With many of us stuck at home for lockdown this month, we’re bringing you a fun home craft DIY to keep you busy and refresh your living room at the same time! Follow our step by step guide to learn how to make a beanbag cover from scratch. This is a great beginner sewing project as you won’t need to grapple with any specialist or technical fabrics – you just sew a simple patchwork cover, then add a calico insert and fill it with beanbag filling. Read on for our full photo walkthrough and free Bean Bag sewing pattern.
This project was first featured in Simply Sewing magazine and is designed by Juliet Bawden. You can see more of her work on Instagram @juliet_bawden and at www.creativecolour.org. If you’re looking for more easy sewing makes from the Simply Sewing team, you might also like our tutorials for how to make headbands or our roundup of the best sewing patterns for beginners.
Main photo: © Mimi Chambre
- Various patterned fabrics: approx 2.5m x 115cm (2¾ydsx45in) in total
- Calico: 2m (2¼yds) for the inner
- Hook and loop tape: 50cm (20in)
- Beanbag filling: one large bag
- Paper for pattern
- Matching thread
- Basic sewing kit
- Sewing machine
The instructions for the outer and the calico inner bag are almost the same except the top and sides of the calico inner is made in one piece not segments
- Seam allowance is 1cm (3⁄8in) unless otherwise stated
- If you’re new to sewing, head over to our complete guide to sewing for beginners to learn the ropes
How to make a beanbag cover – step by step
You Will Need
- Hook and loop tape
- Beanbag filling
- Basic sewing kit
- Sewing machine
Making the beanbag sewing pattern
To make the full circle pattern, draw a circle with a diameter of 68cm (27in).
To make the half circle template, fold the full circle template in half and trace half then add 4cm (1½in) to the straight edge.
To create the pattern for the pouffe sides cut a rectangle 202x32cm (791/2×125⁄8in).
Creating the patchwork pattern
To make the segment pattern for the patchwork top, use a pencil to draw a central line on the full circle template. Then half the half circle again to make a quarter circle. Half this once more to split the quarter circle into eighths. Trace off a copy of the eighth segment. Add 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance to the three sides of the segment. This is the Patchwork Segment template.
From the calico cut:
- Inner Upper/Base: two using circle template
- Inner Sides: one using the rectangle template
From the patterned fabrics cut:
- Patchwork Top Segment: cut eight
- Outer Base: two using half circle template.
- Outer Sides: one using the side template. We split ours into patchwork sections, to do this stitch pieces together until the assembled pieces measure 202x32cm (79½x125⁄8in).
Making the outer
First make the Outer Base with the hook and loop tape opening. On both Outer Base pieces turn the straight edge under by 1cm (3⁄8in) then turn again by 3cm (1¼in). Stitch the fold in place, then pin and sew strips of hook and loop tape centrally along both edges. Press the hook and loop tape edges together then machine sew the ends of the seams closed.
If you have panelled the sides, sew the Outer Sides RS facing. Press seams open.
RS together, stitch the Patchwork Top Segments together. Press the seams flat.
Stitch the ends of the side panel together to make a loop, leaving a 10cm (4in) gap in the centre of this seam. Then pin and sew the sides to first the patchwork top and then the outer fabric base making a drum shape. Turn through the gap so it is RS facing out.
Making the lining
To make the calico inner, repeat the steps above to attach the calico top and base to the sides. As before you will need to leave a 10cm (4in) gap in the side panel seam to fill the pouffe through.
Place the calico liner inside the fabric cover, aligning the gaps left in the side seams and fill with polystyrene beads (we used a piece of paper as a funnel). Hand stitch the gaps in the lining and outer fabrics closed to finish.
Ta da! You now have officially graduated our mini workshop in how to make a beanbag cover. How did you get on? We’d love to see a picture of your finished creations.