How to Make Bean Bag Animals

Written by joan collins
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How to Make Bean Bag Animals
Sew your own animal-shaped bean bags. (sewing box image by Edsweb from

The bean bags used in bean bag toss games or as toys come in many colours, shapes and sizes. Their uses vary: teachers use them in the classroom and students play games by throwing them. Some bean bags, like those shaped in animal forms, work for the various games but they also make toys that are easy to carry around. You can make bean bags in the shapes of your child's favourite animals with a few supplies and a little ingenuity.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Colouring book
  • Pencil
  • Tracing paper
  • Scissors
  • Fabric or felt
  • Straight pins
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Unsharpened pencil
  • Plastic beans
  • Sewing needle
  • Wiggly craft eyes

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  1. 1

    Look through the pages of a simple colouring book that has large, easy-to-colour illustrations. Find pictures that show a side or top angle of the animal you want to turn into a bean bag. Place a piece of tracing paper over the top of the animal and trace the picture. Draw a parallel line around the shape that is 1/2 inch away from the shape to form the seam and space to stuff the bean bag animal you are creating. Cut out the pattern.

  2. 2

    Fold your fabric in half so that the pattern is positioned on two thicknesses of fabric. Near the centre, but not on the centre, pin the shape to the fabric with straight pins. Cut around the outside of the pattern. Remove the pins and the pattern.

  3. 3

    Pin the fabric together by placing the right sides together, facing each other. Determine the right side of the fabric by looking at it for a pattern or by touching it. The right side has rough holes. Match it up carefully as you pin it in place. Place two pins where you plan to start sewing and another two pins one inch before it as a stopping point. Leave a straight 2-inch space (See References: Bean Bag Buddies) between the two sets of double pins.

  4. 4

    Start sewing the bean bag, leaving a 1/4-inch seam. Use polyester thread for its extra strength and durability. (See References: Bean Bag Buddies) Back stitch as you begin sewing by sewing forward and then backward for 1/2 inch. Sew the two pieces together, removing the pins as you sew. Back stitch where you finish sewing. Clip a small space near each curve in the animal with a pair of scissors. Be careful not to clip right up to the stitching.

  5. 5

    Turn the bean bag right-side out. Smooth out the fabric so that it lays flat. Use an unsharpened pencil to poke out the sections that are difficult to reach, such as feet. Iron it flat.

  6. 6

    Fill the bean bag with plastic beans. When the bean bag is as firm as you want it to be, close the 2-inch hole using a needle and thread. Embellish your animal bean bag by drawing a face with markers, embroidering a mouth, nose or eyes or simply glue on wiggly craft eyes and a felt tongue.

Tips and warnings

  • Use caution when sewing with the sewing machine and the needle.

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