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,

  • 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.


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!


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! 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Crio Bru Truffles

These rich, chocolatey no-bake truffles are full of healthy, energizing, guilt-free ingredients, and they whip up in a jiffy!  As the sole sweetener in these morsels, dates compliment the chocolate and nut flavors beautifully. 

One of my favorite healthy ways to get my chocolate fix is drinking Crio Bru. If you haven't tried it, you should! It is a drink made from brewing ground, roasted cacao beans. It is full of antioxidants and important minerals, gives me a natural boost of energy, but it doesn't have the addictive high-caffeine-content that coffee does. 

After I brew my Crio, I like to save the damp grounds to use in recipes. They add rich chocolate flavor, fiber, and all of the health benefits of the brewed drink!

My entire family loved these truffles. I had to hide them in the freezer so my husband was sure to get some before they disappeared!

Crio Bru Truffles
Makes 18-20 

1/2 cup Crio Bru grounds (previously brewed and well-drained, but damp)
1 cup of raw pecans, walnuts, or cashews
1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
10 Medjool dates, pitted
4 tablespoons cocoa powder, divided
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1. Line a small cookie sheet with wax paper. Measure 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder into a small bowl, and set aside. 
2. In a medium food processor or blender, process damp Crio Bru grounds and nuts until finely chopped. Add coconut oil, dates, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and sea salt. Pulse on high 5-10 seconds at a time, scraping the bowl as needed, until all ingredients are well incorporated. 
3. Using a medium cookie scoop (or your fingers), form 1.5 inch balls. Roll the balls in the bowl of cocoa powder, then set on the wax paper.  Once all the dough is used, place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for 30 min to 1 hour to set.  Tasting is allowed. :)