/ / Amazing Bean Bag Chair Pattern – with Toy Storage!

Amazing Bean Bag Chair Pattern – with Toy Storage!

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Sew a bean bag chair that doubles as toy storage! This fun bean bag chair sewing pattern is easy to make and is HUGE – I measured 40” across and it fits at least 30 stuffed animals.

When I gave it to my daughter she ran around the house gathering up all her stuffed animals and putting them in the bag. Now she drags it back and forth between her room and the family room so she can sit on it all the time, lol!

This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The blog post below is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF download for $2 is totally optional.


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I first saw a similar bean bag chair with toy storage on Amazon and I almost bought it because I thought it was genius. But I love a challenge, and I love to pick out my own fabric.


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I immediately thought of fabrics from Premier Prints available at Fabric.com. They are great quality, affordable, and best of all – they are 54” wide! That means you can buy fewer yards and still get lots of fabric. I picked this adorable Baby Pink Canopy Stripe fabric. It will go great in Cadie’s room.

Since this bean bag type chair is sewn from a single layer of fabric, regular quilting cotton or similar lightweight fabrics aren’t sturdy enough. I strongly recommend using home decor weight fabric such as cotton duck, twill, sateen or heavier.

Don’t worry – even though it is just a single layer of fabric I will share tips for making every seam and the handle extra durable.

Bean Bag Chair Pattern with Toy Storage

{download the printable pattern piece here}

You will need:

  • 2 1/4 yards home decor weight fabric that’s at least 54” wide. (If your fabric is only 40” wide, you will need 4 yards)

  • 1 zipper 22” long (measuring the distance between the stoppers at the top and bottom). I prefer a 1 1/4” wide home decor or handbag zipper, but a regular 1” wide nylon zipper will work too. If you can’t find a zipper this long, then I suggest using zipper by the yard (it’s very easy to use)

  • fabric marking pen or pencil

  • ruler or measuring tape

  • quilt basting spray (optional)


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Cutting:

1. Assemble the printable pattern piece and use it to cut four main pieces on the fold. Since my fabric was so wide, I could keep the original fold in the fabric and fold it in half again (lengthwise) to cut two pieces out at once on a double fold. I changed the direction of the fabric to cut my other two pieces on the fold so that the stripes would be going in different directions like in my inspiration photo.


2. Choose one of your main pieces to be the one with a zipper down the middle. Cut it in half lengthwise. You can use the pattern piece like I did – lay the paper pattern on the fabric piece and cut along the fold line.


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3. Cut two 21” squares to make the circles for the top and bottom of the bag. Fold one of the squares in half twice to make a 10 1/2” square.


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4. Measure along the bottom of the folded square from the folded point toward the raw edges. Make a mark 10” from the point.


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Keep the beginning end of the ruler at the folded point and move the other end up about an inch. Make another mark 10” away from the point.


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Keeping the beginning end of the ruler at the folded point, continue moving the other end up about an inch at a time and making marks 10” from the corner.


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5. Once you have made an arc from corner to corner with dots, cut along them making a smooth curve. Open it up and you’ll have a 20” circle! Repeat to cut another circle from the remaining 21” square of fabric.

6. Cut the following smaller pieces from the fabric scraps:

  • 1 rectangle 8” x 20” (for the handle)

  • 2 squares 3” x 3” (for reinforcing the handle)

  • 4 rectangles 2” x 3” (for the zipper tabs)

Tip: Serge or zig-zag stitch all the edges of all of the larger pieces (not those in step 6) to prevent fraying.


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Sewing the Bean Bag Zipper Panel:

1. Lay one of the 2” x 3” zipper tab pieces face up on your work table. Put the end of the zipper on top, with the stopper at the edge of the tab as shown above.

Note: If your zipper is longer than 22”, cut it off 22′ past the start of the zipper teeth. Then place the end of the zipper flush with the end of the tab piece.

2. Place a second tab piece on top of the first one and pin.


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3. Stitch across the ends of the zipper tab pieces, 3/8” from the ends. Trim the end of the zipper away (removing the metal stopper so you won’t break a needle later). Then fold the zipper tab pieces together and press.


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Trim away the zipper tabs to match the width of the zipper. Finish the edges of the zipper tab with a zig zag stitch if desired. 

Repeat steps 1-3 above to sew a zipper tab at the top of the zipper. Place the start of the zipper teeth against the edge of the tab piece, similar (but on the opposite side of) the zipper tab pieces.


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4. Place one of the half-main pieces face up on your work table. Pin the zipper face down against the straight edge.


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5. Stitch the zipper to the straight edge with a 3/8” seam allowance. Use a zipper foot on your sewing machine if necessary. Sew all the way across the edge, including the zipper tabs.

Note: If you are using a regular 1” wide zipper, attach it with a 1/4” seam allowance.

6. Press the fabric edge back and topstitch 1/8” from the edge.


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7. Pin the remaining zipper edge to the straight edge of the other half-main piece. Sew and topstitch as before.


