Want to do something creative without working too hard, and in the process add a splash of playful colour to your space? Beanbag bookends are fun, fast and simple to create. Better still, they are functional pieces that provide you with creative freedom to bring a little je ne sais quoi to any room.
Beanbag bookends — home-made, and made for home. All photos by Sami Wall.
I don’t have a sewing machine of my own so I executed this project at my local sewing lounge, Vancouver’s Spool of Thread. I’m kind of glad that I needed to go there: It’s a cute, inspiring environment filled with beautiful fabrics (and kind staff), and I’m sure my patterns ended up looking better as a result.
- Beans (I chose yellow lentils — I liked the size and feel of them, and they were pretty cheap)
- Sewing machine (option: visit a social sewing emporium)
Choose your fabric — never an easy choice, there are just too many amazing options! I found a soft and lovely design that will complement the patterns and colours in my daughter Poppy’s bedroom. I purchased a half-yard of this fabric and had it cut.
Decide on the size. Feel free to make your beanbag any size that you desire. I chose to make my rectangle of fabric 20" x 14" (again, if you do this in a social sewing emporium, feel free to ask for advice/assistance). Measure each side. Use chalk to draw lines on the fabric, so that you have an easy time making straight, precise cuts.
Fold your rectangle in half so that the good side is facing in. You will now have a 10" x 14" rectangle. Pin the inseam. I chose to pin a 3/8" inseam on the short side and a 1" inseam on the long side.
Get sewing! Note 1: Choose a colour of thread that complements your fabric. Note 2: Leave an opening on one end, so that you can pour your beans into the bag. (I placed my opening in the middle, because I prefer a symmetrical look.) Note 3: Cut off the corners, to avoid unnecessary visual/tactile bulk.
Turn your fabric right-side in, and pour in the beans. I do recommend that you get help from a friend for this step: One person can steady the funnel and the beanbag while the other slowly and carefully adds the beans. Now, a final bit of sewing, to seal in the beans; you can do this by hand or (slightly awkward, but doable) with your machine.
Here are my beanbag bookends "in action." (For a wider, in-the-environment perspective, see the image at the top of this post.) I think they suit Poppy’s room and hope they will be useful with her ever-growing book collection.