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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tablet Bean Bag Tutorial



Just before Christmas I saw a link on someone's blog for an iCrib bean bag.  I'd never heard of this before so went to have a look.  Well  - what a great idea! My girls saved up for months and with help from some extra Christmas money from us, just before Christmas bought themselves Samsung Galaxy Tablets.

So I was then looking for something small for them to open on Christmas day, since they already had their main presents!  These bean bags seemed perfect - so I decided to make them one each!

I couldn't post this tutorial before Christmas as my girls do look at this blog sometimes - but it's all clear now so here's how to make a Tablet Bean Bag of your very own!

You will need:

Fabric for the inner bag and outer bag 
(1 yard or 1 metre of each is plenty)
A zip - 30cm (12") or larger
Bean bag filler balls

1. Cut pieces for the inner bag.
Cut a circle, 30cm (12") in diameter, and then you need 4 triangles.  For these first cut a rectangle, 24 x 30cm (9.5 x 12")
Then fold the rectangle in half along the long side and cut from the top fold to the bottom open end like this:

Open this out and you can use this triangle as your template to cut 3 more the same:

Here's what you should then have:

2. Stitch inner bag together
Take each triangle and stitch right sides together one by one along matching long sides:

IMPORTANT! In one side leave a gap of about 10cm (4") to use to fill the bag with beans through!

Once you have joined all 4 together, join the outer edges of the outer triangles together so the triangles make an open bottomed pyramid.

Now take your circle of fabric and fold into quarters. Use a pin to mark each quarter fold on the outer edge of the circle.

Then pin your open pyramid piece right sides together to this circle - matching the seams to the pins:

Stitch around the whole circle.

3. Fill with beans!
Now turn out your bean bag through the gap you left in one of the triangle sides:


Now fill your bag around three-quarters full with beans. 
(I used a funnel and jug to do this, and did it all inside a big plastic bag to try to avoid getting small while balls all over my house!!)

Hand stitch the opening closed

And your inner bean bag is finished!

4. Make outer bag cover.
Essentially you now just make another bean bag the same that you put this bean bag inside. The outer bag is removable and washable.

Cut the same pieces as for the inner bag, plus a strip 
20 x 10cm (8 x 4") for the handle.
Here is also when you need your zip.

First take your strap rectangle and fold the long edges to the centre, then the whole thing in half to hide the raw edges. Then stitch down both sides:


Then place your handle folded in half near the top of one of your triangle pieces and stitch into place like this:

Now join your 4 triangles as you did for the inner bag, but this time there is no need to leave a gap in any side.

Next take your circle and fold then cut in half:

Place the zip face down on the right side of the fabric along one of the cuts you just made.

Using the zipper foot on your machine, stitch the zip into place.

Now turn the zip over and top-stitch to prevent the fabric catching in the zip when you open and close it.

Repeat this with the other side of the zip and the other half of your circle.

Then make sure your zip is open and pin the circle to your triangle pyramid as you did for the inner bag and stitch it all together.
Turn right sides out through the zip opening!

Now slip your bean bag inside it's cover and zip it up!


And you're all ready to go - sit comfortable with the bean bag on your lap and your tablet on your bean bag:

My girls love using their new bean bags...
Which double as small head pillows when they aren't using their tablets!

Now I need to make one for myself!!



For the downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

Do you have a tablet?  Do you have a nice little cushion for it to sit on when you're using it?
Why not try making one for yourself or a friend - I borrowed one of these to read my first e-book over the holidays, and found it just perfect to read comfortably!


I'll be linking this post to many of the fabulous linky parties whose pretty buttons can be found on the bottom of this page, and direct links on my linky party page.

46 comments:

  1. Very cool! I so need one of those.

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  2. Very clever idea! Great tutorial too Jill.

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  3. Ooh, so smart and useful, Jill! Don't have a tablet but I can see using it for a book. Thanks for another wonderful sewing tute!

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    1. Thanks Mich! And yes - I've seen them in the shops for using with books too!

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  4. Hey, I totally need one of these for my kindle! My arms get so tired from holding it up. Thanks for the tutorial. Would love for you to consider doing a guest post at Inspiration Cafe sometime...come by and think about it. http://inspirationcafeic.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks Sherry - and thanks for the invitation too!

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  5. What a great idea! My iPad is always falling over when I'm trying to read of watch movies. Thanks for linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday:)

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  6. What a wonderful idea! I have a son with special needs and this will be perfect for him! Thanks for sharing! Julia @ juliakendrick.com

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  7. Awesome idea! Can see myself getting comfortable with this on the sofa :-)

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  8. Super idea! I will have to make these for my grandgirls! Thanks for sharing at One Creative Weekend.

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  9. love them- i need to make one for my 5 year old!

    What cases are those that you have on their pads? Im trying to find a kid proof one for my daughters tablet

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    1. I got the covers for my girls tablets on ebay. They were only $7 each and came from Hong Kong with free postage. If you search for jelly covers for tablets there are plenty out there!!

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  10. My mom doesn't really have the use of of her left arm due to a stroke 4 yrs ago, which is why she got an eReader in the first place. This bag will make her using it even better! Thank you for sharing this.

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    1. You're very welcome - so glad to know this tutorial is useful for people!

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  11. I just made one for myself and I absolutely love it! Now I can finally chuck that ugly plastic stand that I've been using for Skype on the tablet. The bean bag is much more beautiful and versatile.
    Thanks for sharing, great tutorial!

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    1. Excellent Kerstin! I'm so glad you found the tutorial worked so well!! I hope you get good use out of your new bean bag!

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  12. This is just the cutest thing! Great work Jill. I'm still in the beginner stages of sewing. But seeing things like this tutorial really make me want to get better. I can't wait to dig through your blog and see what else you have! Tracy Sue @ bytracysue.com

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    1. Thanks so much for your kinds comments Tracy! I hope you give it a go! I also have lots of tutorials for beginner sewers:

      http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com.au/p/anyone-can-sew-simple-sewing-projects.html

      Happy sewing!

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  13. Thank you so much for linking up to last week's Tuesday Confessional. Your post has been featured so head over and grab a brag button!
    http://www.craftyconfessions.com/2013/01/tuesday-confessional-features.html
    ~Macy
    www.craftyconfessions.com

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    1. Thanks so much for the feature Macy!

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  14. I have never seen anything like this! What a fantastic idea!! I love practical, homemade items and this is not exception! I cannot sew worth a darn, but I love this! Thanks for sharing at One Creative Weekend!

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  15. I love this idea!! For those who hate sewing zippers as much as I do, I just used velcro where the zipper would go. Worked great!! Thanks again for such a great idea and a super tutorial!!

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    1. Great idea to use the velcro Sue!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I think your site is brilliant and really love all your idea's, ive made this bean bag but used velcro instead, it's wonderful, I hope you dont mind but ive added a link to your site on my blog www.sewhandyish.weebly.com please check it out

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  17. What a great (green) idea to use plastic bags to fill the bean bag. It turned out so cute and the kiddos look like they LOVE it! Thanks for sharing at Link It Up Thursday.

    Fatboy Bean Bag Chairs

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  18. Just to make sure I get it right, what size seam allowance did you use?!

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  19. I made this for my daughter who loves to snuggle up with her tablet a read a book. She is 26 and will love it. Thanks for the great instructions that were easy to follow.

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  20. Love this! Planning on making 2 for my 14- year-old twins. I got them cut out, but I couldn't find the seam allowance. Am I just being dense? :)

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    1. Hi Keely,

      I always use a seam allowance of 3/8", but it's not that vital, so whatever you're comfortable with would be fine! Happy Sewing!

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