I rarely sew – the thick layer of dust on my sewing machine can attest to that! Luckily, you don’t need to be an accomplished seamstress to make these DIY animal bean bags.
I’m talking amateur to amateur here. (I applaud you if you’re a sewing pro, however!)
All you really need are the free templates below, a sewing machine or needle and thread, and a little enthusiasm.
What you’ll need:
- Sewing machine (these can be hand sewn through)
- Free templates (download free below)
- buttons (optional)
- Needle and thread
- Beans or pebbles
DIY animal bean bags
- Let’s start with the templates. You can download them here.
Wombat and Owl Bean Bag Template
We have an owl, a wombat and a turtle template.
Do one, or do all three.
Or you could just print it out for the little ones to draw on (so versatile!)
- Firstly, I wanted the bean bag to be safe for my children. I decided to make a bag to go around the beans and then put that bag inside the finished animal. You can either just do a circle, measuring the size of the template, or you could do it the hard way… I decided I wanted the safety bag to be the same shape (amateur!)
- Cut out two pieces of fabric the same shape and sew the edges together until you leave a 5cm gap.
With a spoon, fill the bag with some small beads.I used fish gravel stones that I had left over from our fish tank. You could also use acrylic beads or dried beans/lentils too.
- Hand-sew the gap closed.
- Cut out the template/s. Double over the material so the two nice sides are facing each other and pin on the template. Now, cut out the material.
- At this point you may like to iron the fabric on low heat. You don’t really want creases in your cute little bean bag (I learnt the hard way).
- Next, I sew around the template with the paper on. If you have a steady sewing hand or want to use the template again, I’d suggest taking the template off before sewing. I used it because I don’t sew much and it was nice to have a line to guide me. I’ve since added where you sew on the template. Again, leave a good 5cm gap somewhere on the template (I’ve marked where I left mine).
- Take off the paper and turn the material inside out – a pencil will help with this. Squeeze the safety bean bag/s inside the animal material and then hand sew the last part of the material shut.
- Viola! Your cute little animal bean bags are ready to be decorated.
Decorate your DIY animal bean bags
I’m sure there’s a sewing tool for this, but I used the gas stove to heat a needle and bent it into a hook. Then, it was easy to sew buttons and thread onto the animal bean bags!
Now you can decorate them (my favourite part!) The buttons and thread helped to hide some of my sewing imperfections, too.
My daughters each have a animal bean bag and we can play all sorts of bean bag games. I’m sure I’ll be posting some of those games on here soon too!
I hope you enjoy our DIY animal bean bags. What bean bag animal would you like to see? Do you sew?
Other great bean bag games and links
Need something else to sew? Try these cute Animal Slippers
these are so cute, my boys would love them. [email protected]
Thanks so much Jamie. I love making them. I think I may have the sewing bug. Oh O!
So cute! It looks like your girls agree as well 🙂
I just had a thought that these would make great heating pads (minus the buttons) if filled with rice, which is what I give my kids if they have a sore tummy.
What a good idea Kirri! I didn’t eventhink of heating pads but they totally would! Nice tip! Thank you!
[email protected] learning4kids says
Wow, Penny, these are incredibly adorable! You are so clever!! Can I put in an order for some please?? Haha!
Thanks Janice. I had you in mind when I made the little owl!
These are really cute!
Watch using real beans. We had some with real beans that someone gave us and the bugs got to them. What a mess!
Great tip Dotted! I ould hate to have my little beanbags easten by bugs. So glad I used fish gravel now.
These are wonderful and so simple to make. I’m not good at sewing but I’m sure I could handle these. I also think these could make great (and affordable) gifts for children! Thanks for posting.
I really don’t sew Kate. My mum usually helps me if I have a craft I want to sew (which might be once a year!) but this time I wanted to do one myself. So I did. This was super easy!
Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky says
So cute, and I think I could even try and make them! I’m definitely not known for my sewing skills LOL Having shared it and pinned it x
I bet you could Kylie! I’m not known for my sewing skills either. In fact, this is my first ever sewing challenge that I didn’t need my mum to help with. So embarrassing!
Am making the turtle as soon as my sewing machine arrives! Adorable and the buttons are the perfect addition!!
Ooo, goodluck Steph. I’m sure you’ll do it easily. Do you sew much?
Ohhh, loving these, they are great!! Pinning 🙂
Thank you so much Kelly!
Mud Hut Mama says
These are adorable – I especially like all the buttons and thread that you added.
Thank you! I love them too. I really like the little thread that’s coming out near the owl’s button eyes. That started off as loose thread from when I was sewing the buttons on but quickly saw the potential for making it look like little loose feathers. I love when something inspiring comes from no where!
[email protected] says
These are so cute Penny…my plain old square beanbags look so boring now….i shall have to give these a try! Thanks so much for the template. I’m sure i had a little turtle one when i was small and loved it!!
No, they serve a purpose jode. I just went a little overboard. I’m a bit like that!
These are adorable! My boys would love a crocodile. Alas, I can barely sew a button. But you know, this looks like it’d be fun for me to make…hmmm….
Go on Gracie (not that you have time in the craz life of yours). If I can do it, anyone can do it!
Well done on your crafting achievement! They look fantastic. My favorite is the owl 🙂 shared with Triple T Mum FB readers and pinning.
Thanks so much Amie. I’m a little fond over the owl too. I do love owls!
Tracey @ Bliss Amongst Chaos says
My sewing machine is covered in dust too! I’m hoping once my youngest starts school next year, that I might find more time to use it. Or should I say learn to use it! 🙂
Nathalie Brown says
Oh my how divine, simply love this activity.
Thanks Nathalie! Do you sew? I don’t really but after this challenge I’m starting to re think the no-sew idea!
[email protected] says
These are just gorgeous! Alas, I’m so short of skills I use hemming tape as a permanent solution. Might have a little word to my MIL though – she has sewing machine savvy and these do look lovely and straightforward to make. 🙂
You’ll easily do them Kim. I’m not being modest, I really don’t sew. The last thing I sewed myself (whihc technically wasn’t by myself because the teacher helped me) was in home ec at high school! These are simple!
The Monko says
Goblin was looking at this post over my shoulder and said ” i want the turtle please” – thats his Christmas sorted!
They would make a nice stocking filler wouldn’t they. I wish I’d thought of keeping them for that. I’m sewing something else for them now though. I think I’ve got the sewing bug!
Varya @ littleartists says
These are great toys! I was pondering to make some bean bags for my classes and was thinking of making them in shapes (traingle, start etc for language activity for shape recognition and tossing game). How I didn’t think of making animal bean bags?! Love this idea!
Ness @ One Perfect Day says
Penny these are so adorable! I’m featuring them on my blog today as part of my Kids Co-op post.