all over my house, so it is probably the sewing lesson I have shared via word-of-mouth the most! FINALLY I am sharing it here!

I will show you what you need, where to get it, and how to put it together, so your giant bean bag will last you for years and years to come!



To make a 50" diameter, 28" high bean bag chair,
YOU WILL NEED: 

  • 6 yards of 60" wide inexpensive fabric. This is for the insert, so the fabric won't be seen. I paid $1-2/yard for some plain white cotton quilting fabric.
  • 6 yards of 60" wide heavier, comfortable fabric. I have used denim, corduroy, decorator fabric, and velour. This is the fabric you will feel, so make sure you not only like the look, but also the way it rubs your skin. 
  • 1 LONG zipper. I recommend 48" at minimum for this size chair. Many fabric stores sell zippers-by-the-yard. I have used these and they work great for this project. 
  • Shredded Foam Filler. My source for this can be found HERE.  You will need approximately 45 lbs of foam for one large bag. The 36"x 36"x 48" (30lb) size ($34.99 at time of publishing this post)  and two of the 8lb sizes ($12.99) to make one Giant Beanbag Chair. If you are making more than one (or want to do this project with a friend!) you can get free shipping with a $75+ order. Three large (30lb) orders would be perfect for two chairs. 
    • One note about the foam: I have been SO pleased with this foam. We have had one of our beanbags for over 5 years, and it still returns to its original poofy-ness. But be warned, it comes vacuum-sealed, so as soon as you open it to fill your bags, the foam expands LIKE MAD. So I recommend waiting to open your packages until you are ready to fill; then place the whole package inside the bag to open.  You'll thank me, I assure you.

TO  CUT OUT AND ASSEMBLE: 




1. MEASURE AND CUT CIRCLES. Beginning with your insert fabric, cut two circles with a circumference of 170 inches. I fold my fabric over on itself enough to cut 2 at once.  

The easiest way to measure is via the radius of the circle, which is 27".   Cut a string about 40 inches long and tie one end to a pen or straight pin. This will be your pivot point. 

 Tie the other end to a piece of chalk or a fabric pencil, making the string exactly 27 inches long from tied-end to tied-end.  Find the approximate center of the area on the fabric you will be drawing your circle, and hold the pivot end in place there. Extend the string until it is taut, then use the chalk to draw a perfect circle. Cut out both circles.

Repeat with your nicer cover fabric.

If you have a friend who can hold the pivot in place, it makes the drawing a bit easier. 



2. MEASURE AND CUT RECTANGLES. From each kind of fabric, measure and cut out two rectangles, 87" long by 32" wide. 


3. SEW ONE END OF RECTANGLES TOGETHER. With right sides together, pin and sew the two rectangles together across the shorter (32") side.  Now you will have one long rectangle, 32"wide x 170+" long.  Do this for each kind of fabric.

Now that your pattern is cut, you are ready to assemble!

ASSEMBLY CHART


4. PIN ONE CIRCLE TO RECTANGLE and SEW IN PLACE.  With right sides together, pin one circle to the long side of the rectangle. Sew in place with a 1/4-1/2 inch seam allowance (depending on your fabric/ sewing machine. Heavier fabrics should have a larger seam allowance, but if you have a serger, 1/4 inch will be strong enough). 
Sew the final short ends of the rectangle (right sides together) after you have attached it to the first circle to make sure everything lines up well. 


5. PIN & SEW THE ZIPPER and THE BOTTOM SEAM*.  With right sides together, pin the second circle to the bottom side of the rectangle, leaving space for the length of the zipper. Pin the zipper in place. (I have a zipper tutorial HERE in steps 6-12 of my T-Shirt Pillow Tutorial). 

*Adding a zipper to the insert is optional. You can leave a 2-3 foot opening for filling the insert with foam, then sew it closed.


6.FILL INSERT WITH FOAM. It is in your best interest to follow my next advice carefully! Place the package of foam INSIDE the insert before you open it and expose it to air. It will expand like crazy, and the foam is super static-electric, so it sticks to everything. Once the insert is filled, pin it closed, then sew it up!  (Or zip it up if you made your insert with a zipper!)

7. STUFF INSERT INTO COVER. This is where you will be glad you got a mondo-big-o zipper. Once the insert is in, zip it up, and you are done! 







31 comments:

  1. LOVE this tutorial!! I chose this as my favorite DIY from our DIY Crush Craft Party!! Come see it being featured tonight at 7pm EST. and link up your latest post! www.diy-crush.com

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    1. Thank you! I am excited to see it. I will share on my social media sites!

