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Friday, May 16, 2008

Shape and Color Learning Beanbags

My girlfriend Courtney called me and asked me to make her a set of beanbags for her 2-year-old. I thought it was a great idea, so I made these.

While time-consuming, this project is not difficult. I am not a fan of patterns, so I did not make one, but I will share the steps on how to make your own.

You will need:
-1/8 yard cotton solid color fabric in black, brown, pink, red, green, blue, yellow, orange
-1/4 yard patterned flannel in a fabric your child would like
-white thread
-embroidery attachment
-2 16-oz bags of dried beans
-small kitchen funnel (I cut the tip off of a baby bottle nipple)

1/8 yard of each solid color fabric is enough to make three sets. You will need 1/4 yard of your flannel fabric to make each drawstring bag. Each bag needs 1/3 yard of cord for the drawstring. You can also make a thin strip of a solid color fabric into a drawstring. I purchased all of the fabric at Wal-Mart and three sets' worth of beanbags cost me about $12.00.

1) Embroider color names and shape names on your solid color fabric before you cut it. Leave about 8 inches in between each word. If you are making more than one set, I would recommend doing all of your embroidery at the same time. It will save you time in the long run. Cut your flannel into a rectangle 12" by 26". Embroider your child's name toward the top of one side, about 6 inches from the top.

2) Iron a 3/4" top seam and sew the top seam shut. Thread the cord through the seam. Sew the bag together, inside-out, along the side and bottom. Turn the bag right-side-in and tie your drawstring cord together.

3) Cut your embroidered word fabric into 8 inch wide strips. Pin the each set of color/shape words together with the words touching each other, inside-out. You will sew the shapes together like this as you would a normal seam, inside-out. Trace and cut each respective shape.

4) Sew your shapes together leaving a 1/8th inch seam allowance. Leave about 3/4" opening to turn the shape inside out.

5) Turn your shapes right-side-in and iron flat. Use your funnel to fill each shape 3/4 full of beans.

6) Sew a french seam around each shape to close the hole.

7) Trim all thread and have fun teaching your child!

This is the first time I have attempted to share project ideas and, as stated, I don't use patterns. Please feel free to email me with questions or clarifications. Thanks!

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