If this looks hard, you’re in for a surprise! It was actually pretty easy.
It holds so much and then looks cute and is functional to boot. The best.
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How to Make a Stuffed Animal Bean Bag
The secret of the EASY part is that I used a fabulous pattern that came with a free video sewing tutorial.
The pattern is the Ellie and Mac Stuffy Ball Pattern. Click HERE to see the sewing pattern.
Stuffy Ball Pattern
If you’re wondering why it’s called a “Stuffy Ball” that’s because you can stuff it with all of your family’s loose stuffed animals and blankets and then zip it up!
I was so tired of folding all the kids blankets nicely on the couch and then having them knock them on the floor over and over again. This way the room looks neat and the kids have somewhere to chill.
Here’s the line drawing from the Ellie and Mac Patterns Website:
Stuffy (Stuffed Animal and Blanket Storage) Ball Options
The Stuffy Ball PDF Pattern is fairly simple and just has two options:
- Small Size
- Large Size
The pattern can be printed on a home printer or library on Letter or A4 paper, or at a copy shop on large A0 sized paper. Additionally, you can use a sewing projector (which is what I did!).
The ball is sewn entirely closed except one side seam where you sew a zipper into the seam. If you’ve never sewn a zipper before, this could seem daunting. However, this pattern comes with a video tutorial that walks you through each step. You can find the video in the pattern listing on the Ellie and Mac Website, Click HERE.
My Make Details
I made the large size of this pattern since I had enough fabric and I wanted to make sure we could fit all the blankets.
The main fabric I used is a navy colored microfiber material I picked up from Walmart Remnants section. On the top and bottom of the ball, I used a thick upholstery fabric I had in my fabric stash.
So, this Stuffed Animal Bean Bag was very affordable! I’ve seen bean bag storage balls for sale online for anywhere from $35 to $120. This pattern is less than $9 and the fabric I got was $4. Even if you spent a bit more on the fabric plus a zipper, you are probably ahead.
I’ve seen people use quilting cottons and upholstery fabrics as well. Perhaps you already have a fabric in your stash that would work well?
The fabric required is as follows:
- 1 1/3 Yards for the Small Size
- 2 3/4 Yards for the Large Size
And I used a 23 inch precut zipper tape with one zipper pull. You can really use any sized zipper, but you want to make sure that the opening will be large enough to stuff anything you’d like through.
Sewing Pattern Modifications
I made two small changes while sewing this pattern.
The first was that I added a handle into one of the ends. After sewing it, I’m not sure it’s needed as it’s pretty simple to just pick up entirely and move, but maybe the kids will enjoy it. I used a medium interfacing where I sewed in each strap to give the area more strength. I also went over the area a few times. Once in the seam allowance, and again right outside the seam allowance.
You can see the handle in the picture below.
If I made the handle again, I also would have made it a bit shorter. But, you live and you sew, right?
The second change I made was to add a piece of medium fusible interfacing along the entire zipper tape on both sides.
I cut a 1 inch side piece of interfacing as long as my zipper was, then cut the whole strip in half long ways (hot dog style) so that I had two 1/2 inch strips of interfacing that were as long as my zipper tape.
I then fused each piece of interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric on either side of the opening where I wanted my zipper to be sewn.
And not so much as a modification, but as an extra step, I top stitched all the seams on both ends around the hexagon shape. I’m hoping the extra top stitching will provide a bit more reinforcement since this will be used by kids. Kids are rough on things!
If you want to sew your very own stuffed animal bean bag to store your stuffed animals and blankets in as well, you can find the pattern through the link below:
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments or join me on my sewing Instagram profile @ www.instagram.com/sewletsgohobby.
Until next time, Happy Sewing!