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  2. This is awesome! They can be super expensive. I'm definitely saving this. I wanna make a fur one.

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  3. Love this, just finished ours! Thank you for sharing your talents with us :) It's all zipped up and I think it is still expanding. How long did it take to fully expand? It's been about a few hours now, and it's still looking a little saggy ;0

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  4. The easiest tutorial I have found! Thank you! I am trying to make an insert for the 41" large Pottery Barn Teen bean bag. How could I alter the measurements to accommodate the smaller size?

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  5. If you wanted to make it more of a rectangle to fit more people on it what would the measurements change to?

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  6. If you wanted to make it more of a rectangle to fit more people on it what would the measurements change to?

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    1. Just have the middle rectangle the same length as the circumference of the top and bottom circles (or ovals) or the same as the length around all the edges of the rectangle

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  7. Is there another cheaper option to fill this with? And if so how much of it would you need for the same size one you made?

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  8. I am making this into a snorlax bean bag chair. It will become storage for the many stuffed animals my kids have. Thanks for the tutorial!!

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    1. Did you get that finished? How did it go? That's exactly what I'm after for my kids.

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  9. Do you know the cubic capacity of this (if I wanted to fill with poly balls instead?) Many thanks.

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    1. I am estimating about 23 cubic feet, based on the amount of foam required. Good luck!

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  10. So I think I did something wrong. Our foam has been expanding for three days and I feel like our chair is super saggy. Were we supposed to get two orders of the foam?

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    1. You probably need more foam. :( It has been a few years since I ordered ours--maybe their amounts have changed. My sister just ordered some so I will check with her on how far it goes in her bags and edit my post if needed.
      We also have to "poof" ours after we have sat on it for a couple days to make it large and light-ish again. Then we sit in it to shape it for comfort.

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    2. Update: I spoke with my sister and she confirmed that one large order did not fill one bag sufficiently. I have edited my post to reflect the amounts needed (45 lbs of foam rather than 30 / bag). I apologize for the misinformation! I even re-checked my original order and 5 years ago I ordered 90 lbs, which made 3 large bags. I can't explain the discrepancy. My sister said with the larger amount of foam, each bag still only cost $150 to make, so still significantly more economical than purchasing a new one! Good luck and thank you for your communication!

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  11. Thank you so much for this DIY needed information, this seems super simple with your easy to follow instructions, can't wait to get started..

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  12. Such an easy way to make giant bean bag chair you have shared, I will try for it tomorrow, I just love it to use while watching television. Buy the Kids Bean Bags of highest quality at best price.

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  13. This is an awesome tutorial! Thank you for sharing. I made the bean bag and filled it last night. I think I should have broken apart the foam more though because when I sit in it, I hit the floor! I only weigh 125. Is it made for smaller folk? Or does the foam inflate even more after a day? :\

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    1. I am wondering if you had enough fill. My foam barely fit and it immediately "grows" to its full size once I opened the packaging. It has been a few years since I ordered ours--maybe their amounts have changed. My sister just ordered some so I will check with her on how far it goes in her bags and edit my post if needed.

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    2. Sounds great! I put the 30 lb bag into the liner first before opening it up, but it didn't expand like crazy. It took a while. I think you may be right. It might need more foam! Let me know what your sister says. :) Thanks for the advice!

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    3. Update: I spoke with my sister and she confirmed that one large order did not fill one bag sufficiently. I have edited my post to reflect the amounts needed (45 lbs of foam rather than 30 / bag). I apologize for the misinformation! I even re-checked my original order and 5 years ago I ordered 90 lbs, which made 3 large bags. I can't explain the discrepancy. My sister said with the larger amount of foam, each bag still only cost $150 to make, so still significantly more economical than purchasing a new one! Good luck and thank you for your communication!

      Delete
  14. This is the best Diy beanbag tutorial and I really appreciate

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  15. This is the best Diy beanbag tutorial and I really appreciate

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  16. Great source for the foam - thank you!

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  17. With the 45 pounds of foam filler, is it dense enough for a grown man to plot/jump in the chair, and not have his butt hit the floor? Thanks! Awesome tutorial!

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    1. It should be! We plop down on ours often!

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  18. This is perfect for my next sewing project! Every year I see something for our girls for Christmas. They'll love these! AND I live near a Foam Factory! Thank you so much for sharing!

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