It should look like this. 

This blog post is getting really long! I started a Part 2 to help the pages load faster. See you there!

Click here for part 2.

xoxo,


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p.s. I’m adding this to my list of 14+ Free Sewing Projects to Make You More Organized. Check it out!

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Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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21 Comments

  1. Hi! This is amazing! Thanks for the tutorial. Btw, will cotton canvas fabric work? That’s the fabric indicated in the Amazon listings. I’m not too familiar with fabric types.

  2. This is a great tutorial! Note: I didn’t find 2.25 yards enough with the instructions provided unless you piece. It worked fine for me because I pieced together several of the round end pieces and two of the large pieces. It actually worked great on the zipper piece, I just cut it from the other side of the 52" fabric and so didn’t have the fold to cut. The other one I just seamed together and cut with a seam allowance. Same with the end pieces. I had enough fabric to get two halves, but not on a fold or in one piece. So I cut with seam allowance and then pieced together. I would change the instructions in the tutorial to note that you may have to piece together to use fabric wisely (or account for more fabric in the list). If there is someone using this tutorial who isn’t an experienced sewist this would throw them otherwise. Note: I did 2 at the same time and it went very well (but may account for the yardage issue–I did get a single cut of 4.75 yards–yay end of bolt–and still had to piece). The Craftsy pattern notes that it is intermediate, and I agree. If you know how to sew this is a quick and easy project. Don’t do it as your first ever sewing. But if you’re trying to move up in skills from pillows then give this a try. Overall very pleased with the results. Thanks for the pattern and tutorial!

  3. confused about the zipper tab pieces, one picture shows the pieces right side together the other picture shows the wrong sides together? when zipper is sewn in shouldn’t the right sides show?
    Using 22" zipper, why loose near 2" on one end?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Terri,
      The tabs are placed right sides together with the zipper sandwiched in between. Then after you stitch across the end, you’ll trim away the zipper stopper (to prevent breaking your needle on it later) and fold the pieces wrong sides together. You will only need to shorten the zipper if it is longer than 22” between the starting point and the stopper.

  4. I finished,I made it! Its great. My 7 year old grandson will love it. Thank you so much and for the added comments when I was confused. Thank you.
    Terri E.

  5. Heather Hector says:

    Working on this project now but noticed i need 4 rectangles for zipper tabs. Instructions online with photos say this but i am using printed ones and it only says to cut 2 zipper tabs. Might want to correct this as it was a nuisance since i had put all the extra pieces away before i started sewing. Think it will be a great pattern and was just what my grandson was asking for.

  6. Finished this today!! Pattern was fantastic and easy to follow. It is huge, houses all our stuffed animals and a nine year old 😏 just a quick side note: if I ever make another, I’ll use Velcro for closing. The $2 zipper is no match for three boys. Thanks so much for the download and the easy to follow instructions!

  7. you don’t actually provide any measurements for making up the pattern??

  8. Do you think that you could use fleece or similar fabric to make it extra soft? Or would it not be stable enough.

    1. You could definitely use fleece, but it would not be as strong. If your toy bag is only going to get light use – go ahead!

  9. Hello! This tutorial is just what I need. We have a small house and too many stuffies. I love all the details and pictures you provide. When I click the link to your printable pattern piece it says, "IP address could not be found." Is there another way for me to get your pattern piece?? I hope so =)

    Thank you for your time,
    Jen

  10. Julie Arneson says:

    I am loving this bean bag chair pattern. I tried to click on the link for the pattern piece and it is no longer available. Can you post it again or email it to me? [email protected]

    Thank you
    Julie

  11. I am making three bean bag chairs for my grandchildren. I am unable to locate 22" closed-end heavy duty zippers in navy blue, royal blue, and pink. Can you suggest where to purchase the zippers? Is it possible to use separating zippers? If so, do I need to make adjustment to the pattern instructions? Do I need to buy a longer zipper to allow for cutting off the end of the separating zipper. Thank you in advance for your help.
    Karen

    1. Closed end zippers would be fine if you cut off the stoppers – making sure that you have the right length of zipper after cutting off the stoppers.
      I really like Zippers By the Yard – it’s what I used: https://amzn.to/3h12Alq

  12. Thank you so much! I am a disaster at sewing – I couldn’t even figure out how to sew a mask using the New York Times instructions. But I was able to do this, and my kids love it!!!

  13. Worked great! Made one for grandkids stuffies. Daughter thought it was a great storage idea. Grandaughter already using it in front of TV. Easy to follow. Thank you for pattern. 😊

  14. Julia Dickson says:

    I’d really love to make this! I just need to find suitable fabric: not the easist thing to do in Ireland…. But I really was excited to see the photo of your Elna! I have one of around the same age that I inherited from my Mum, and I absolutely LOVE it, it’s a fabulous machine, still going strong after more than 60 years of use!

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